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    Seattle, Washington

    Washington Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: (SB 5536) The legislature passed a contractor protection bill that reduces contractors' exposure to lawsuits to six years from 12, and gives builders seven "affirmative defenses" to counter defect complaints from homeowners. Claimant must provide notice no later than 45 days before filing action; within 21 days of notice of claim, "construction professional" must serve response; claimant must accept or reject inspection proposal or settlement offer within 30 days; within 14 days following inspection, construction pro must serve written offer to remedy/compromise/settle; claimant can reject all offers; statutes of limitations are tolled until 60 days after period of time during which filing of action is barred under section 3 of the act. This law applies to single-family dwellings and condos.


    Expert Witness Engineer Contractors Licensing
    Guidelines Seattle Washington

    A license is required for plumbing, and electrical trades. Businesses must register with the Secretary of State.


    Expert Witness Engineer Contractors Building Industry
    Association Directory
    MBuilders Association of King & Snohomish Counties
    Local # 4955
    335 116th Ave SE
    Bellevue, WA 98004

    Seattle Washington Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Kitsap County
    Local # 4944
    5251 Auto Ctr Way
    Bremerton, WA 98312

    Seattle Washington Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Spokane
    Local # 4966
    5813 E 4th Ave Ste 201
    Spokane, WA 99212

    Seattle Washington Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of North Central
    Local # 4957
    PO Box 2065
    Wenatchee, WA 98801

    Seattle Washington Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    MBuilders Association of Pierce County
    Local # 4977
    PO Box 1913 Suite 301
    Tacoma, WA 98401

    Seattle Washington Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    North Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 4927
    PO Box 748
    Port Angeles, WA 98362
    Seattle Washington Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Jefferson County Home Builders Association
    Local # 4947
    PO Box 1399
    Port Hadlock, WA 98339

    Seattle Washington Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10


    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
    For Seattle Washington


    New Member Added to Seattle Law Firm Williams Kastner

    Congratulations to Haight’s 2019 Northern California Super Lawyers

    Traub Lieberman Partner Greg Pennington and Associate Kevin Sullivan Win Summary Judgment Dismissing Homeowner’s Claim that Presented an Issue of First Impression in New Jersey

    Client Alert: Release of Liability Agreement Extinguishes Duty of Ordinary Care

    Policing Those Subcontractors: It Might Take Extra Effort To Be An Additional Insured

    AGC Seeks To Lead Industry in Push for Infrastructure Bill

    Addressing Safety on the Construction Site

    Neighbor Allowed to Remove Tree Roots on Her Property That Supported Adjoining Landowners’ Two Large Trees With Legal Immunity

    Social Distancing and the Impact on Service of Process Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Public Law Center Honors Snell & Wilmer Partner Sean M. Sherlock As Volunteers For Justice Attorney Of The Year

    Coverage Denied for Condominium Managing Agent

    Maintenance Issues Ignite Arguments at Indiana School

    High School Gym Closed by Construction Defects

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    BHA has a Nice Swing: Firm Supports Wounded Warrior Project at WCC Seminar

    Mandatory Arbitration Provision Upheld in Construction Defect Case

    Wilke Fleury Celebrates the Addition of Two New Partners

    XL Group Pairs with America Contractor’s Insurance Group to Improve Quality of Construction

    Florida Duty to Defend a Chapter 558 Right to Repair Notice

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    Houston Bond Issue Jump-Starts 237 Flood Control Projects

    SB800 Not the Only Remedy for Construction Defects

    Coverage Doomed for Failing Obtain Insurer's Consent for Settlement

    Another Case Highlighting the Difference Between CGL Policies and Performance Bonds

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    Settling with Some, But Not All, of the Defendants in a Construction Defect Case

    Housing Starts Plunge by the Most in Four Years

    You Are Your Brother’s Keeper. Direct Contractors in California Now Responsible for Wage Obligations of Subcontractors

    Not Remotely Law as Usual: Don’t Settle for Delays – Settle at Remote Mediation

    Insurer's Withheld Discovery Must be Produced in Bad Faith Case

    Partners Jeremy S. Macklin and Mark F. Wolfe Secure Seventh Circuit Win for Insurer Client in Late Notice Dispute

    S&P 500 Little Changed on Home Sales Amid Quarterly Rally

    Subsurface Water Exclusion Found Unambiguous

    Economic Damages and the Right to Repair Act: You Can’t Have it Both Ways

    A Glimpse Into Post-Judgment Collections and Perhaps the Near Future?

    Pipeline Safety Violations Cause of Explosion that Killed 8

    Second Circuit Certifies Question Impacting "Bellefonte Rule"

    Property Owner Found Liable for Injuries to Worker of Unlicensed Contractor, Again

    EPC Contractors Procuring from Foreign Companies need to Reconsider their Contracts

    Insurer's Summary Judgment Motion on Business Risk Exclusions Fails

    Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Rise to One-Year High

    The Need to Be Specific and Precise in Drafting Settling Agreements

    New Braves Stadium Is Three Months Ahead of Schedule, Team Says

    New York: The "Loss Transfer" Opportunity to Recover Otherwise Non-Recoverable First-Party Benefits

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    Corporate Profile

    SEATTLE WASHINGTON EXPERT WITNESS ENGINEER
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

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

    COVID-19 Business Interruption Lawsuits Begin: Iconic Oceana Grill in New Orleans Files Insurance Coverage Lawsuit

    April 20, 2020 —
    On Monday, the iconic New Orleans restaurant, Oceana Grill, filed the first Coronavirus-related business interruption insurance coverage lawsuit in a US jurisdiction. The declaratory judgment action styled Cajun Conti, LLC, et. al. d/b/a Oceana Grill v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London was filed in Louisiana state court for the Parish of Orleans. As a direct result of the government-mandated closures and restrictions on public gatherings implemented by the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana, Oceana Grill’s petition anticipates a significant loss of business income. Based on allegations in the petition, there are several aspects of Oceana Grill’s policy that make this a good test case for business interruption coverage stemming from the Coronavirus. Although the specific policy language is not quoted in the petition, coverage provisions are categorically identified throughout. As a preliminary matter, the policy at issue appears to be written on an “all risks” basis, meaning the insuring agreement of the policy would likely be triggered generally by all risks of “physical loss or damage” unless specifically excluded. This basis for coverage, which is common in property policies, is advantageous to policyholders, as it limits the insured’s burden of proof to establishing that there was physical loss or damage while leaving the burden of applying any more specific exclusion to the insurance company. Reprinted courtesy of Jeffrey J. Vita, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. and William S. Bennett, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. Mr. Vita may be contacted at jjv@sdvlaw.com Mr. Bennett may be contacted at wsb@sdvlaw.com Read the court decision
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    Think Twice Before Hedging A Position Or Defense On A Speculative Event Or Occurrence

    July 13, 2020 —
    Sometimes, hedging a position on a potential occurrence is not prudent. Stated differently, hedging a position on a contingent event is not the right course of action. The reason being is that a potential occurrence or contingent event is SPECULATIVE. The occurrence or event may not take place and, even if it does take place, the impact is unknown. An example of hedging a defense on such a potential occurrence or contingent event can be found in a construction dispute involving a federal project out of the Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. f/u/b/o Champco, Inc. v. Arch Insurance Co., 2020 WL 1644565 (E.D.Va. 2020). In this case, the prime contractor hired a subcontractor to perform electrical work, under one subcontract, and install a security system, under a separate subcontract. The subcontractor claimed it was owed money under the two subcontracts and instituted a lawsuit against the prime contractor’s Miller Act payment bond. The prime contractor had issued the subcontractor an approximate $71,000 back-charge for delays. While the subcontractor did not accept the back-charge, it moved for summary judgment claiming that the liability for the back-charge can be resolved at trial as there is still over $300,000 in contract balance that should be paid to it. The prime contractor countered that the delays caused by the subcontractor could be greater than $71,000 based on a negative evaluation in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (“CPARS”). A negative CPARS rating by the federal government due to the delays caused by the subcontractor would result in a (potential) loss of business with the federal government (i.e., lost profit) to the prime contractor. The main problem for the prime contractor: a negative CPARs rating was entirely speculative as there had not been a negative CPARs rating and, even if there was, the impact a negative rating would have on the prime contractor’s future business with the federal government was unknown. To this point, the district court stated:
    In this case, [prime contractor’s] claim for damages is wholly speculative. [Prime contractor] has not produced any evidence that its stated condition precedent—a negative CPARS rating—will actually occur and will have a negative impact on its future federal contracting endeavors. Specifically, [prime contractor] has not identified any facts that indicate that it will be subject to a negative CPARS rating or any indication of the Navy’s dissatisfaction with its work as the prime contractor on the Project… Further, a CPARS rating is only one aspect taken into consideration when federal contracts are awarded. In sum, there is no evidence of the following: (1) a negative CPARS rating issued to [prime contractor]; (2) [prime contractor’s] hypothetical negative rating will be the result of the delay [prime contractor] alleges was caused by [subcontractor]; or (3) [prime contractor’s] hypothetical negative CPARS rating will result in future lost profits.
    U.S. f/u/b/o Champco, Inc., supra, at *2 (internal citation omitted).
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com

    Haight’s 2020 San Diego Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

    July 06, 2020 —
    Haight congratulates partners Michael Parme and Arezoo Jamshidi who were selected to the 2020 San Diego Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Each year no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    4 Lessons Contractors Can Learn From The COVID-19 Crisis

    May 25, 2020 —
    At the start of 2020, the industry outlook in construction was positive. Many contractors were optimistic about what the year had in store for construction businesses in terms of profit, expansion of operations, and even payment issues. That was until the COVID-19 pandemic put a wrench in everyone’s business plans. There’s no question about how huge the impact of the novel coronavirus crisis is on business operations. With the federal and state governments implementing strict measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19, construction businesses are experiencing significant delays and disruptions in their operations. Because of the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, many construction projects are forced to postpone operations or, worse, cancel them altogether. Nevertheless, there are lessons in the COVID-19 pandemic that contractors can learn. Here are some of them. 1. Contractors need to be proactive in meeting preliminary notice requirements Cash is tight in times of crisis. As the economy comes to a standstill, construction businesses will need to deal with decreasing profits. They may even have to dip into their own cash reserves to cover fixed expenses and their employees’ salaries. In times like this, it is crucial that contractors perform due diligence in protecting their right to get paid. The first step in doing so is to prepare preliminary notices. These notices are an important step in the mechanics lien process and without them, chances contractors will not be able to recover the unpaid compensation for the materials they furnished and services they rendered. 2. Force majeure provisions are crucial parts of a contract The novel coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of force majeure provisions in construction contracts. Before the COVID-19 crisis hit business operations, force majeure provisions were typically considered as simple boilerplate clauses. This means they were just there as a standard part of contracts. However, the same force majeure clauses, as well as impossibility of performance provisions, have become crucial in the current crisis. As many construction businesses experience difficulties with their operations, they may not be able to fulfill their contractual responsibilities. The said clauses can give contractors a much-needed reprieve. As the current crisis continues, contractors should review contracts as these provisions can give them more time to finish the job. And in the hopefully near future when the crisis ends, business owners should review the contract creation process and ensure that these clauses included in contracts will be able to address the impact of situations similar to COVID-19. 3. Having solid internal communication is crucial There’s a lot of uncertainty with the COVID-19 situation. With work operations temporarily stopping, the circumstances can be quite stressful for employees. There will be doubts and fears within your workforce on whether work will be back to normal as soon as possible or not. Keeping your workforce well-informed and trusting of your organization is crucial, especially in this time of uncertainty. That is why it is paramount that you have a solid internal communication infrastructure to disseminate information about the current work situation and the next steps that the business will take. In addition, only through proper employee communication can the implementation of social distancing and hygiene measures be effective. 4. Contractors can benefit from flexible work arrangements As the coronavirus crisis has made it necessary for everyone to stay at home, construction businesses should look for ways to continue operations. Expanded work arrangements such as work-from-home setups may just be the solution. Of course, most of the physical work that is needed to be done on-site will be impossible to do at home, but office-based functions such as sales, client relations, design, and administrative roles can still continue. This can even have additional benefits to productivity and health. And when the crisis is over, business owners should consider incorporating these work arrangements into their operations permanently. The COVID-19 crisis is not showing any sign of stopping soon, and even when it ends, it will take quite a long time before we can be back to business as usual. As the crisis continues, however, business owners should take the situation as a learning experience. Once the COVID-19 crisis is over, it will take a long time for things to go back to normal. In fact, things may not end up going back to the way they were before and businesses will need to adapt to the new normal. However the situation evolves, business owners should take this opportunity to learn new things and maintain resilience in trying times. About the Author: Patrick Hogan is the CEO of Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers with late payments. Handle.com also provides funding for construction businesses in the form of invoice factoring, material supply trade credit, and mechanics lien purchasing. Read the court decision
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    Foreclosing Junior Lienholders and Recording A Lis Pendens

    July 13, 2020 —
    When you foreclose on a construction lien, there are a couple of pointers to remember. First, you want to make sure you include junior lienholders or interests you are looking to foreclose (or you want to be in a position to amend the foreclosure lawsuit to identify later). The reason being is you want to foreclose their interests to the property. “[J]unior interest holders are a narrow class of mortgagees whose interest in the underlying property is recorded after the foreclosing contractor’s claim of lien is filed. This class is routinely joined to the construction lien enforcement action under section 713.26 to allow the construction lienor to foreclose out the junior lienholder’s interest in the property encumbered by the construction lien.” See Decks N Sunch Marine, infra. Second, you want to record a lis pendens with the lien foreclosure lawsuit. Failure to do so could be problematic because Florida Statute s. 713.22(1) provides in part, “A lien that has been continued beyond the 1-year period by the commencement of an action is not enforceable against creditors or subsequent purchasers for a valuable consideration and without notice, unless a notice of lis pendens is recorded.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com

    Is It Time to Get Rid of Retainage?

    June 15, 2020 —
    Many debate the pros, cons and claims of retainage—when one party to a construction contract withholds a percentage (typically 5%-10%) from an otherwise approved contractor pay application, and which typically is not paid until a project is substantially complete. If an owner withholds retainage from a prime contractor, typically the contractor will in turn withhold retainage from its subcontractors. While retainage has been part of the construction industry for decades, its concept, use (and abuse) have been under more discussion during the past 10 years. Based on heavy lobbying from primary subcontractor groups, state legislatures have passed laws to regulate retainage in commercial projects. Lenders have become more careful about loans and are frequently involved in retainage discussions. Bonded projects are subject to criticism when a surety does not step in and, like the mythical insurance company, write a check. Reprinted courtesy of David K. Taylor, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Mr. Taylor may be contacted at dtaylor@bradley.com

    Preliminary Notice Is More Important Than Ever During COVID-19

    June 01, 2020 —
    For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Construction Law Musings, we welcome Justin Gitelman. Justin is the Content Coordinator at Levelset, where over 500,000 contractors and suppliers connect on a cloud-based platform to make payment processes stress-free. Levelset helps contractors and suppliers get payment under control, and sees a world where no one loses a night’s sleep over payment. As the construction industry continues to adjust to the coronavirus and an uncertain future, contractors are struggling to get paid. During the COVID-19 pandemic, construction businesses across Virginia need to do everything they can to protect their payments, and get paid faster. One simple action that can help fight payment delays: sending preliminary notice on every job. Subcontractors and suppliers should send preliminary notices out to the GC, project owner, and/or lender at the start of every single project. These tools allow contractors to make themselves visible on crowded job sites, helping contractors get paid more quickly, and, in some cases, securing their right to file a mechanics lien or bond claim. Preliminary Notices in Construction The purpose of a preliminary notice is to allow each member of a construction project to know who you are and what work you’ll be performing. With coronavirus in mind, contractors can use preliminary notices to remind the hiring party of their payment expectations. When you submit a preliminary notice on every project, you’ll have legal protection in your corner while also giving yourself a greater opportunity to get paid. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrissghill@constructionlawva.com

    MTA Implements Revised Contractors Debarment Regulations

    July 06, 2020 —
    On June 3, 2020, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA”) published and implemented revised regulations pertaining to the debarment of contractors. The revised regulations address many of the deep concerns raised by the contracting community. Under relevant administrative procedure, the MTA publication of the revised regulations starts a 45 day notice period before the regulations can be adopted as final. The prior regulations essentially required that debarment occur upon a purely formulaic calculation establishing that a contractor: 1) was more than 10% late, or 2) had submitted invalid claims that exceeded the adjusted contract price by a measure of 10%. The revised regulations represent improvements over the prior regulations. Critically, the revised regulations address the primary concern raised by the contracting community, that being the mandate of purely formulaic debarment. Instead, the revised regulations establish a process that includes greater flexibility and discretion before debarment may ensue. Reprinted courtesy of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. attorneys Steven M. Charney, Gregory H. Chertoff and Paul Monte Mr. Charney may be contacted at scharney@pecklaw.com Mr. Chertoff may be contacted at gchertoff@pecklaw.com Mr. Monte may be contacted at pmonte@pecklaw.com Read the court decision
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