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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

    Esto Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Esto Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Esto Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Esto Florida Expert Witness Engineer 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
    Lake City, FL 32055

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    Northeast Florida Builders Association
    Local # 1024
    103 Century 21 Dr Ste 100
    Jacksonville, FL 32216

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    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
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    The Esto, Florida 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.

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    Esto, Florida

    Insurer Must Pay Portions of Arbitration Award Related to Faulty Workmanship

    October 21, 2019 —
    The court determined that portions of an arbitration award against the insured contractor based upon faulty workmanship were covered by the policy. Wallace v. Nautilus Ins. Co., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122219 (D. N. H. July 23, 2010). Plaintiffs, owners of adjoining homes, hired McPhail Roofing, LLC to replace the roofs of their houses. After installation, the plaintiffs found several problems with their roofs and withheld roughly a third of the agreed-upon contract price from final payments due to McPhail. A roofing consultant found evidence of water leaking through both roofs during rainstorms. Improper installation of the shakes on the roofs allowed rain to seep through to the roof decks (the plywood underneath the roofs) and eventually into the houses. The only way to cure the installation defects was to remove and replace the roofs entirely. Plaintiffs and McPhail went to arbitration. Plaintiffs sought compensation for the damage caused by the leaking and for the replacement costs of the roofs. McPhail sought the remaining payment under the contracts. Nautilus defended McPhail under this CGL policy. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    'Major' Mass. Gas Leak Follows Feds Call For Regulation Changes One Year After Deadly Gas Explosions

    October 21, 2019 —
    A natural gas leak in explosive range forced Lawrence, Mass. residents to evacuate their homes early on Sept. 27, according to electric utility National Grid, which cut power to more than 1,300 customers to avoid another disaster like last year's natural gas explosions and fires in Lawrence and two other towns north of Boston. The leak came just days after federal officials called for changes to national pipeline regulations as they released a final report on the causes of the Sept. 13, 2018, disaster. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Johanna Knapschaefer, ENR
    ENR may be contacted at

    Failing to Adopt a Comprehensive Cyber Plan Can Lead to Disaster

    January 13, 2020 —
    Despite being aware of cyber risk, and even frightened by it, a shocking number of companies in the construction industry have neither a cyber insurance policy nor a basic cyber security plan to deal with a hack or breach into their computer systems. Once breached, companies with no plan in place become, essentially, a rudderless ship subject to the whims of criminal tides. A proper cyber plan lays out at least the following:
    • the criteria for when a plan would be triggered (i.e., in the event of a breach or a hack);
    • which persons inside the company (in-house counsel, IT personnel, executive, project managers) and which persons outside the company (attorney with knowledge of cyber issues and ideally construction law as well; forensic computer experts, crisis management experts; and an insurance broker familiar with cyber policies) should be involved;
    • the chain of command and communication in this type of situation and the distinct roles each of the above players will fulfill (Note: this is not the same as the normal corporate chain of command); and
    • the various available options to address the breach situation, which will all depend upon the facts at issue—such as the type and extent of the breach and how much of what particular kind of information was lost, stolen or exfiltrated.
    Reprinted courtesy of Richard Volack, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Mr. Volack may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    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

    When it Comes to Trials, it’s Like a Box of Chocolates. Sometimes You Get the Icky Cream Filled One

    October 14, 2019 —
    According to the California Judicial Council you have about a one in three chance your case will go to trial. In 2018, of the 210,028 unlimited civil cases that were filed (i.e., cases with an amount at issue of more than $25,000) only 33 percent made it all the way to trial. The odds are even less if you’re involved in a limited civil case (i.e., cases with an amount at issue of less than $25,000) where only 15 percent make it all the way to trial. The reason: Lawyers are expensive. The other reason: Trials are risky. As well prepared as your counsel may be for trial, when it comes to trials, like boxes of chocolates, “Ya never know what you’re gonna get.” And sometimes you really, really don’t know what you’re going to get. I had a client involved in a trial once. The defendant’s representative at trial was a well-to-do young man and heir to a hotel fortune. He was young, athletic and had a confident, carefree way about himself that reminded me of “Dickie” Greenleaf from the Talented Mr. Ripley. And I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at

    Arbitration and Mediation: What’s the Difference? What to Expect.

    September 09, 2019 —
    Mediation Mediation is a process in which a neutral person or persons facilitate communication between the disputants to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement agreement. During this process, a neutral third party, with no decision-making power, intervenes in the dispute to help the litigants voluntarily reach their own agreement. Through a series of discussions, statements and private caucuses between the parties and the mediator, the process lets both parties negotiate and agree to a resolution with which everyone can abide. It is an excellent method of bringing a dispute to a conclusion without the further uncertainty and expense of litigation. Arbitration Arbitration, in addition to mediation, is one of the most common methods of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”), whereby the parties bring a dispute before a disinterested third party who is typically selected by both parties. An arbitrator hears evidence presented by the parties, makes legal rulings, determines facts and makes an arbitration award. Arbitration awards may be entered as judgments in accordance with the agreement of the parties or, where there is no agreement, in accordance with California statutes. Arbitrations can be binding or non-binding, as agreed by the parties in writing. In most cases, the arbitrator’s decision is binding and final. When is it Appropriate to Engage in Mediation and/or Arbitration? Mediation can be held at any time, before or during a lawsuit. It is a voluntary process, where both sides simply agree to go to mediation in an effort to get the case settled. Sometimes, it is a contractually required process for the parties to complete prior to going to litigation or arbitration. Typically, in this situation, if a party ignores this requirement and fails to participate in a contractually mandated mediation, they will lose their rights to recover attorneys’ fees and costs – even if they ultimately prevail. Other times, mediation is strongly encouraged by the judge if a lawsuit has already been filed, and some would even say, ordered by the court (though it is typically not called “mediation” but something very similar like a “Dispute Resolution Conference” or “Mandatory Settlement Conference”). Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Brittany Rupley Haefele, Porter Law Group
    Ms. Haefele may be contacted at

    When Do Hard-Nosed Negotiations Become Coercion? Or, When Should You Feel Unlucky?

    October 21, 2019 —
    Conflict in a negotiation is to be expected and is arguably healthy for the process. Owners and contractors are constantly engaged in negotiations; whether it be negotiating changes to the work, changes to the schedule, or changes to the contractual terms. But at what point does taking a strong position in a negotiation cross the line and become coercion or bad faith? A recent decision from the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals touched on this very issue. While this is a government contract case, the issues discussed in this case (namely negotiating a change) are routinely encountered in just about every construction project. This decision is instructive because it adds to a trending line of cases that limit an owner’s and contractor’s negotiation tactics. On August 5, 2019, the board issued an opinion in the appeal of Sand Point Services, LLC vs. NASA, ASBCA Nos. 6189. In Sand Point Services, the contractor was hired by the owner to repair the Wallops Flight Facility’s aircraft parking apron. During its work, the contractor hit a differing site condition, namely unsuitable soils. The contractor sought additional time and money for this differing site condition. The owner ultimately responded with a show cause letter to the contractor claiming, among other breaches, that the contractor was significantly behind schedule. This was generally viewed by all parties as the start of default proceedings against the contractor. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Stan Millan, Jones Walker, LLP
    Mr. Millan may be contacted at

    Contractors Struggle with Cash & Difficult Payment Terms, Could Benefit From Legal Advice, According to New Survey

    December 30, 2019 —
    Guest Post Friday is back with a post from my pal Scott Wolfe. Scott is the founder and CEO of Levelset, which is used by thousands of contractors to make payments fast and easy. Scott, previously a construction attorney himself, founded Levelset to even the $1 trillion construction playing field, and is on a mission to make payments less stressful for contractors and suppliers across the globe. Getting paid in construction is slow, hard, and stressful, according to a survey conducted by Levelset & TSheets by Quickbooks that polled over 500 construction professionals. Half of the contractors surveyed complained that they did not get paid on time, which caused serious cash flow issues that negatively impacted their customer relationships and frequently forced them to dip into personal savings and lines of credit to keep their business afloat. View the 2019 Construction Payment Report here. Unfortunately, since the construction industry’s slow payment problems are well-documented, this sad reality isn’t too surprising. The findings, though, do demonstrate a massive cash crunch for the 1.5 million+ contractors in the United States, and underscores the importance of having legal help and counsel from a construction lawyer before, during, and after jobs. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at