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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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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.

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

    Greensboro Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Greensboro Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Greensboro Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Greensboro Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Greensboro Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Columbia County Builders Association
    Local # 1007
    PO Box 7353
    Lake City, FL 32055

    Greensboro Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Greensboro Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
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    Leveraging from more than 7,000 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Greensboro, Florida Expert Witness Engineer Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Greensboro'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.

    Expert Witness Engineer News & Info
    Greensboro, Florida

    North Carolina Federal Court Holds “Hazardous Materials” Exclusion Does Not Bar Duty to Defend Under CGL Policy for Bodily Injury Claims Arising Out of Direct Exposure to PFAs

    December 07, 2020 —
    On October 19, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina held that a “hazardous materials” exclusion contained in a CGL policy did not preclude a duty to defend the insured against claims alleging bodily injury resulting from direct exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which are man-made chemicals within the group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs).[1] In Colony Insurance Company v. Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, the insured was named a defendant in hundreds of underlying suits relating to its manufacture of fire equipment containing aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a fire suppressant.[2] The underlying plaintiffs alleged that: (a) the AFFF contained PFOS and PFOA; (b) PFOA and PFOS are highly carcinogenic; and (c) exposure to AFFF contained in the defendants’ products caused bodily injury or property damage. Around a third of the underlying complaints alleged harm from both direct exposure to the foam and exposure through the environment. Representative language from those complaints was: “[d]uring [underlying plaintiff’s] employment as a firefighter and firefighter instructor, he was significantly exposed to elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA in their concentrated form as a result of regular contact with [d]efendant’s AFFF products and through PFOS and PFOA having contaminated the FireCollege well system.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Paul A. Briganti, White and Williams LLP
    Mr. Briganti may be contacted at

    The Basics of Subcontractor Defaults – Key Considerations

    February 15, 2021 —
    The success of general contractors in completing a construction project is often dependent upon the performance of their subcontractors. General contractors have frequently said exactly this. Traditionally, the key subcontractors on a project are the electrical, plumbing, HVAC and structural steel subs. Due to the fundamental nature of the work performed by these trades, the risk of defaulting and terminating one or more of them is likely to have a substantial impact on the project, more so than with the trade contractors that perform their work after a building is made weather tight (i.e., drywall, tile, painting). Most general contractors have, over a period of years, established longstanding relationships with certain subcontractors that they have come to depend upon. The risk of having to default and terminate one of these subs is minimal. Nevertheless, there will inevitably arise occasions when even a once reliable subcontractor fails to perform and it becomes necessary to invoke the remedies of default and termination. Areas ripe for controversy with subcontractors that often can lead to default and termination often involve disputes over change orders and the scope of work, the installation of defective work and the back-charges that ensue therefrom, and, to a lesser extent, conflicts that arise from ambiguous plans and specifications and the extra work and delays caused by the discovery of unforeseen site conditions. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Gerard J. Onorata, Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
    Mr. Onorata may be contacted at

    A Court-Side Seat: Appeals and Agency Developments at the Close of 2020

    December 29, 2020 —
    THE FEDERAL APPELLATE COURTS The U.S. Court of Appeals On November 23, 2020, the court, in a 2-to-1 vote, rejected the plaintiff’s request for an emergency injunction pending appeal in the case of Manzanita Band of Kumeyaay Nation, et al. v. Wolf. The majority held the requirement for such relief did not meet the requirements set forth in Winter v. NRDC, 555 US 7 (2008). Here, the plaintiffs allege that that the government’s construction of a border wall violates several environmental laws that were illegally waived by the Secretary of the Interior. Judge Millett dissented in part because the plaintiffs demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits. She pointed to the argument that the authority of the Secretary—or Acting Secretary—to take these actions has been successfully challenged in several federal district courts. An expedited pleading schedule was established by the court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit On November 17, 2020, in Ergon-West ,Inc. v. EPA, the court again reversed the EPA’s decision denying regulatory relief to a small refinery seeking a waiver of the renewable fuels mandate of the Clean Air Act. Ergon is a small refinery and requested relief in the basis of the economic harm that compliance would entail. In 2018, the court ruled in Ergon’s favor and remanded the case back to the agency. After relief was again denied, the court held that “Ergon has come forward with sufficient evidence undermining one aspect” of the agency’s latest decision, and the ruling was returned to EPA for additional analysis. It appears that a complicated process has become even more complicated. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    Documenting Contract Changes in Construction

    December 07, 2020 —
    Construction projects are almost inevitably subject to changes in the contract. A fundamental understanding of construction changes, how those changes are governed and what is necessary to ensure a complete change are of paramount importance to all parties involved in a construction project. This article is not a treatise on construction contract changes; rather, it provides advice on actions a contractor can take during construction that will help the contractor recover time or money when a contract’s schedule or scope of work needs to be changed. Changes Defined Changes to a construction project affect two broad spheres—timing and scope of work. Changes usually present themselves as either a change order or a change directive. Each may go by a different name depending on the contractual scheme in the project’s prime contract, but they essentially have the same characteristics. The difference between a change order and a change directive is one of agreement. A change order (in the owner-prime contractor context) occurs when the contractor and the owner agree to a change in the timing or scope of work in the contract. Normally, the change order is a written agreement to change the contract and is executed by the contractor and owner. Reprinted courtesy of J.D. Holzheauser, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Mr. Holzheauser may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    New York Court Finds No Coverage Owed for Asbestos Losses Because Insured Failed to Prove Material Terms

    February 15, 2021 —
    In the long-tail insurance context, it is not unusual to have issues arise addressing “lost” or “missing” policies. In an opinion issued on January 22, 2021, a New York court ruled that an insurer did not owe coverage to its insured for underlying asbestos claims because the insured had failed to establish the material terms of a “lost” policy under which it sought coverage for the underlying claims. The lawsuit, Cosmopolitan Shipping Company, Inc. v. Continental Insurance Company,[1] arose out of a coverage dispute between Plaintiff Cosmopolitan Shipping Co., Inc. (Cosmopolitan) and its insurance carrier, Continental Insurance Company (CIC), in connection with bodily injury claims arising out of asbestos exposure. The case provides a good analysis of what an insured must do to establish coverage under a “lost” or “missing” policy. During and after World War II, Cosmopolitan chartered and operated a number of shipping vessels on behalf of United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). In the 1980s, seamen who had worked on board Cosmopolitan’s vessels between 1946 and 1948 filed lawsuits against Cosmopolitan seeking damages for injuries arising out of alleged exposure to asbestos on Cosmopolitan’s vessels. Cosmopolitan sought coverage from CIC for the claims, alleging that CIC had insured Cosmopolitan’s vessels during the relevant time period under a protection and indemnity policy issued to the UNRAA (the P&I Policy). Reprinted courtesy of Gregory S. Capps, White and Williams LLP and Marianne E. Bradley, White and Williams LLP Mr. Capps may be contacted at Ms. Bradley may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Nader Eghtesad v. State Farm General Insurance Company

    September 28, 2020 —
    In Eghtesad v. State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., 51 Cal.App.5th 406 (June 29, 2020), the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s entry of judgment in favor of State Farm General Insurance Company (“State Farm”) based on an order sustaining a demurrer without leave to amend regarding a complaint filed by Nader Eghtesad. Mr. Eghtesad, representing himself, filed a form complaint checking a box for breach of contract. The complaint alleged two paragraphs contending that State Farm had acted in bad faith and concealed benefits due under a policy issued to a former tenant who rented space in a building owned by Eghtesad. Eghtesad was an additional insured under the tenant’s policy. In that regard, the building was damaged during the time that the building was rented and Eghtesad tendered a claim under the State Farm policy contending that he was an additional insured pursuant to the terms of the lease with the tenant. According to Eghtesad, State Farm advised him that he could only make a claim for slander against the former tenant and that coverage was not afforded for his property damage claim. After Eghtesad filed his form complaint, State Farm demurred to the complaint and argued that it did not state facts supporting a cause of action for breach of contract. Ultimately, the trial court agreed with State Farm and entered an order sustaining the demurrer without leave to amend, such that a judgment was entered in State Farm’s favor. Due to health reasons, Eghtesad was never able to file an opposition to the demurrer, despite two extensions of time provided by the trial court intended to allow Eghtesad time to retain counsel and to recover from injuries sustained as a result of an automobile accident. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Michael Velladao, Lewis Brisbois
    Mr. Velladao may be contacted at

    Litigation Privilege Saves the Day for Mechanic’s Liens

    November 23, 2020 —
    In RGC Gaslamp v. Ehmcke Sheet Metal Co., the Fourth Appellate District held that a trial court properly granted an anti-SLAPP motion because the recording of a mechanic’s lien is protected by the litigation privilege. In RGC Gaslamp, subcontractor Ehmcke Sheet Metal Company (“Ehmcke”) recorded a mechanic’s lien to recoup payment due for sheet metal fabrication and installation done at a luxury hotel project in downtown San Diego. Project owner RGC Gaslamp, LLC (“RGC”) recorded a release bond for the lien. Thereafter, Ehmcke recorded three successive mechanic’s liens identical to the first, prompting RGC to sue it for quiet title, slander of title, and declaratory and injunctive relief. After retaining California counsel, Ehmcke then released its liens and advised it did not intend to record any more. Ehmcke then filed a special motion to strike under the anti-SLAPP statute (Code Civ. Proc. § 425.16.) which was granted. Reprinted courtesy of Stephen M. Tye, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Lawrence S. Zucker II, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Mr. Tye may be contacted at Mr. Zucker may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Federal District Court Finds Coverage Barred Because of Lack of Allegations of Damage During the Policy Period and Because of Late Notice

    December 29, 2020 —
    In American Bankers Ins. Co. of Florida v. National Fire Ins. Co. of Hartford, 2020 WL 5630017 (Sept. 21, 2020), the Northern District of California of the United States District Court had occasion to consider whether allegations in an underlying complaint triggered a duty to defend and a late notice defense to coverage. The underlying actions were a suit against the City of Walnut Creek for damages from flooding allegedly caused by the City’s failure to develop and maintain its storm drains.The City settled the cases then sued its liability insurers who issued its coverage in the period 1968 to 1986 for indemnification of the amounts spent to defend and settle the cases.The published decision involved three Travelers’ policies issued to the City between 1968 and 1976, as to which Travelers sought summary judgment as to the lack of coverage in its policies. The district court first found that the definition of an “occurrence” in the policies, in one policy “an event or a continuous or repeated exposure to conditions which causes injury to person or damage to property during the policy period” and in the other two “an accident, including injurious exposure to conditions, which results during the period this policy is in effect, in bodily injury or property damage,” fell within the rule of Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Admiral Ins. Co. (1995) 10 Cal.4th 645, that injury or damage during the policy period must occur in order for the policy to be triggered.The court agreed with Travelers that while there were allegations of flooding for many years, the only claims/allegations of property damage were for the period 2000 and later.Therefore the property damage coverage in the policies was never triggered. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Robert Dennison, Traub Lieberman
    Mr. Dennison may be contacted at