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    Anchorage, Alaska

    Alaska Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: HB151 limits the damages that can be awarded in a construction defect lawsuit to the actual cost of fixing the defect and other closely related costs such as reasonable temporary housing expenses during the repair of the defect, any reduction in market value cause by the defect, and reasonable and necessary attorney fees.


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    Home Builders Association of Alaska
    Local # 0200
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Anchorage Alaska Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Anchorage
    Local # 0215
    8301 Schoon St Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99518

    Anchorage Alaska Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Mat-Su Home Builders Association
    Local # 0230
    609 S KNIK GOOSE BAY RD STE G
    Wasilla, AK 99654

    Anchorage Alaska Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Kenai Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 0233
    PO Box 1753
    Kenai, AK 99611

    Anchorage Alaska Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Northern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0225
    9085 Glacier Highway Ste 202
    Juneau, AK 99801

    Anchorage Alaska Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Interior Alaska Builders Association
    Local # 0235
    938 Aspen Street
    Fairbanks, AK 99709

    Anchorage Alaska Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association
    Local # 0240
    PO Box 6291
    Ketchikan, AK 99901

    Anchorage Alaska Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10


    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
    For Anchorage Alaska


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    ANCHORAGE ALASKA EXPERT WITNESS ENGINEER
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    The Anchorage, Alaska Expert Witness Engineer Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 5,500 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Anchorage'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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    Anchorage, Alaska

    Colorado House Bill 19-1170: Undefined Levels of Mold or Dampness Can Make a Leased Residential Premises Uninhabitable

    April 03, 2019 —
    One of the 407 bills the Colorado legislature is considering as of the date of this blog post is House Bill 19-1170, the Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act, which can be found at https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1170 and clicking on the link for the recent bill text. The bill passed the House on February 26 and is in the Senate for consideration. The bill currently adds two substantive conditions to those conditions that make a residential premises uninhabitable. One is the lack of functioning appliances that conformed to applicable law when installed and that are maintained in good working order. The second is “mold that is associated with dampness, or there is any other condition causing the premises to be damp, which condition, if not remedied, would materially interfere with the health or safety of the tenant…,” referred to here as “the mold or dampness provision.” The bill also amends various procedural provisions of Colorado law to make enforcement by a tenant easier and broadens tenant remedies. The bill grants jurisdiction to county and small claims courts to grant injunctions for breach. This article focuses on the mold or dampness provision. The mold or dampness provision is vague and will likely lead to abuse. First, there is mold everywhere. While expert witnesses routinely testify about the level of exposure that is unacceptable, no generally accepted medical standards for an unacceptable level of mold exposure currently exist, and each person reacts to mold differently. There is no requirement in the bill that mold exposure exceed levels that are generally considered harmful by experts in the field, or even in excess of naturally occurring background levels. Second, some sources estimate that there are over 100,000 different species of mold. No harmful effects have been shown for many species of mold, while other species of mold are considered harmful. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Steve Heisdorffer, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell
    Mr. Heisdorffer may be contacted at heisdorffer@hhmrlaw.com

    You’re Only as Good as Those with Whom You Contract

    April 17, 2019 —
    I have been beating the drum of the need to have a solid construction contract as the basis for your construction project and contractor/subcontractor/supplier relationships. I have also emphasized that communication early and often is one of the best ways to assure a smooth project. However, the sad truth is that even with the best contract drafted with the assistance of an experienced construction attorney, if the other party to the contract simply decides not to perform, whether that is through unjustified non-payment or simple refusal to complete a scope of work without reason, it will be an expensive proposition to force compliance or be compensated for the monetary damage caused by such actions. It is this often unmentioned truth relating to any contract, including those that construction professionals in Virginia deal with on a daily basis, that makes having a good knowledge of those with whom you plan to contract is key to a successful (read profitable) construction project. Of course be sure that any contractor or subcontractor you contract with has the basics of propoer insurance, the right experience and of course a contractor’s license with the proper specialty or specialties. These basics will get you most of the way to assuring that those that contract with you at least are responsible in business. Another key component, if you can find this information out, is the financial wherwithall of the other party. For a General Contractor, this means both sides of the equation: Owner and Subcontractors. For a Subcontractor, the key is the Contractor, but any other information you can get on the Owner is helpful (though this can be difficult) particularly in the face of a “pay if paid” clause. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com

    Spearin Doctrine: Alive, Well and Thriving on its 100th Birthday

    January 15, 2019 —
    On December 9, 2018, United States v. Spearin, [1] a landmark construction law case, will be 100 years old. The Spearin “doctrine”[2] provides that the owner impliedly warrants the information, plans and specifications which an owner provides to a general contractor. The contractor will not be liable to the owner for loss or damage which results from insufficiencies or defects in such information, plans and specifications. Some construction lawyers questioned whether the Spearin doctrine was still viable in Washington after the Washington Court of Appeals decided the recent case of King County v. Vinci Constr. Grand Projets.[3] Some concerned contractor industry groups even considered a “statutory fix” in the wake of the Court of Appeals Vinci decision. It is our opinion that the facts in the Vinci case are distinguishable and the Spearin doctrine is alive and thriving in Washington. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of John P. Ahlers, Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC
    Mr. Ahlers may be contacted at john.ahlers@acslawyers.com

    New California Construction Law for 2019

    January 02, 2019 —
    The California Legislature introduced over 2637 bills in the second half of the 2017-2018 session. This article summarizes some of the more important bills affecting contractors in their roles as contractors, effective January 1, 2019, unless otherwise noted. Not addressed here are many other bills that will affect contractors in their roles as businesses, taxpayers, and employers. Each of the summaries is brief, focusing on what is most important to contractors. Because not all aspects of these bills are discussed, each summary’s title is a live link to the full text of the referenced bills for those wanting to explore the details of the new laws. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Daniel F. McLennon, Smith Currie
    Mr. McLennon may be contacted at dfmclennon@smithcurrie.com

    The Irresistible Urge to Build Cities From Scratch

    November 21, 2018 —
    Embedded in the cerebral folds of every city planner who’s ever lived, there’s a cluster of neurons that lights up like Las Vegas when confronted with the possibility of a blank slate. It started with Hippodamus, the man Aristotle claimed was the father of urban planning. When the Persians destroyed his hometown of Miletus, Hippodamus discovered a bright side to catastrophe: The attackers had erased all the regrettable improvisations that, over the centuries, had made a mess of the place. Tasked with rebuilding, he seized his chance to impose order upon chaos. And so the concept of the urban grid was born. Ever since, the dream of carte blanche has proved an all-but-irresistible seduction. Leonardo da Vinci drafted detailed sketches of an “ideal city” after the plague ravaged Milan, and a few hundred years later, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a metropolis that solved the problem of vehicular congestion via a network of helicopter taxis. Every so often, this urge in city planners breaks out into a full-scale epidemic, such as the one that spread throughout Europe and North America in the early 1900s. Known as the “garden city movement,” it aimed to counter the indignities of the Industrial Revolution by creating planned communities with plenty of green space. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Monte Reel, Bloomberg

    Solicitor General’s Views to Supreme Court on Two Circuit Court Rulings that Groundwater Can be Considered “Waters of the United States”

    March 04, 2019 —
    On December 3, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the Solicitor’s views on the contested issues whether discharges to groundwater are subject to an he National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, and whether there is an “ongoing violation” of the Clean Water Act for Citizen Suit jurisdiction when the source of the pipeline spill has been fixed, yet not all pollutants have been cleaned up. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at anthony.cavender@pillsburylaw.com

    Environmental Roundup – April 2019

    May 06, 2019 —
    Besides showers, this April brought a number of notable new environmental decisions issued by the federal courts. Before your mind turns to May and its flowers, here’s a summary: 1. DC Circuit. On April 23, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit decided the case of State of New York, et al. v. EPA. In the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990, the Congress established the Northeast Ozone Transport Region, composed of the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the District of Columbia and a portion of Virginia. Recently, several of these states requested EPA to expand this region to include the “upwind states” of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, and the remaining portions of Virginia. Doing so would assist the “downwind” states in complying with EPA’s 2008 Ozone standard. EPA rejected this request, which was then appealed to the DC Circuit by the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Because of its unique properties, ozone created by emissions in the upwind states can be transported to the downwind states, thus allegedly hampering their ability to cope with EPA ozone standards. The court agreed that EPA has the authority to expand the Northeast Transport Ozone Transport Region, but it also has the ability to exercise its reasonable discretion not to do so. In addition, the agency’s decision to rely instead on the remedies available to it in in the Clean Air Act’s “Good Neighbor” provision was reasonable and adequately justified, and the court accordingly upheld the agency’s decision. The court also noted that other remedies may be available to the downwind states, just not this one. 2. DC Circuit. The Court also decided on April 23, 2019 the case of Air Transport Association of America v. Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA held that the payments made by the City of Portland’s airport’s utility city charges for offsite stormwater drainage and Superfund remediation was not an “impermissible diversion” of airport revenues or in violation of the “Anti-Head Tax Act,” which is codified at 49 USC Section 40116(b) and which prohibits collecting a tax on persons travelling in air commerce. Here, the charges are assessed against the airport for the use by the airport of the city’s water and sewage services. The Superfund assessment is based on the fact that the Willamette River which runs through downtown Portland could make the city a Superfund potentially responsible party, and the cty is assessing all rate payers—including the airport—a Superfund assessment. The airport is federally funded and is owned and operated by the Port of Portland, and the Port pays a combined sewer, stormwater /water bill with multiple line items including these contested items. The court notes that federal law, in particular 49 USC Section 47107(k)(2), authorizes airport revenues to be used for the operating costs of the airport receiving federal funding, and the FAA could reasonably determine that these general expenses are authorized airport “operating costs” even though the city services are provided outside the boundaries of the airport. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at anthony.cavender@pillsburylaw.com

    Parol Evidence can be Used to Defeat Fraudulent Lien

    March 27, 2019 —
    Parol or extrinsic evidence can be used to defeat an argument that a lien is a fraudulent lien. And, just because a lien amount exceeds the total contract amount does not presumptively mean the lien is willfully exaggerated or recorded in bad faith. Finally, a ruling invalidating a construction lien can create the irreparable harm required to support a petition for writ of certiorari. All of these issues are important when dealing with and defending against a fraudulent lien and are explained in a recent case involving a dispute between an electrical subcontractor and its supplier. In Farrey’s Wholesale Hardware Co., Inc. v. Coltin Electrical Services, LLC, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D130a (Fla. 2d DCA 2019), there were various revisions to the supplier’s initial purchase order, both from a qualitative and quantitative perspective, and a ninth-revised purchaser order was issued and accepted. The electrical subcontractor claimed that deliveries were late, unassembled, and did not include the required marking (likely the UL marking), to pass building inspections. As a result, the subcontractor withheld money from the supplier and the supplier recorded a lien in the amount of $853,773.16 and filed a foreclosure lawsuit. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com