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    Home Builders & Remo Assn of Fairfield Co
    Local # 0780
    433 Meadow St
    Fairfield, CT 06824

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    Builders Association of Eastern Connecticut
    Local # 0740
    20 Hartford Rd Suite 18
    Salem, CT 06420

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    Home Builders Association of New Haven Co
    Local # 0720
    2189 Silas Deane Highway
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

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    Home Builders Association of Hartford Cty Inc
    Local # 0755
    2189 Silas Deane Hwy
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

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    Home Builders Association of NW Connecticut
    Local # 0710
    110 Brook St
    Torrington, CT 06790

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    Home Builders Association of Connecticut (State)
    Local # 0700
    3 Regency Dr Ste 204
    Bloomfield, CT 06002

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    FAIRFIELD CONNECTICUT CONSTRUCTION EXPERT WITNESS
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    The Fairfield, Connecticut Construction Expert Witness Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 7,000 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Drawing from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Fairfield's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Construction Expert Witness News & Info
    Fairfield, Connecticut

    Engineering, Architecture, and Modern Technology – An Interview with Dr. Jakob Strømann-Andersen

    September 14, 2020 —
    We sat down with Dr. Jakob Strømann-Andersen of Henning Larsen’s Sustainability Engineering Department. Our talk covered the need for interdisciplinary research, sustainable practice, and how technology will lead change in the years ahead. Can you tell us a bit about your professional background and what you’re currently working on? I’m a partner with Henning Larsen and work with around 300 architects globally. We’re based in Copenhagen where we’re 200 people strong, with branches throughout the world. I’m a trained engineer with a civil engineering background – making me the first partner that’s not an architect. I’ve been with the company for 15 years and joined as an industrial research Ph.D. in Denmark. For my first three years here, I was employed as a researcher doing research and energy-efficient building design. And that’s where we started with our approach to sustainability. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at aec-business@aepartners.fi

    Leonard Fadeeff v. State Farm General Insurance Company

    September 21, 2020 —
    In Fadeeff v. State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., 50 Cal.App.5th 94 (May 22, 2020), the California Court of Appeal reversed the entry of summary judgment in favor of State Farm General Insurance Company (“State Farm”) in connection with a smoke and soot damage claim made by Leonard and Patricia Fadeeff (the “Fadeeffs”) for damage sustained by their home due to the 2015 Valley Fire. The parties’ dispute arose out of the Valley Fire, which took place in Lake County, California. The Fadeeffs’ home was located in Hidden Valley Lake. The Fadeeffs submitted a claim to State Farm under their homeowners policy. Initially, after an adjuster inspected the home and noted that it was “well maintained” with no apparent maintenance issues, State Farm made a series of payments and arranged for ServPro to clean the smoke and soot damage. Subsequently, the Fadeeffs retained an independent adjuster and submitted a supplemental claim in the amount of $75,000. State Farm retained a different unlicensed adjuster to investigate the claim and retained expert, Forensic Analytical Consulting Services (FACS) to inspect the Fadeeffs’ home, and another company referred to as HVACi, to inspect the Fadeeffs’ HVAC system. The independent adjuster used to investigate the Fadeeffs’ supplemental claim failed to follow company guidelines in connection with using experts, which required specific questions to be addressed by the expert. In addition, FACS only took surface samples of the walls in the Fadeeffs’ home. Ultimately, the reports prepared by FACS and HVACi concluded that no additional work was required to remediate the damage sustained by the Fadeeffs’ home. Thereafter, State Farm denied the Fadeeffs’ supplemental claim. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Michael Velladao, Lewis Brisbois
    Mr. Velladao may be contacted at Michael.Velladao@lewisbrisbois.com

    Contract Provisions That Help Manage Risk on Long-Term Projects

    June 29, 2020 —
    Few things can dampen the thrill and promise of a newly closed construction deal than the realization that it could quickly become a losing proposition for the contractor depending on economic and other conditions. In an era of instant information, constantly adjusting markets and political extremes, projects that start under one set of assumptions or conditions can occur or conclude under much different ones. While no one has a crystal ball, there are contractual provisions that can provide clear guidance in the face of many “what ifs” that can arise in construction. One of the chief concerns a contractor should have in a project lasting more than a few months is what impact price increases will have on the profitability of the job. On a true cost-plus project, this may be of little concern, but on any project with a limitation on costs or a guaranteed maximum price, contractors should insist on a procedure to revisit the limitation or price if certain conditions change. This can be as simple as allowing the contractor to receive an upward adjustment in the price if costs increase by more than a certain percentage. It can be as complicated as requiring multiple new bids and disclosures to the property owner, architect or project manager and allowing approval of new suppliers or subcontractors to limit cost increases to the cheapest increase. The protection—and certainty—to the contractor though, comes from having a process in the contract to address cost increases, whether it is simple or complex. Reprinted courtesy of Jason Lambert, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Mr. Lambert may be contacted at Jason.lambert@dinsmore.com

    Insured's Lack of Knowledge of Tenant's Growing Marijuana Means Coverage Afforded for Fire Loss

    August 17, 2020 —
    The California Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the insurer regarding a claim for fire loss. Mosley v. Pacific Sec. Ins, Co., 2020 Cal. App LEXIS (Cal. Ct. App, May 26, 2020). The Mosleys rented their property to Pedro Lopez. Six months later, the property was damaged by fire. Lopez had tapped a main power line into the attic to power his energy-intensive marijuana growing operation. The illegal power line caused the fire. Pacific Specialty Insurance Company (PSIC) insured the property under an HO-3 Standard Homeowners policy. Paragraph E of the policy provided,
      We do not insure for loss resulting from any manufacturing, product or operation, engaged in:
    1. The growing of plants; or
    2. The manufacture, production, operation or processing of chemical, biological, animal or plant materials.
    Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Construction Manager’s Win in Michigan after Michigan Supreme Court Finds a Subcontractor’s Unintended Faulty Work is an ‘Occurrence’ Under CGL

    August 03, 2020 —
    On June 29, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court overturned a longstanding precedent that commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurers have historically relied upon to deny insurance coverage for claims involving pre-1986 CGL policies. See Hawkeye-Security Ins. Co. v. Vector Const. Co., 185 Mich. App. 369, 372, 460 N.W.2d 329, 331 (1990). In its recent ruling, the state Supreme Court unanimously agreed that an Insurance Services Office, Inc. (“ISO”) 1986 standard CGL policy, which is sold to construction contractors across the United States, provides coverage for property damage to a policyholder’s work product that resulted from a subcontractor’s unintended faulty workmanship. Skanska USA Bldg. Inc. v. M.A.P. Mech. Contractors, Inc., No. 159510, 2020 WL 3527909 (Mich. June 29, 2020). In 2008, Skanska USA Building, Inc., the construction manager on a renovation project for Mid-Michigan Medical Center, signed a subcontract with defendant M.A.P. Mechanical Contractors (“MAP”) to install a new heating and cooling (“HVAC”) system. Id. During the renovation, MAP installed some of the expansion joints in the new HVAC system backwards. Id. The defective installation caused approximately $1.4 million in property damage to concrete, steel and the heating system, which Skanska discovered nearly two years after MAP completed the project. Id. After performing the repairs and replacing the damaged property, Skanska sought repayment for the repair costs from MAP and also submitted a claim to Amerisure seeking coverage as an insured under the CGL policy. Id. When Amerisure rejected Skanska’s claim, Skanska sued both parties. Id. Amerisure relied on the holding in Hawkeye and argued that MAP’s defective workmanship was not a covered “occurrence” under the CGL policy, which the policy defined as an accident. Id. at *4. The Michigan Court of Appeals ignored the express language contained in the CGL policy and applied a prior appellate court precedent from Hawkeye, finding that MAP’s faulty work was not an “occurrence” and thus, did not trigger CGL coverage. Id. at *4. The Court of Appeals further reasoned that Skanska was an Amerisure policyholder and that the only property damage was to Skanska’s own work, which was not covered under the CGL policy. Id. at *5. In a landmark decision, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed, holding unanimously that the Court of Appeals incorrectly applied the holding of Hawkeye because it failed to consider the impact of the 1986 revisions to standard CGL insurance policies. Id. at *10. Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack explained that the Hawkeye decision rested on the 1973 version of the ISO form insurance policy, which specifically excluded certain business risks from coverage such as property damage to a policyholder’s own work. Id. The Supreme Court agreed that while Hawkeye was correctly decided, it did not apply here because the 1986 revised ISO policy includes an exception for property damage caused by a subcontractor’s unintentional faulty work. Id. The Supreme Court said that under the plain reading of the current CGL policy language, an “accident” could include a subcontractor’s unintentional defective work that damaged a policyholder’s work product and thus, may qualify as an “occurrence” covered under the policy. Id. at *9. The Supreme Court defined an “accident” (which was not defined in the Amerisure policy) as “an undefined contingency, a casualty, a happening by chance, something out of the usual course of things, unusual, fortuitous, not anticipated, and not naturally to be expected.” Id. at *5; see Allstate Ins. Co. v. McCarn, 466 Mich. 277, 281, 645 N.W.2d 20, 23 (2002). The Supreme Court noted that there was no evidence suggesting that MAP purposefully installed the expansion joints backwards, nor was there evidence indicating that the parties affected by MAP’s negligence anticipated, foresaw, or expected MAP’s defective installation or property damage. Skanska, 2020 WL 3527909, at *4. Therefore, the Supreme Court concluded that an “occurrence” may have happened, which would trigger coverage under the CGL policy. Id. at *10. Although this landmark decision changes Michigan law, the decision is limited to cases involving the 1986 ISO policy language revisions to CGL insurance policies. Id. The Supreme Court's decision does not overturn Hawkeye, but rather limits Hawkeye’s authority to cases involving the 1973 ISO form. Id. Gabrielle Szlachta-McGinn was a summer associate at Newmeyer Dillion as part of the firm's 2020 summer class. You may learn more about Newmeyer Dillion's construction litigation services and find the group's key contacts at https://www.newmeyerdillion.com/construction-litigation/. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Protecting Your Business From Liability Claims Stemming From COVID-19 Exposure

    June 01, 2020 —
    Businesses of every nature – including grocery stores, banks, daycares, gyms and restaurants – may face increasing liability claims from customers and third parties claiming to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, while at their location. The novel virus raises issues as to whether businesses have a heightened duty of care to their customers, and what type of exposure businesses face if a customer claims to have been exposed to COVID-19 while at their premises. Recently, a lawsuit was filed against Princess Cruise lines for gross negligence in allowing passengers to be exposed to COVID-19 on a cruise ship. The lawsuit alleges that the cruise ship was allowed to go out to sea knowing that it was infected from two previous passengers who came down with symptoms of COVID-19. It further claims that the passengers were not warned of the potential exposure either before or after they boarded the ship. In other news reports around the country, business owners have reported taking extraordinary precautions to prevent customers’ risk of contracting COVID-19. For example, one grocery store recently reported that it discarded $35,000 worth of food after a customer coughed on fresh produce. Reprinted courtesy of White and Williams LLP attorneys Andrew Hamelsky, Jenifer Scarcella and Joshua Tumen Mr. Hamelsky may be contacted at hamelskya@whiteandwilliams.com Ms. Scarcella may be contacted at scarcellaj@whiteandwilliams.com Mr. Tumen may be contacted at tumenj@whiteandwilliams.com Read the court decision
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    Prevent Costly Curb Box Damage Due on New Construction Projects

    May 11, 2020 —
    For new construction projects in areas with acidic soils, keeping curb boxes in good working order is critical to avoid compromised water service, angry customers, and costly repair and replacement. Traditionally, a curb box is composed of a metal tube that connects the cast iron base to a cast iron lid/cap. It is necessary for water line repairs and shut off in case of flooding. Typically, they are buried six to eight feet below ground, beneath the frost line. Curb boxes are found on every water line that connects a building to a city water main. One major challenge is that many areas across the United States—including the East Coast, South, upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest—have acidic soil that rapidly corrodes cast iron infrastructure, including curb boxes. Soil with a pH of six or less is considered acidic. Reprinted courtesy of Bob Welker, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Rent Increases During the Coronavirus Emergency Part II: Avoiding Violations Under California’s Anti-Price Gouging Statute

    April 06, 2020 —
    In my earlier article, Profiting From Fear: What You Need to Know About Price Gouging During the Coronavirus Emergency, I discuss price gouging and how the anti-price gouging statute, California Penal Code 396 (“CPC 396”), protects buyers of goods and services deemed vital and necessary for the health, safety and welfare of consumers. Part II of the article provides guidance to landlords on the parameters applicable to acceptable price increases and focuses attention on the application of CPC 396 to rental housing and related issues. California Penal Code 396 As it pertains to housing, defined as “any rental housing with an initial lease term of no longer than one year,” price gouging occurs when a landlord increases the rent of an existing or prospective tenant by more than 10 percent of the previously charged or advertised price following an emergency or disaster declaration for a period of 30 days.2 A residential landlord is only allowed to increase rent in excess of 10 percent if “the increase is directly attributable to additional costs for repairs or additions beyond normal maintenance that were amortized over the rental term that caused the rent to be increased greater than 10 percent or that an increase was contractually agreed to by the tenant prior to the proclamation or declaration” (CPC 396(e).) Further, landlords are prohibited from evicting a tenant and then re-renting the property at a rate that the landlord would have been prohibited from charging the evicted tenant under the statute (CPC 396(f).)3 Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Dan Schneider, Newmeyer Dillion
    Mr. Schneider may be contacted at daniel.schneider@ndlf.com