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    Sebastian, 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.

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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.

    Expert Witness Engineer Contractors Building Industry
    Association Directory
    Tampa Bay Builders Association
    Local # 1036
    11242 Winthrop Main St
    Riverview, FL 33578

    Sebastian Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Polk County Builders Association
    Local # 1028
    2232 Heritage Dr
    Lakeland, FL 33801

    Sebastian Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Highlands County Builders Association
    Local # 1022
    PO Box 7546
    Sebring, FL 33872
    Sebastian Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Home Builders & CA of Brevard
    Local # 1012
    1500 W Eau Gallie Blvd Ste A
    Melbourne, FL 32935

    Sebastian Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Manatee - Sarasota County
    Local # 1041
    8131 Lakewood Main St Ste 207
    Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

    Sebastian Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Treasure Coast Builders Association
    Local # 1030
    6560 South Federal Highway
    Port Saint Lucie, FL 34952

    Sebastian Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Hernando Bldrs Assoc
    Local # 1010
    7391 Sunshine Grove Rd
    Brooksville, FL 34613

    Sebastian Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
    For Sebastian Florida

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

    Recent Third Circuit OSHA Decision Sounds Alarm for Employers and Their Officers

    October 14, 2019 —
    The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that should serve as a warning not only to employers, but to their corporate officers. The case against Altor, Inc., a New Jersey-based construction company, began in 2012 when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) directed Altor and its sole director and officer to pay a $412,000 penalty (Payment Order) to OSHA for several violations, including the failure to comply with fall protection standards. The company refused to pay, arguing that it did not possess sufficient assets. The Secretary of Labor filed a Petition for Civil Contempt against Altor and its President, Vasilios Saites. The court acknowledged that the company and Mr. Saites could defend against a contempt finding by showing that he and the company were unable to comply with the Payment Order. Beyond merely stating that they could not pay, the court required that they must show that they made good faith efforts to comply with the Order. After considering all of the evidence, the court ultimately relied on Altor’s bank records, which reflected that the company ended each month during a two-year period after the violations with a positive bank balance. Thus, the court determined that Altor could have made “at least relatively modest” payments and emphasized that the company never attempted to negotiate a reduced sum or a payment plan. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of John Baker, White and Williams LLP
    Mr. Baker may be contacted at

    Professor Stempel's Excpert Testimony for Insurer Excluded

    October 07, 2019 —
    The court denied Daubert motions for several experts with the exception of Professor Stempel's expert testimony opining that the insurer did not act in bad faith Adell Plastics, Inc. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102942 (D. Md. June 19, 2019). A fire demolished several buildings at Adell's facility. Adell was insured under a commercial property policy issued by Mt. Hawley. Mt. Hawley sued Adell, seeking a declaration that it owed no coverage, and requesting recoupment of a substantial advance payment. Adell filed a counterclaim, alleging that Mt. Hawley had breached the policy and had acted with a lack of good faith. Before the court were several pretrial motions, including motions to exclude testimony of eight expert witnesses. The court denied Adell's motion to exclude several experts to be called by Mt. Hawley. The accountant's testimony was relevant. Adell had to prove damages on its breach of contract claim, and the accountant's testimony would aid the jury in evaluating Adell's documentation and calculating documented damages. Mt. Hawley's fire safety expert investigated the Adell fire. Mt. Hawley had shown that his expert opinion would be sufficiently reliable for admissibility. Further, three fire protection engineers offered by Mt. Hawley and two fire protection engineers to be called by Adell were allowed to testify. Each expert based his investigation and conclusions on the standards of fire investigation as set out in the NEPA Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. This was a fire insurance case, and fire protection engineers would be allowed to testify and illuminate the circumstances of the fire. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    OSHA’s Multi-Employer Citation Policy: What Employers on Construction Sites Need to Know

    September 09, 2019 —
    Multi-employer worksites are a frequent occurrence in the construction industry as employees from various companies often occupy the same site while a project is being completed. While the need for employees from different companies may be necessary to perform the various tasks required by a project, the presence of multiple employers, and their employees, on the same worksite can result in an increased risk of safety hazards. Companies performing construction work should be, and generally are, aware of OSHA’s ability to issue citations for workplace safety violations. What many companies may not know, however, is that OSHA’s ability to cite employers is not limited to workplace conditions that are unsafe only to that employer’s direct employees. Rather, OSHA also has the ability to cite an employer, and often does issue such citations, for conditions that could result in injury or death to another company’s employees. The policy which provides OSHA with this citation ability is CPL 02-00-124 and is called the Multi-Employer Citation Policy (the “Policy”). Under the language of the Policy, OSHA has the ability to cite multiple employers for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act for the same hazardous workplace condition. Critically, responsibilities under the Policy do not depend on the employer’s job title but are determined by the employer’s role. Reprinted courtesy of Phillip C. Bauknight, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Mr. Bauknight may be contacted at

    False Implied Certifications in Making Payment Requests: What We Can Learn from Lance Armstrong

    January 20, 2020 —
    In April 2018, the Department of Justice announced a $5M settlement reached in its lawsuit against former professional cyclist, Lance Armstrong. While the fallout from Armstrong’s latently-admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs (“PEDs”) was well-publicized, including lost sponsorship deals, stripped Tour de France titles, and damage to his reputation, few were aware of Armstrong’s exposure to liability and criminal culpability for false claims against the government. The DOJ’s announcement reminded Armstrong and the rest of us of the golden rule of dealing with the government: honesty is the best policy. The corollary to that rule is that dishonesty is costly. Armstrong’s liability stemmed from false statements (denying the use of PEDs) he made, directly and through team members and other representatives, to U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) representatives and to the public. USPS was the primary sponsor of the grand tour cycling team led by Armstrong. The government alleged in the lawsuit that Armstrong’s false statements were made to induce USPS to renew and increase its sponsorship fees, in violation of the False Claims Act. The Statute Enacted in 1863, the False Claims Act (“FCA”) was originally aimed at stopping and deterring frauds perpetrated by contractors against the government during the Civil War. Congress amended the FCA in the years since its enactment, but its primary focus and target have remained those who present or directly induce the submission of false or fraudulent claims. The current FCA imposes penalties on anyone who knowingly presents “a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval” to the federal Government. A “claim” now includes direct requests to the Government for payment, as well as reimbursement requests made to the recipients of federal funds under federal benefits programs (such as Medicare). Thirty-one states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have also enacted laws imposing penalties for false claims against state agencies and their subdivisions, with most of these laws modelled after the federal FCA. Reprinted courtesy of Brian S. Wood, Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP and Alex Gorelik, Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP Mr. Wood may be contacted at Mr. Gorelik may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    N.J. Governor Fires Staff at Authority Roiled by Patronage Hires

    August 20, 2019 —
    New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s administration fired 30 employees of a state authority that finances local school construction after an independent review found that his former appointee stacked it with friends, family and political contacts who were unqualified for their jobs. All but three of those dismissed Tuesday from the Schools Development Authority had been hired by Lizette Delgado-Polanco, the former chief executive officer who resigned in April amid media scrutiny of her oversight. A review by an outside law firm faulted the agency for “patronage-type hires” that undermined its work. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Elise Young - Bloomberg

    Digital Twins for a Safer Built Environment

    November 24, 2019 —
    As a native of Turin Italy, I was horrified at the Ponte Morandi bridge collapse last year. As a child and as an adult I have travelled over that bridge more times than I can imagine and have often pondered the what-if scenarios. What if it had happened when I or my loved ones were travelling on that bridge? As a chartered construction professional, I ask myself, what could have been done, what should have been done and what can we do to prevent this from happening in the future? Having access to a digital twin with an integrated understanding of the way the bridge was designed, built and performed over the last 50 years and being able to run “what if” scenarios would have allowed us to have a much greater understanding of the structure and its limitations in its context. This is where I believe a digital twin of any built asset is a step in the right direction. The digital twin has been proclaimed by many as a milestone innovation in the construction industry, with huge benefits to constructors and owners of assets through efficiencies in manufacturing and operation but also to attracting users of the spaces they replicate. However, digital replicas can take a broad range of forms depending on its purpose, use and application sparking debates among professionals on what they actually are and what represents a ‘true’ twin. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Cristina Savian, AEC Business

    Partner Jonathan R. Harwood Obtained Summary Judgment in a Coverage Action Arising out of a Claim for Personal Injury

    December 22, 2019 —
    On August 16, 2019, Traub Lieberman partner obtained summary judgment in a declaratory judgment action involving a claim for coverage for a personal injury action involving injuries suffered on a construction site. The plaintiff in the underlying action was performing excavation in a basement of a building in Manhattan so the owner could install a pool. During the course of the excavation plaintiff fell 13 feet from a plank, into the excavated pit, suffering serious injuries. Traub Lieberman’s client issued a CGL policy to the building owner and the insured sought coverage for the suit under that policy. The insurer denied coverage based on an endorsement to the policy that stated the insured could only contract directly with a specified general contractor. The plaintiff was an employee of a subcontractor and the insurer believed the insured had contracted directly with that unapproved subcontractor. The insured denied it had done, contending the subcontractor had been hired by the general contractor identified in the endorsement. Reprinted courtesy of Jonathan R. Harwood, Traub Lieberman Mr. Harwood may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Louisiana Court Holds That Application of Pollution Exclusion Would Lead to Absurd Results

    October 21, 2019 —
    A Louisiana court recently denied an excess insurer’s bid for summary judgment, finding that the insurer’s interpretation of a pollution exclusion would lead to “absurd results.” Central Crude, Inc., a crude oil transporter company, experienced an oil pipeline leak, allegedly causing damage to property belonging to Columbia Gas Transmission Company. Columbia Gas sued Central Crude seeking compensatory damages and injunctive relief to compel remediation of the site. Central Crude sought coverage under a CGL primary insurance policy issued by Liberty Mutual. The insurer initially agreed to cover Central Crude’s “reasonable and necessary costs” relating to the incident, but later refused to defend or indemnify Central Crude for any costs incurred from the incident. As a result, Central Crude brought suit against Liberty Mutual and its excess insurer, Great American, to enforce coverage. Great American moved for summary judgment arguing coverage was excluded by the excess policy’s pollution exclusion, which precludes coverage for injury “arising out of a discharge of pollutants.” Central Crude responded arguing that the exclusion’s applicability was invalidated or at least rendered ambiguous by the Following Form Endorsements, which reflect an intent to mirror the coverage afforded under the primary Liberty Mutual policy, and because coverage appears to be specifically authorized through the Premises Operations Liability Endorsement. Reprinted courtesy of Sergio F. Oehninger, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Daniel Hentschel, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Oehninger may be contacted at Mr. Hentschel may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of