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    Florida Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: In Title XXXIII Chapter 558, the Florida Legislature establishes a requirement that homeowners who allege construction defects must first notify the construction professional responsible for the defect and allow them an opportunity to repair the defect before the homeowner canbring suit against the construction professional. The statute, which allows homeowners and associations to file claims against certain types of contractors and others, defines the type of defects that fall under the authority of the legislation and the types of housing covered in thelegislation. Florida sets strict procedures that homeowners must follow in notifying construction professionals of alleged defects. The law also establishes strict timeframes for builders to respond to homeowner claims. Once a builder has inspected the unit, the law allows the builder to offer to repair or settle by paying the owner a sum to cover the cost of repairing the defect. The homeowner has the option of accepting the offer or rejecting the offer and filing suit. Under the statute the courts must abate any homeowner legal action until the homeowner has undertaken the claims process. The law also requires contractors, subcontractors and other covered under the law to notify homeowners of the right to cure process.

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    Tri-County Home Builders
    Local # 1073
    PO Box 420
    Marianna, FL 32447

    Bascom Florida Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Tallahassee Builders Association Inc
    Local # 1064
    1835 Fiddler Court
    Tallahassee, FL 32308

    Bascom Florida Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Building Industry Association of Okaloosa-Walton Cos
    Local # 1056
    1980 Lewis Turner Blvd
    Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

    Bascom Florida Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of West Florida
    Local # 1048
    4400 Bayou Blvd Suite 45
    Pensacola, FL 32503

    Bascom Florida Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Florida Home Builders Association (State)
    Local # 1000
    PO Box 1259
    Tallahassee, FL 32302

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    Columbia County Builders Association
    Local # 1007
    PO Box 7353
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    Jacksonville, FL 32216

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    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
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    Leveraging from more than 7,000 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Bascom, Florida Construction Expert Witness Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Bascom's most acknowledged construction practice groups, CGL carriers, builders, owners, and public agencies. Drawing from a diverse pool of construction and design professionals, BHA is able to simultaneously analyze complex claims from the perspective of design, engineering, cost, or standard of care.

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    Third Circuit Limits Pennsylvania’s Kvaerner Decision; Unexpected and Unintended Injury May Constitute an “Occurrence” Under Pennsylvania Law

    December 22, 2019 —
    The Third Circuit ruled on Friday that differing “occurrence” definitions can have materially different meanings in the context of whether product defect claims constitute an “occurrence” triggering coverage under general liability insurance policies. The Court held in Sapa Extrusions, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, that product claims against Sapa may be covered under policies that define an “occurrence” as an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage “neither expected nor intended from the standpoint of the insured.” However, the Court affirmed that coverage was not triggered under policies lacking the “expected” or “intended” limitation, reasoning that, under those policies, there was no question that the intentional manufacturing of Sapa’s product was too foreseeable to amount to an “accident.” The coverage dispute arose from an underlying action in which Marvin, a window manufacturer, alleged that, between 2000 and 2010, Sapa sold it roughly 28 million defective aluminum window extrusions. Marvin alleged that the extrusions, which are metal frames that hold glass window panes in place, began to oxidize and break down shortly after they were installed, causing Marvin to incur substantial costs to fix and replace them. Marvin sued Sapa in 2010 in Minnesota federal court, and the parties settled in 2013. Sapa sought coverage for the settlement from its eight general liability insurers for the period implicated by Marvin’s allegations. The insurers denied coverage and Sapa brought suit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Michelle M. Spatz, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Levine may be contacted at Ms. Spatz may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    NLRB Hits Unions with One-Two Punch the Week Before Labor Day

    November 18, 2019 —
    The National Labor Relations Board (the Board) continues to modify the way employers, unions and employees view and relate to each other in the workplace. In two decisions right before Labor Day, the Board strengthened employer rights in their workplaces, while at the same time making life for their union counterparts more difficult. On August 23, 2019, the Board revisited the issue of whether an employer must grant access to the off-duty employees of an onsite contractor so they can engage in Section 7 activities on the employer’s property. In general, Section 7 activities consist of employees acting together to improve their pay and working conditions, which constitute fundamental rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the Act). In Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation d/b/a Tobin Center, the San Antonio-based performing arts center, the Tobin Center, owned the Center as well as grounds that abutted the famed San Antonio River Walk. The Tobin Center housed three resident companies, one of which was the Ballet San Antonio with whom it had a licensor-licensee agreement. In addition to plays, movies and other productions, the Tobin Center hosted the San Antonio Symphony (the Symphony) to perform for 22 weeks of the year. The Ballet San Antonio also occasionally utilized the Symphony for live musical performances at its ballets. When, however, the Ballet San Antonio decided to use recorded music for a particular production, off-duty employees of the Symphony protested by leafletting the public on the Tobin Center property. The leaflets advised the public of this decision and urged that they “DEMAND LIVE MUSIC!” Their protests were not directed at the property owner, who denied them access to its property. Reprinted courtesy of John Baker, White and Williams LLP and Robert Pettigrew, White and Williams LLP Mr. Baker may be contacted at Mr. Pettigrew may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Defining Catastrophic Injury Claims

    December 16, 2019 —
    How do we define circumstances and injuries that go beyond a typical claim and severely impact a person’s life? How do we characterize the types of claims where an individual’s enjoyment of life is affected in an extraordinary manner? Typically, attorneys refer to these types of cases as “catastrophic injury” claims. These are the type of personal injury claims where the health of an individual has been so seriously impacted that their life has been irreparably altered. Defining these claims legally is somewhat murky and case law has done little to provide attorneys with a specific definition of the term. However, a recent Workers Compensation Appeals Board ruling attempted to list factors in order to establish a catastrophic injury claim. These include:
    1. An intensity and seriousness of treatment received for an injury;
    2. The ultimate outcome when a person’s physical injury is permanent and stationary;
    3. Whether the severity of the physical injury impacts the person’s ability to perform daily activities;
    4. Whether the physical injury is closely analogous to one of the injuries specified in various statutes, including loss of a limb, paralysis, severe burns, or a severe head injury; and
    5. If the physical injury is incurable or progressive. Wilson v. State of California CAL Fire (5/10/19) 2019 Cal.Wrk.Comp. LEXIS 29.
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    Reprinted courtesy of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    What is an Alternative Dispute Resolution?

    August 26, 2019 —
    Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) is a term that refers to a number of processes that can be used to resolve a conflict, dispute, or claim. ADR processes are alternatives to having a court decide the dispute in trial. ADR processes can be used to resolve any type of dispute including but not limited those related to families, neighborhoods, employment, businesses, housing, personal injury, consumers, and the environment. ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a trial. Most Common Types of Alternative Dispute Resolutions Mediation In mediation, an impartial person called a “mediator” helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute. The mediator does not decide the dispute but helps the parties communicate so they can try to settle the dispute themselves. Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    Traub Lieberman Partners Lenhardt and Smith Obtain Directed Verdict in Broward County Failed Repair Sinkhole Trial

    September 03, 2019 —
    On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, Traub Lieberman Partners Michael Lenhardt and Burks Smith won a Directed Verdict at trial in a dispute over Sinkhole Loss coverage in Broward County Circuit Court. The lawsuit arose out of a claim for Breach of Contract involving an alleged “failed repair” of a 2005 sinkhole at the insureds’ property. The Plaintiffs argued that their Policy Limits did not apply because the carrier allegedly undertook the subsurface repairs, relying on Drew v. Mobile USA Ins. Co., 920 So.2d 832 (Fla. 4thDCA 2006). The Plaintiffs asserted that because the insurance company allegedly hired the below ground repair company, a “new contract” was formed, and the Plaintiffs should be entitled to limitless repairs to their home, notwithstanding the Policy Limits. This argument obviously presented the carrier with very significant exposure. Attorneys Lenhardt and Smith provided a vigorous defense for the insurance company at trial, during which they presented the jury with evidence that the carrier did not, in fact, hire the subsurface repair company. They further established to the jury that the insureds actually signed a contract with the repair company directly, and that the defendant did not invoke the Our Option repair clause of the Policy. After the Plaintiffs rested their case, Mr. Lenhardt and Mr. Smith moved the Court for entry of a directed verdict. The defense argued to the Court that the Plaintiffs could not prove their case to the jury based upon the facts presented as a matter of law, thus entitling the insurance company to a defense verdict. Reprinted courtesy of Michael Francis Lenhardt, Traub Lieberman and Burks A. Smith, III, Traub Lieberman Mr. Lenhardt may be contacted at Mr. Smith may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Construction Contract Provisions that Should Pique Your Interest

    September 30, 2019 —
    Construction contracts are a big part of my legal practice and the drumbeat here at Construction Law Musings. Why? Because not only does your construction contract set the expectations and “rules of the game” for a construction project, it will be read strictly and literally by the Virginia courts should there be a dispute. For these reasons, construction professionals need to be alert for the language in certain key clauses in a construction contract to assure that these clauses are as balanced as possible and also well understood. Here are my “Top Five”:
    1. “Pay if Paid”- These clauses are almost always in the subcontracts between a general contractor and a subcontractor and are enforceable in Virginia if drafted correctly and under the proper circumstances.
    2. Change Orders- Whether work is subject to a change order and the required payment for any changed work are often a key source of contention (read legal fees). A properly drafted and followed change order provision can help avoid much of this contention.
    3. Indemnity- Much has been made in recent years about indemnity provisions and their enforceability. All parties in the construction payment chain can and should be aware of how to best draft their indemnity provisions to make them enforceable. Failure to do so can be catastrophic.
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
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    A Teaming Agreement is Still a Contract (or, Be Careful with Agreements to Agree)

    November 18, 2019 —
    I have discussed teaming agreements in this past here at Construction Law Musings. These agreements are most typically where one of two entities meets a contracting requirement but may not have the capacity to fulfill a contract on its own so brings in another entity to assist. However, these agreements are contracts and are treated as such here in Virginia with all of the law of contracts behind them. One illustrative case occurred here in Virginia and was decided by the Virginia Supreme Court. That case is CGI Fed. Inc. v. FCi Fed. Inc. While this is not strictly a “construction” case, it helps lay out some of the pitfalls of teaming agreements in general. In this case, the parties entered into a fairly typical small business (FCI) Big Business (CGI) teaming arrangement for the processing of visas for the State Department. The parties negotiated the workshare percentage (read payment percentage) should FCI get the work and the teaming agreement set out a framework for the negotiation of a subcontract between FCI, the proposed general contractor, and CGI, the proposed subcontractor. After a while working together, FCI submitted a proposal to the State Department and as part of the negotiations of this proposal, the work percentage for CGI was lowered in exchange for some management positions for CGI relative to the work by amendment to the original teaming agreement. However, one day later FCI submitted a proposal to the State Department that not only didn’t include the management positions, but further lowered CGI’s workshare. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    The Future of Construction Tech Is Decision Tech

    August 06, 2019 —
    It doesn’t take much to be catastrophically wrong in construction; some bad information, a touch of misleading intel, a few biased opinions mixed with human error and perhaps a little bad luck to top it off. A poor decision early in a project plants itself like a weed—it grows benignly at first, and becomes gravely pervasive at the end. Being wrong in construction is dangerous. Error leads to leaning towers and broken buildings. Poorly-built structures can hinder economic growth and deprive communities of good infrastructure. For the enterprise, bad decisions can lead to massive financial loss and—worse—human loss on a jobsite. Despite knowing all the dangers, it seems that flawed data, misleading intel and human error have become traits the industry can’t shake. To be clear, construction is one of—if not the most—complex industry in today’s economy. Companies walk a tight rope between a 2% margin on one side and ruinous loss on the other. Under such conditions, it’s easy to see why sustained good judgement is difficult. Reprinted courtesy of Bassem Hamdy, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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