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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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    The Glen St. Mary, Florida 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 Glen St. Mary'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.

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    Standard For Evaluating Delay – Directly from An Armed Services Board Of Contract Appeal’s Opinion

    October 04, 2021 —
    Sometimes, it is much better to hear it from the horse’s mouth. That is the case here. The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeal’s (ASBCA) opinion in Appeals of -GSC Construction, Inc., ASBCA No. 59402, 2020 WL 8148687 (ASBCA November 4, 2020) includes an informative discussion of a contractor’s burden when it encounters excusable delay and, of importance, the standard for evaluating delay. It’s a long discussion but one that parties in construction need to know, appreciate, and understand. EVERY WORD IN THIS DISCUSSION MATTERS. Construction projects get delayed and with a delay comes money because time is money. Many claims are predicated on delay. These can be an owner assessing liquidated damages due to a delayed job or a contractor seeking its costs for delay. Either way, the standard for evaluating delay and the burdens imposed on a party cannot be understated and, certainly, cannot be overlooked. For this reason, here is the discussion on evaluating delay directly from the horse’s mouth in the Appeal of-GSC Construction, Inc.:
    The critical path is the longest path in the schedule on which any delay or disruption would cause a day-for-day delay to the project itself; those activities must be performed as they are scheduled and timely in order for the project to finish on time. Wilner v. United States, 23 Cl. Ct. 241, 245 (1991). In Yates-Desbuild Joint Venture, CBCA No. 3350 et al., 17-1 BCA ¶ 36,870, our sister board compiled an excellent and very helpful synopsis of the standards for evaluating delay claims, which I adopt nearly verbatim among the discussion that follows.
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Mechanic’s Liens and Leases Don’t Often Mix Well

    May 03, 2021 —
    As those who read my “musings” here at this construction law blog are well aware, the topic of Virginia mechanic’s liens is one that is much discussed. From the basic statutory requirements to the more technical aspects of these tricky beasts. One aspect of mechanic’s liens that I have yet to discuss in detail it how these liens attach in the situation where the contractor does work for a lessee and not for the owner of the underlying fee interest in the property. A recent case out of the Western District of Virginia federal court, McCarthy Building Companies Inc. v. TPE Virginia Land Holdings LLC, discusses the interaction of Va. Code 43-20, work on a leasehold, and parties necessary to any litigation relating to a lien for the work on that leasehold. The basic facts, outlined more thoroughly in the linked opinion, are these. MBC provided certain work to TPE Kentuck Solar, LLC on property leased from TPE Virginia Land Holdings, LLC. The lease was for a fixed term and for a fixed amount regardless of the work performed at the property. MBC was unpaid by the Kentuck entity and then recorded a lien on the property and then sued to enforce that lien and for unjust enrichment against TPE Land Holdings. TPE Land Holding filed a motion to dismiss the mechanic’s lien and unjust enrichment counts. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
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    How the Pandemic Pushed the Construction Industry Five Years Into the Future

    September 06, 2021 —
    On any given day, there are a multitude of variables playing out on construction jobsites, from maintaining daily logs to track hundreds of workers to creating daily schedules to keep projects on track. What made an industry that’s arguably about 20 years in the past get a dramatic technology boost five years into the future? A global pandemic that nobody saw coming. When COVID-19 made its first appearance on construction sites in early 2020, the domino effect of project shutdowns and labor shortages created uncertainty along with budget and timeline nightmares. The pandemic shook up the industry, with many projects coming to a screeching halt. As general contractors scrambled to keep their projects moving and workers safe, technology proved to be the solution. With jobsites shutting down, coupled with a nationwide labor shortage, real-time visibility over workforce variables, such as who was on-site, where they were and who they interacted with was more important than ever. Safe proximity tracking, virtual density and access control technologies helped construction companies gain more control, visibility and the ability to deal with the ever-changing regulations due to the global pandemic. More importantly, it helped keep their valuable workforce safe. Reprinted courtesy of Alexandra McManus & Hussein Cholkamy, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Mr. Cholkamy may be contacted at Ms. McManus may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    MapLab: Why More Americans Are Moving Toward Wildfire

    October 24, 2021 —
    Climate change is making wildfires more frequent, severe and hard to predict — not to mention more costly, as governments, insurers and local residents pay to pick up the pieces after a blaze. Yet Americans are flocking to areas at high risk for burning, and the pandemic accelerated that trend: During the first year of Covid-19, the number of U.S. households moving into areas with a recent history of wildfire increased 21% over the previous year. Areas without that recent history saw net moves fall by 15%. Those shocking statistics were among the many findings made by my colleague Marie Patino and me in our investigation of recent U.S. migration into the wildland-urban interface, or the edge between highly developed areas and flammable forests and mountains. Between affordability pressures and cultural ideals, our story explores the motivations for why so many people are settling there — in many cases, within the literal footprints of recent wildfires — as well as the staggering cost of this long-term trend. We paired the narrative with rich visuals, including photographs, data visualizations, and maps, with the help of our graphics colleague Jackie Gu. Reprinted courtesy of Marie Patino, Bloomberg and Laura Bliss, Bloomberg Read the court decision
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    Material Prices Climb…And Climb…Are You Considering A Material Escalation Provision?

    May 31, 2021 —
    As you may know, material prices have been climbing. And they continue to climb based on the volatility of the material market. On top of that, there are lead times in getting material due to supply chain and other related concerns. The question is, how are you addressing these risks? These are risks that need to be addressed in your contract. As it relates to climbing material prices, one consideration is a material escalation provision. The objective of this provision is to address the volatility of the material market in economic climates, such as today’s climate, where the price of material continues to climb. Locking down a material price today will be different than locking down the same price months from today. This volatility and risk impacts pricing and budgets. Naturally, an owner and contractor would like to be in a position to lock down supplier prices as soon as possible—both to secure pricing and to account for items with long lead times or that recent data forecasts a long lead time due to supply chain concerns. However, this is not always possible or practical and can depend on numerous issues such as when the owner contracts with the contractor, when the owner issues the notice to proceed (and permits are issued), final construction documents and revisions to the construction documents, the type of material, whether there is staging or storage available for the materials, and the current status including climitazation of the project. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    The Cross-Party Exclusion: The Hazards of Additional Named Insured Provisions

    July 19, 2021 —
    Most construction contracts contain insurance provisions setting forth the insurance required of the contractor or other downstream parties. Some provisions are detailed and lengthy while others are short and sweet, but all are of critical importance and should be fully understood by the contractor before signing the contract. Also, every insured should understand not only what the contract requires but more importantly what the actual policy states, as the policy, not the contract, will govern whether or not there is coverage. It is possible that certificates received will match the contractual requirements, but much of what the policy covers is not reflected on a certificate. Lurking behind the certificate is the policy, which is where the actual coverage lies. The endorsements or exclusions to the policy can make the certificates worthless pieces of paper. There are many exclusions that can cancel coverage for the work a contractor may perform. Height exclusions, residential exclusions, EFIS exclusions and many more, focus on the type of work or materials that the contractor is performing or using. One exclusion, however, focuses on who is insured and that exclusion alone can eliminate all coverage. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Laurie A. Stanziale, Fox Rothschild LLP (ConsensusDocs)
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    Amada Family Limited Partnership v. Pomeroy: Colorado Court of Appeals Expressly Affirms the Continuing Viability of the Common-Law After-Acquired Title Doctrine and Expressly Recognizes Utility Easements by Necessity

    June 28, 2021 —
    On May 27, 2021, a division of the Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Amada Family Limited Partnership v. Pomeroy, 2021 COA 73. In that case, the court decided two significant issues that apparently had never been expressly ruled on by a Colorado appellate court before: (1) that Colorado’s common-law after-acquired title doctrine was not abrogated by adoption of the after-acquired interest statute; and (2) that utility easements may be implied by necessity. As is often the case in matters involving access and implied property rights, the facts and history underlying Amada are complicated, but the case’s two most significant rulings are not. Instead, the basic legal principles established (or confirmed) in Amada appear to be broadly applicable, and real property practitioners should take note of these significant developments (or clarifications) in the law. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Luke Mecklenburg, Snell & Wilmer
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    California Federal Court Finds a Breach of Contract Exclusion in a CGL Policy Bars All Coverage for a Construction Defect Action

    July 19, 2021 —
    The Southern District of California published a decision in May 2021 in Associated Industries Ins. Co. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., 2021 WL 1921016 (S.D. Cal. 5/12/21) concerning the scope of a breach of contract exclusion in a general liability insurance policy as applied to a construction defect action. The suit was filed by Associated Industries Insurance Company against Mt. Hawley Insurance Company for equitable contribution for amounts spent to defend and indemnify the parties co-insured, referred to as JGCI in the decision. JGCI agreed to build a building for a third party pursuant to a written construction contract. The City of Davis issued a certificate of occupancy for the building on May 6, 2005. The City’s permits stated the building was final on that date. Mt. Hawley issued the first of several annual general liability insurance policies in September 2005. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Robert Dennison, Traub Lieberman
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