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    Ponce de Leon, Florida

    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.


    Expert Witness Engineer Contractors Licensing
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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.


    Expert Witness Engineer Contractors Building Industry
    Association Directory
    Tri-County Home Builders
    Local # 1073
    PO Box 420
    Marianna, FL 32447

    Ponce de Leon Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Ponce de Leon Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Ponce de Leon Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Ponce de Leon Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Ponce de Leon Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Ponce de Leon Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Ponce de Leon Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10


    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
    For Ponce de Leon Florida


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    PONCE DE LEON FLORIDA EXPERT WITNESS ENGINEER
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    Leveraging from more than 5500 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Ponce de Leon, Florida Expert Witness Engineer Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Ponce de Leon'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.

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    Ponce de Leon, Florida

    What is an Alternative Dispute Resolution?

    August 26, 2019 —
    Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) is a term that refers to a number of processes that can be used to resolve a conflict, dispute, or claim. ADR processes are alternatives to having a court decide the dispute in trial. ADR processes can be used to resolve any type of dispute including but not limited those related to families, neighborhoods, employment, businesses, housing, personal injury, consumers, and the environment. ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a trial. Most Common Types of Alternative Dispute Resolutions Mediation In mediation, an impartial person called a “mediator” helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute. The mediator does not decide the dispute but helps the parties communicate so they can try to settle the dispute themselves. Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    Is Your Website Accessible And Are You Liable If It Isn't?

    January 06, 2020 —
    To anyone who does business online - ­beware. While the ADA has been in play for years, it did not necessarily account for all the technological advances that have been made over time. Specifically, when it comes to accommodations - what accommodations can and should be made within a website, and whether accommodations should be made on all websites or just some. However, because of this, a new type of lawsuit has emerged, and is slowly becoming more prominent. Since the Supreme Court refused to clarify this particular area of law, we must turn to the recent Ninth Circuit Ruling in Robles v. Domino's for guidance. What Happened in Robles v. Domino's? As part of a spree of litigation, Guillermo Robles had sued Domino's Pizza due to the lack of accessibility for the Domino's smartphone application and website. Mr. Robles is blind, and neither the website nor application, which allowed users to order Domino's food for pickup or delivery, and offer exclusive discounts, were accessible to him. The Domino's website and application were both incompatible with his chosen software, prompting a lawsuit in 2016. After a short success in the trial court due to the lack of guidance given to websites and applications in how to accommodate for the ADA, the Ninth Circuit overruled the trial court, finding that: (1) the ADA applied to Domino's as there was a nexus between the Domino's website and app, and physical restaurants; and (2) the lack of guidance to Domino's did not violate its right to due process. The ultimate effect of Robles v. Domino's found that businesses cannot necessarily avoid ADA litigation, even though the federal government hasn't given guidelines on how to make a website or mobile application accessible. What Happened at the Supreme Court? Back in June, Domino's appealed the Ninth Circuit decision, prompting a flurry of amicus briefs. This was done, in part, because there is a circuit split between the Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits requiring that a website has a physical nexus to a place of public accommodation (i.e. a "brick-and-mortar" location), and the First, Second, Fifth and Seventh Circuits, which will rule that a website is a place of public accommodation if it does something a place of public accommodation would do (i.e. Netflix showing films). In addition, parties aside from Domino's have been looking for further guidance given the lack of comments from the Department of Justice and Congress. This is especially relevant because the Department of Justice has been considering the application of the ADA to the internet from 1996 to 2018, resulting in some inconsistent comments regarding the need for rule making. This had pushed Domino's and others to attempt to end the ongoing regulation through litigation and furthermore, due to the decision in the Ninth Circuit, to avoid the Domino's holding from creating a "defacto" requirement. How Do You Prepare? While there is an off-chance that this kind of civil ADA litigation will resurface to the Supreme Court, these claims tend to settle relatively quickly, and ultimately may prevent courts from providing any solid or concrete guidance on accessibility until either the Department of Justice provides guidelines or Congress amends the ADA to specifically address website accessibility. However, a determination of what is "accessible" may be put forward due to the new proposed regulations for the CCPA set forth by California's Attorney General. The proposed regulations specifically state that a privacy policy should be accessible to consumers with disabilities, and at a minimum, should provide information on how a consumer with a disability can access the notice in an alternative format. Importantly, this removes the arguments on whether or not the website would have to be a place of public accommodation. It is now widely applicable to every website. Given the CCPA is to be enforced by the Attorney General, this presents a possible situation where the state of California will determine what is accessible through enforcement actions. In the absence of guidelines however, you have four actions you can take to protect your business.
    1. Learn the standards. There are unofficial accessibility guidelines such as WCAG 2.0AA that are treated as an industry standard. While this may not completely protect you from claims made by litigants, this will help your business move towards compliance.
    2. Know and negotiate. When dealing with third party service providers or developers, make sure that accessibility is brought up, discussed, and addressed before moving forward with using that service provider or developer. If the developer or service provider cannot assure that their product is accessible, be prepared to walk away. A business may be found liable for the inaccessibility of an online service provider used by the business to provide the business's services.
    3. Beta test often. As technology changes or websites are updated to be more device-friendly, new code or functions may make a website less accessible for accessibility devices and software. In addition, just because a website meets the WCAG 2.0AA, this may not account for all accessibility issues, so it would be prudent and beneficial to be thorough.
    4. Get help. Consider hiring third parties to help you evaluate a plan for accessibility and keep you up-to date for online accessibility issues.
    Nonetheless, there is still a significant risk and uncertainty for anyone who does business online, as any business has to be aware of the current general framework of laws and industry accessibility guidelines to hope they meet the murky definition of "accessible." Kyle Janecek is an associate in the firms Privacy & Data Security practice, and supports the team in advising clients on cyber related matters, including policies and procedures that can protect their day-to-day operations. For more information on how Kyle can help, contact him at kyle.janecek@ndlf.com. Jeff Dennis (CIPP/US) is the Head of the firm's Privacy & Data Security practice. Jeff works with the firm's clients on cyber-related issues, including contractual and insurance opportunities to lessen their risk. For more information on how Jeff can help, contact him at jeff.dennis@ndlf.com. About Newmeyer Dillion For 35 years, Newmeyer Dillion has delivered creative and outstanding legal solutions and trial results that align with the business objectives of clients in diverse industries. With over 70 attorneys working as an integrated team to represent clients in all aspects of business, employment, real estate, privacy & data security and insurance law, Newmeyer Dillion delivers tailored legal services to propel clients' business growth. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Walnut Creek, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Newmeyer Dillion attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and Super Lawyers as top tier and some of the best lawyers in California and Nevada, and have been given Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review's AV Preeminent® highest rating. For additional information, call 949.854.7000 or visit www.newmeyerdillion.com. Read the court decision
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    A Recap of the Supreme Court’s 2019 Summer Slate

    September 16, 2019 —
    As usual, the last month of the Supreme Court’s term generated significant rulings on all manner of cases, possibly presaging the new directions the Court will be taking in administrative and regulatory law. Here’s a brief roundup: An Offshore Dispute, Resolve – Parker Drilling Management v. Newton On June 10, 2019, the Court held, in a unanimous ruling, that, under federal law, California wage and hour laws do not apply to offshore operations conducted on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Newton, the plaintiff, worked on drilling platforms off the coast of California, and alleged that he was not paid for his “standby time” which is contrary to California law if not federal law. He filed a class action in state court, which was removed to federal court, where it was dismissed on the basis of a 1969 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which held that state law applies on the OCS only to the extent that it is necessary to use state law to fill a significant gap or void in federal law, and this is not the case here. On appeal to the Ninth Circuit, that court disagreed with the Fifth Circuit, and ruled that state law is applicable on the OCS whenever it applies to the matter at hand. The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Thomas, conceded that “this is a close question of statutory interpretation,” but in the end the Court agreed with the argument that if there was not a gap to fill, that ended the dispute over which law applies on the Outer continental Shelf. This ruling, recognizing the preeminent role that federal law plays on the OCS, may affect the resolution of other offshore disputes affecting other federal statutes. Preemption Prevention – Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren. et al. On June 17, 2019 the Court decided important cases involving federal preemption and First Amendment issues. In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court held that the Atomic Energy Act does not preempt a Virginia law that “flatly prohibits uranium mining in Virginia”—or more precisely—mining on non-federal land in Virginia. Virginia Uranium planned to mine raw uranium from a site near Coles, Virginia, but acknowledging that Virginia law forbade such an operation, challenged the state law on federal preemption grounds, arguing that the Atomic Energy Act, as implemented by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, preempts the ability of the state to regulate this activity. However, the majority, in an opinion written by Justice Gorsuch, notes that the “best reading of the AEA does not require us to hold the state law before us preempted,” and that the1983 precedent that Virginia Uranium cites, Pacific Gas & Electric Company v. State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, can easily be distinguished. Justice Gorsuch rejected arguments that the intent of the Virginia legislators in passing the state law should be consulted, that the Court’s ruling should normally be governed by the exact text of the statute at hand. However, both the concurring and dissenting opinions suggest that the what the legislators intended to do is important in a preemption context. 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

    Insurer Not Required to Show Prejudice from an Insured’s Late Notice When the Parties Contract for a Specific Reporting Period

    September 09, 2019 —
    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the Firm’s insurer client on an issue of first impression in Texas. The issue before the trial court was whether, under Texas law, an insurer is required to demonstrate prejudice resulting from an insured’s failure to comply with an agreed term set in an endorsement to the parties’ insurance contract establishing a specific time limit for an insured to give the insurer notice of a claim. The case involved alleged damage to an insured’s commercial property from a hailstorm. The insured did not report the alleged loss to its insurer until approximately 17 months after the date of loss. The insurer denied the claim based on a one-year notice requirement in a policy endorsement. The Texas Windstorm or Hail Loss Conditions Amendment Endorsement stated that:
    In addition to your obligation to provide us with prompt notice of loss or damage, with respect to any claim where notice of the claim is reported to us more than one year after the reported date of loss or damage, this policy shall not provide coverage for such claims.
    The insured sued the insurer in Houston federal court, alleging causes of action for breach of contract and violations of the Texas Insurance Code. The insured argued the insurer was required to show prejudice from the insured’s late notice; the insurer argued that a showing of prejudice was not required. The trial court recognized that this issue had not been decided by the Texas Supreme Court of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christopher Raney, Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani
    Mr. Raney may be contacted at craney@grsm.com

    Pennsylvania Superior Court Fires up a Case-By-Case Analysis for Landlord-Tenant, Implied Co-Insured Questions

    February 03, 2020 —
    In Joella v. Cole, 2019 PA Super. 313, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently considered whether a tenant, alleged by the landlord’s property insurance carrier to have carelessly caused a fire, was an implied co-insured on the landlord’s policy. The court found that the tenant was an implied co-insured because the lease stated that the landlord would procure insurance for the building, which created a reasonable expectation that the tenant would be a co-insured under the policy. Since the tenant was an implied co-insured on the policy, the insurance carrier could not maintain a subrogation action against the tenant. This case confirms that Pennsylvania follows a case-by-case approach when determining whether a tenant was an implied co-insured on a landlord’s insurance policy. The Joella case stems from a fire at an apartment building in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. The landlord’s property insurance carrier paid the landlord $180,000 to repair the damages resulting from the fire. In March 2018, the insurer brought a subrogation action against Annie Cole, a tenant in the building, alleging that Ms. Cole’s negligent use of an extension cord caused the fire. Ms. Cole raised the affirmative defense that she was an implied co-insured on the landlord’s insurance policy. The subrogating insurer filed a partial motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss Ms. Cole’s defense. In response, Ms. Cole filed a cross motion for partial judgment, arguing that because the lease specified that the landlord would maintain fire insurance for the building, there was a reasonable expectation that she would be a co-insured on that policy. The trial court found in favor of Ms. Cole, holding that the landlord’s insurer could not maintain a subrogation action against her because she was an implied co-insured of the landlord’s insurance policy under the terms of the lease. The landlord’s insurer filed an appeal with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Gus Sara, White and Williams
    Mr. Sara may be contacted at sarag@whiteandwilliams.com

    Certificates of Insurance May Confer Coverage

    December 30, 2019 —
    Certificates of insurance are a common tool used in the construction industry to provide proof of insurance coverage. The legal effect of certificates of insurance has been a source of debate in Washington. Insurance companies have argued that certificates of insurance are “informational only” and do not alter the terms of the applicable insurance policy. Insurance companies have taken the position that if a certificate of insurance provides for coverage that is different than what the policy provides, the insurance company is only bound to provide what the policy provides. The Washington State Supreme Court weighed in on this issue in an opinion issued on October 10, 2019, and held that an insurance company is bound by the terms of its certificate of insurance – even if it conflicts with the policy. In T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, Selective’s agent issued a certificate of insurance to “T-Mobile USA, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates” and stated that those entities were “included as additional insured” under the policy. The certificate of insurance was issued by Selective’s agent when T-Mobile’s contractor purchased an insurance policy from Selective for a cell tower project. The contractor’s agreement for the project was with T-Mobile Northeast – not T-Mobile USA. The contract between T-Mobile Northeast and the contractor stated that T-Mobile Northeast would be an additional insured. The Selective insurance policy stated that any third party would automatically be an additional insured if the contractor was required to name the third party as an additional insured. The contract did not provide that T-Mobile USA would be an additional insured. A property owner damaged by the cell tower project sued T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile USA tendered the claim to Selective. Selective denied the claim because the contract between the contractor and T-Mobile Northeast did not require the contractor to name T-Mobile USA as an additional insured. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Brett M. Hill, Ahlers Cressman Sleight PLLC
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at brett.hill@acslawyers.com

    Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds that Subrogation Waiver Does Not Violate Statute Prohibiting Limitation on Tort Liability in Construction Contracts

    October 21, 2019 —
    In Rural Mut. Ins. Co. v. Lester Bldgs., LLC 2019 WI 70, 2019 Wisc. LEXIS 272, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin considered whether a subrogation waiver clause in a construction contract between the defendant and the plaintiff’s insured violated Wisconsin statute § 895.447, which prohibits limitations of tort liability in construction contracts. The Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision that the waiver clause did not violate the statute because it merely shifted the responsibility for the payment of damages to the defendant’s insurance company. The waiver clause did not limit or eliminate the defendant’s tort liability. This case establishes that while § 895.447 prohibits construction contracts from limiting tort liability, a subrogation waiver clause that merely shifts responsibility for the payment of damages from a tortfeasor to an insurer does not violate the statute and, thus, is enforceable. In Rural Mutual, the plaintiff’s insured, Jim Herman, Inc. (Herman), entered into a contract with Lester Buildings, LLC (Lester) to design and construct a barn on Herman’s property. The contract included a provision that stated the following: Both parties waive all rights against each other and any of their respective contractors, subcontractors and suppliers of any tier and any design professional engaged with respect to the Project, for recovery of any damages caused by casualty of other perils to the extent covered by property insurance applicable to the Work or the Project, except such rights as they have to the proceeds of such property insurance and to the extent necessary to recover amounts relating to deductibles of self-insured retentions applicable to insured losses. . . . This waiver of subrogation shall be effective notwithstanding allegations of fault, negligence, or indemnity obligation of any party seeking the benefit or production [sic] of such waiver. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Gus Sara, White and Williams
    Mr. Sara may be contacted at sarag@whiteandwilliams.com

    Jury Finds Broker Liable for Policyholder’s Insufficient Business Interruption Limits

    January 06, 2020 —
    After a four-day trial, an Arizona federal jury found that Western Truck Insurance Services, Inc., an insurance broker, was negligent in selling Madison Alley Transportation and Logistics Inc. a business interruption policy with inadequate annual limits. Based on its finding of negligence, the jury determined that the broker was liable for $685,000 of $1,000,000 in damages suffered by Madison Alley as a result of a flood in its warehouse. The verdict and Complaint, filed in Arizona state court before the case was removed, can be found here and here. In June 2016, a subtenant in Madison Alley’s warehouse broke a sprinkler line while operating a forklift, causing the warehouse to flood. The warehouse was used to store and deliver retail display goods, and Madison Alley was unable to do business during the five months of repairs. Madison Alley sought coverage under a business interruption policy it had purchased through Western Truck, but the policy’s $20,000 limit was not enough to cover its approximately $1,480,000 in losses. Madison Alley sought coverage under a business interruption policy it had purchased through Western Truck, but the policy’s $20,000 limit was not enough to cover its approximately $1,480,000 in losses. Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Michelle M. Spatz, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Levine may be contacted at mlevine@HuntonAK.com Ms. Spatz may be contacted at mspatz@HuntonAK.com Read the court decision
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