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    Expert Witness Engineer Builders Information
    Ashburn, Virginia

    Virginia Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: (HB558; H 150; §55-70.1) Warranty extension applicable to single-family but not HOAs: in addition to any other express or implied warranties; It requires registered or certified mail notice to "vendor" stating nature of claim; reasonable time not to exceed six months to "cure the defect".


    Expert Witness Engineer Contractors Licensing
    Guidelines Ashburn Virginia

    A contractor's license is required for all trades. Separate boards license plumbing, electrical, HVAC, gas fitting, and asbestos trades.


    Expert Witness Engineer Contractors Building Industry
    Association Directory
    Northern Virginia Building Industry Association
    Local # 4840
    3901 Centerview Dr Suite E
    Chantilly, VA 20151

    Ashburn Virginia Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    The Top of Virginia Builders Association
    Local # 4883
    1182 Martinsburg Pike
    Winchester, VA 22603

    Ashburn Virginia Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Shenandoah Valley Builders Association
    Local # 4848
    PO Box 1286
    Harrisonburg, VA 22803

    Ashburn Virginia Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Piedmont Virginia Building Industry Association
    Local # 4890
    PO Box 897
    Culpeper, VA 22701

    Ashburn Virginia Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Fredericksburg Area Builders Association
    Local # 4830
    3006 Lafayette Blvd
    Fredericksburg, VA 22408

    Ashburn Virginia Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Augusta Home Builders Association Inc
    Local # 4804
    PO Box 36
    Waynesboro, VA 22980

    Ashburn Virginia Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Blue Ridge Home Builders Association
    Local # 4809
    PO Box 7743
    Charlottesville, VA 22906

    Ashburn Virginia Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10


    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
    For Ashburn Virginia


    California Posts Nation’s Largest Gain in Construction Jobs

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    Award Doubled in Retrial of New Jersey Elevator Injury Case

    Discussion of the Discovery Rule and Tolling Statute of Limitations

    Former Zurich Executive to Head Willis North America Construction Insurance Group

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    Corporate Profile

    ASHBURN VIRGINIA EXPERT WITNESS ENGINEER
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    The Ashburn, Virginia Expert Witness Engineer Group is comprised from a number of credentialed construction professionals possessing extensive trial support experience relevant to construction defect and claims matters. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to the nation's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, Fortune 500 builders, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, and a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Expert Witness Engineer News & Info
    Ashburn, Virginia

    Seller Cannot Compel Arbitration for Its Role in Construction Defect Case<

    March 01, 2012 —

    The buyer of a leaky home in Venice, California cannot be compelled to arbitration with the seller in a construction defect lawsuit, according to a decision in Lindemann v. Hume, which was heard in the California Court of Appeals. Lindemann was the trustee of the Schlei Trust which bought the home and then sued the seller and the builder for construction defects.

    The initial owner was the Hancock Park Trust, a real estate trust for Nicholas Cage. Richard Hume was the trustee. In 2002, Cage agreed to buy the home which was being built by the Lee Group. Cage transferred the agreement to the Hancock Park Trust. Hancock had Richard Nazarin, a general contractor, conduct a pre-closing walk through. They also engaged an inspector. Before escrow closed, the Lee Group agreed to provide a ten-year warranty “to remedy and repair any and all damage resulting from water infiltration, intrusion, or flooding due to the fact that the door on the second and third floors of the residence at the Property were not originally installed at least one-half inch (1/2”) to one inch (1”) above the adjacent outside patio tile/floor on each of the second and third floors.”

    Cage moved in and experienced water intrusion and flooding. The Lee Group was unable to fix the problems. Hume listed the home for sale. The Kamienowiczs went as far as escrow before backing out of the purchase over concerns about water, after the seller’s agent disclosed “a problem with the drainage system that is currently being addressed by the Lee Group.”

    The house was subsequently bought by the Schlei Trust. The purchase agreement included an arbitration clause which included an agreement that “any dispute or claim in Law or equity arising between them out of this Agreement or any resulting transaction, which is not settled through mediation, shall be decided by neutral, binding arbitration.” The warranty the Lee Group had given to Hancock was transferred to the Schlei trust and Mr. Schlei moved into the home in May 2003.

    Lindemann enquired as to whether the work done would prevent future flooding. Nazarin sent Schlei a letter that said that measures had been taken “to prevent that situation from recurring.” In February, 2004, there was flooding and water intrusion. Lindemann filed a lawsuit against the Lee Group and then added the Hancock Park defendants.

    The Hancock Park defendants invoked the arbitration clause, arguing that Lindemann’s claims “were only tangentially related to her construction defect causes of action against the Lee Group.” On June 9, 2010, the trial court rejected this claim, ruling that there was a possibility of conflicting rulings on common issues of law. “With respect to both the developer defendants and the seller defendants, the threshold issue is whether there was a problem with the construction of the property in the first instance. If there was no problem with the construction of the property, then there was nothing to fail to disclose.” Later in the ruling, the trial court noted that “the jury could find there was no construction defect on the property, while the arbitration finds there was a construction defect, the sellers knew about it, and the sellers failed to disclose it.” The appeals court noted that while Hancock Park had disclosed the drainage problems to the Kamienowiczs, no such disclosure was made to Sclei.

    The appeals court described Hancock Park’s argument that there is no risk of inconsistent rulings as “without merit.” The appeals court said that the issue “is not whether inconsistent rulings are inevitable but whether they are possible if arbitration is ordered.” Further, the court noted that “the Hancock Park defendants and the Lee Group have filed cross-complaints for indemnification against each other, further increasing the risk of inconsistent rulings.”

    The court found for Lindemann, awarding her costs.

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    Detroit Craftsmen Sift House Rubble in Quest for Treasured Wood

    March 19, 2015 —
    (Bloomberg) -- Detroit’s 70,000 abandoned homes are proving to be a trove for entrepreneurs who recycle century-old lumber, glass and brick into everything from terrariums to $4,500 guitars. “It’s like a treasure hunt,” said Craig Varterian, executive director of Reclaim Detroit, a nonprofit group that’s stripped and sold materials from almost 70 demolished homes. Floorboards and joists of early 20th century maple, walnut, hickory, fir and even chestnut are prized for their density and fine grain. As Detroit ramps up demolitions of vacant dwellings, Mayor Mike Duggan plans a reclamation center in a city-owned building to keep tons of rubble out of landfills and create jobs and merchandise. Recycling would become a centerpiece of the city’s blight-removal effort, which is struggling to maintain funding. Reprinted courtesy of Chris Christoff, Bloomberg and Alexandra Mondalek, Bloomberg Mr. Christoff may be contacted at cchristoff@bloomberg.net Ms. Mondalek may be contacted at amondalek@bloomberg.net Read the court decision
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    White and Williams Defeats Policyholder’s Attempt to Invalidate Asbestos Exclusions

    January 28, 2014 —
    White and Williams attorneys scored a significant victory for the insurance industry on January 15, 2014, when a federal jury of four men and four women rejected a policyholder’s novel efforts to invalidate asbestos exclusions contained in insurance policies issued between February 1, 1979 and August 1, 1985. In General Refractories Co. v. First State Ins. Co., Civil Action No. 04-CV-3509 (E.D. Pa.), General Refractories Company contended that asbestos exclusions in insurance policies issued by various insurance companies in the late 1970s and 1980s had not been submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance for approval prior to use and, therefore, were unenforceable. Holding a failure to obtain approval, by itself, would not be sufficient to render the exclusions unenforceable, the Honorable Edmund Ludwig sent the matter to trial to determine whether the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner implemented a policy that was uniformly executed by the Insurance Department to disapprove all asbestos exclusions between February 1, 1979 and August 1, 1985, such that the exclusions violated a “dominant public policy.”

    Reprinted courtesy of Gregory LoCasale, White and Williams LLP

    and Patricia Santelle , White and Williams LLP

    Ms. Santelle may be contacted at santellep@whiteandwilliams.com and Mr. LoCasale may be contacted at locasaleg@whiteandwilliams.com. Read the court decision
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    Professional Liability and Attorney-Client Privilege Bulletin: Intra-Law Firm Communications

    January 07, 2015 —
    Attorney-Client Privilege Protects Confidential Communications Between Law Firm Attorney Representing Current Client and Firm’s General Counsel Regarding Disputes with Client Who Later Files Malpractice Suit In a case of first impression in California, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP v. Superior Court (No. B255182 - filed November 25, 2014), Division Three of the Second District Court of Appeal addressed the question of whether the attorney-client privilege applies to intrafirm communications between law firm attorneys concerning disputes with a current client, when that client later sues the firm for malpractice and seeks to compel production of such communications. The court concluded that when an attorney representing a current client seeks legal advice from the law firm’s designated in-house “general counsel” concerning disputes with the client, the attorney-client privilege applies to their confidential communications. The court held that adoption of the so-called “fiduciary” or “current client” exceptions to the attorney-client privilege is contrary to California law because California courts are precluded from creating implied exceptions to the statutorily created attorney-client privilege. Reprinted courtesy of David W. Evans, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Stephen J. Squillario, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Mr. Evans may be contacted at devans@hbblaw.com; Mr. Squillario may be contacted at ssquillario@hbblaw.com Read the court decision
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    Contractor Liable for Soils Settlement in Construction Defect Suit

    February 10, 2012 —

    The California Court of Appeals ruled on January 9 in Burrow v. JTL Dev. Corp., a construction defect case in which houses suffered damage due to improperly compacted soil, upholding the decision of the lower court.

    Turf Construction entered into a deal with JTL to develop a parcel they acquired. A third firm, Griffin Homes, withdrew from the agreement “when a geotechnical and soils engineering firm reported significant problems with soil stability on 14 of the lots.” Turf Construction then took over compacting and grading the lots. Turf “had never compacted or graded a residential tract before.” Robert Taylor, the owner of Turf, “testified he knew there was a significant problem with unstable soils.”

    After homes were built, the plaintiffs bought homes on the site. Shortly thereafter, the homes suffered damage from soil settlement “and the damage progressively worsened.” They separately filed complaints which the court consolidated.

    During trial, the plaintiff’s expert said that there had been an inch and a half in both homes and three to five inches in the backyard and pool areas. “He also testified that there would be four to eight inches of future settlement in the next fifteen to twenty years.” The expert for Turf and JTL “testified that soil consolidation was complete and there would be no further settlement.”

    Turf and JTL objected to projections made by the plaintiffs’ soil expert, William LaChappelle. Further, they called into question whether it was permissible for him to rely on work by a non-testifying expert, Mark Russell. The court upheld this noting that LaChappelle “said that they arrived at the opinion together, through a cycle of ‘back and forth’ and peer review, and that the opinion that the soil would settle four to eight inches in fifteen to twenty years was his own.”

    Turf and JTL contended that the court relied on speculative damage. The appeals court disagreed, stating that the lower court based its award “on evidence of reasonably certain damage.”

    Turf also that it was not strictly liable, since it did not own or sell the properties. The court wrote that they “disagree because Turf’s grading activities rendered it strictly liable as a manufacturer of the lots.” The court concluded that “Turf is strictly liable as a manufacturer of the lots.”

    Judge Coffee upheld the decision of the lower court with Judges Yegan and Perren concurring.

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    Statute of Limitations Upheld in Construction Defect Case

    September 30, 2011 —

    The Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled in Ball v. Friese Construction Co., finding that Mr. Ball’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations.

    Mr. Ball hired Friese Construction Company to build a single-family home. The sale was completed on March 29, 2001. That December, Mr. Ball complained of cracks in the basement floor. SCI Engineering, n engineering firm, hired by Friese, determined that the home’s footing had settled and recommended that Mr. Ball hire a structural engineer to determine if the footings were properly designed and sized. In September 2002, the structural engineer, Strain Engineering, determined that the cracks were due to slab movement, caused in part by water beneath the slab, recommending measures to move water away from the foundation. In 2005, Mr. Ball sent Friese correspondence “detailing issues he was having with the home, including problems with the basement slab, chimney structure, drywall tape, and doors.” All of these were attributed to the foundation problems. In 2006, Friese stated that the slab movement was due to Ball’s failure to maintain the storm water drains.

    In 2009, Ball received a report from GeoTest “stating the house was resting on highly plastic clay soils.” He sued Friese in May, 2010. Friese was granted a summary judgment dismissing the suit, as the Missouri has a five-year statute of limitations. Ball appealed on the grounds that the extent of the damage could not be determined until after the third expert report. The appeals court rejected this claim, noting that a reasonable person would have concluded that after the conclusion of SCI and Strain Engineering that “injury and substantial damages may have occurred.”

    The court concluded that as there were not “continuing wrongs causing new and distinct damages,” he should have filed his lawsuit after the first two expert reports, not waiting seven years for a third expert to opine.

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    New Jersey Court Rules on Statue of Repose Case

    May 26, 2011 —

    A three-judge panel issued a per curium ruling on May 23 in Fairview Heights Condo. v. Investors (N.J. Super., 2011), a case which the members of a condominium board argued: “that the judge erred by: 1) dismissing plaintiff’s claims against RLI based upon the statute of repose; 2) dismissing the breach of fiduciary duty claims against the Luppinos based upon a lack of expert opinion; 3) barring the testimony of Gonzalez; and 4) barring the May 23, 1989 job site report.” The court rejected all claims from the condominium board.

    The court found that the building must be unsafe for the statute of repose to apply. They noted, “the judge made no findings on whether the water seepage, or the property damage caused by such seepage, in any way rendered the building, or any of the units, unsafe.” Further, “without a specific finding on the question of whether the defects had rendered the building ‘unsafe,’ defendants were not entitled to the benefit of the ten-year statute of repose.“

    On the second point, the court also upheld the lower court’s findings regarding the management company:

    “The report submitted by Berman establishes that the EIFS product was defective in its design and would therefore have failed from the outset. The defects in that product were, according to Berman, not prone to repair or other mitigation. Therefore, even if defendants did not appropriately inspect or repair the EIFS, their failure to do so would have had no impact on the long-term performance of the EIFS exterior cladding. As plaintiff failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact on these questions, the judge properly granted summary judgment to the Luppinos on plaintiff’s breach of fiduciary duty claim.”

    On the final two points, the judges noted “plaintiff maintains that the judge committed reversible error when he excluded the Gonzalez certification and the 1989 job site report prepared by Raymond Brzuchalski.” They saw “no abuse of discretion related to the exclusion of the Gonzalez certification, and reject plaintiff’s arguments to the contrary.” Of the job site report, they found, “no abuse of discretion in the judge's finding that the Brzuchalski 1989 job site report did not satisfy the requirements of N.J.R.E.803(c)(6).”

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    Steven Cvitanovic to Present at NASBP Virtual Seminar

    January 13, 2017 —
    Partner Steven Cvitanovic will speak at the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) Virtual Seminar on Tuesday, January 31 at 11:00 A.M. PST. The presentation will provide a brief overview of risks covered by traditional insurance products, and will then expand on significant exposures arising from a contractors operations/contracts that are not covered by traditional insurance. The session will provide examples of these non-traditional risks and strategies to mitigate them. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Steven M. Cvitanovic, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP
    Mr. Cvitanovic may be contacted at scvitanovic@hbblaw.com