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    Vero Beach, 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
    Guidelines Vero Beach Florida

    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.

    Expert Witness Engineer Contractors Building Industry
    Association Directory
    Highlands County Builders Association
    Local # 1022
    PO Box 7546
    Sebring, FL 33872
    Vero Beach Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Tampa Bay Builders Association
    Local # 1036
    11242 Winthrop Main St
    Riverview, FL 33578

    Vero Beach 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

    Vero Beach Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Vero Beach Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Vero Beach Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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

    Vero Beach Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association
    Local # 1002
    17984 Toledo Blade Blvd
    Port Charlotte, FL 33948

    Vero Beach Florida Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
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    The Vero Beach, Florida Expert Witness Engineer Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 5,500 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Vero Beach's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Expert Witness Engineer News & Info
    Vero Beach, Florida

    AB5, Dynamex, the ABC Standard, and their Effects on the Construction Industry

    December 09, 2019 —
    Last year, we reported that the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (“Dynamex”) adopted a new, pro-employment standard (the “ABC Standard”), which presumes a worker is an employee versus an independent contractor under California wage orders and regulations. Assembly Bill 5 (“AB5”) has now been passed by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom. Bill AB5 codifies the ABC Standard and brings increased costs, administrative duties, and legal risks for hiring parties on multiple fronts, including, but not limited to:
    • Payroll taxes;
    • Meals, breaks and overtime policies and enforcement and premium pay;
    • Benefits;
    • Leave and PTO policies, requirements and enforcement;
    • Wage order violations;
    • Labor Code violations and Private Attorney General Actions (“PAGA”) claims;
    • Unemployment insurance; and
    • Workers’ compensation coverage, claims, and premiums.
    Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Donald A. Velez, Smith Currie
    Mr. Velez may be contacted at

    Partner Jonathan R. Harwood Obtained Summary Judgment in a Case Involving a Wedding Guest Injured in a Fall

    December 30, 2019 —
    On September 30, 2019, Traub Lieberman partner Jonathan Harwood obtained summary judgment in an action involving a guest injured in a fall at a wedding. Traub Lieberman’s client owned the property where the fall occurred. Plaintiff fell while exiting a row of seats after the bridal party had recessed down the aisle. Plaintiff claimed that she tripped over the raised side of a paper runner that had been placed in the aisle at the property. Plaintiff brought an action against Traub Lieberman’s client (the owner of the building) and the florist that had provided the runner. The owner had provided the bridal party with access to the property but did not assist in the set up for the wedding or have any employees present during the ceremony. The florist had supplied the runner for the wedding. The florist commenced a third-party action against the bride, whose wedding party had actually placed the runner in the aisle. Plaintiff asserted that the runner had become bunched and crumpled during the ceremony, creating a dangerous condition. She further asserted that the owner was responsible for her injuries since the dangerous condition existed on its property and it should have an employee present to insure no dangerous conditions existed. During the course of discovery, Mr. Harwood established that no one representing the owner was present during the wedding, had any involvement in the placement of the runner or had received any complaints about the runner. In support of the motion for summary judgment Mr. Harwood introduced pictures showing, in conjunction with deposition testimony, that there were no problems with the runner minutes before plaintiff’s fall. Mr. Harwood also argued that the alleged defect did not involve the property itself, absolving the owner of any obligation to plaintiff. In granting the motion for summary judgment, the court held that evidence and testimony showed that the owner neither created the condition nor had actual or constructive notice that any dangerous condition existed. The court also held that there the owner did not have any duty to have a representative present during the wedding since the property itself was not dangerous or defective. Finally, the court held that the condition of the runner was open and obvious and not inherently dangerous. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Jonathan R. Harwood, Traub Lieberman
    Mr. Harwood may be contacted at

    Filling Out the Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit

    February 03, 2020 —
    When preparing a contractor’s final payment affidavit, I always suggest for a contractor (or anyone in privity of contract with the owner) to identify the undisputed amounts their accounting reflects is owed to ALL subcontractors, etc., regardless of whether that entity preserved their lien rights. If the contractor provided a payment bond, I footnote this simply to support that none of the lower-tiered subcontractors have lien rights or are the traditional “lienor.” (Thus, there is no prejudice to the owner if an entity is inadvertently omitted from the affidavit.) There are times, however, where a contractor does not identify a subcontractor that did not serve a notice to owner and, therefore, has no valid lien rights. Or, a contractor omits a lienor that actually did serve a notice to owner and preserve its lien rights; this happens. There was an older First District Court of Appeals case that harshly (and, quite, unfairly) held that the contractor must identify everyone in the final payment affidavit regardless of whether that entity timely served a notice to owner or their lien is invalid. This case, however, predated, a 1998 statutory change to Florida’s Lien Law. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Connecticut Supreme Court Further Refines Meaning of "Collapse"

    January 13, 2020 —
    Connecticut courts have been inundated with collapse cases the past couple of years due to insureds' living in homes that were constructed with defective concrete manufactured by J.J. Mottes Concrete Company. In a duo of cases, the Connecticut Supreme Court responded to a certified question from the U.S. District Court, holding that collapse required that the building be in imminent danger of falling down. Vera v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 2019 Conn. LEXIS 339 (Conn. Nov. 12, 2019). Plaintiffs had resided in their home since 2009. The home was built in 1993. In August 2015, after learning about the problem of crumbling basement walls affecting homes in their community due to cement manufactured by Mottes, they retained a structural engineer to evaluate their basement walls. The engineer found spider web cracking approximately 1/16 of an inch wide in the basement walls and three small vertical cracks. There were no visible signs of bowing. The engineer did not find that the walls were in imminent danger of falling down, but recommended that the basement walls be replaced. Plaintiffs submitted a claim under their homeowners policy to Liberty Mutual. The claim was denied. The policy did not define collapse, but stated that collapse did not include "settling, cracking, shrinking, bulging or expansion." 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

    French Government Fines National Architects' Group $1.6M Over Fee-Fixing

    December 09, 2019 —
    The French government’s anti-trust agency has fined the national architects’ registration group and four regional councils $1.64 million (€1.5 million) for price-fixing design fees on public works. Reprinted courtesy of Debra K. Rubin, Engineering News-Record Ms. Rubin may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Miller Act Bond Claims Subject to “Pay If Paid”. . . Sometimes

    November 04, 2019 —
    The Federal Miller Act is a great tool that subcontractors and suppliers on Federal projects can use for collection of wrongfully withheld amounts due. However, as a recent federal case from the Eastern District of Virginia points out, the construction contract’s terms affect when a subcontractor or supplier can use this great collection tool and how much it can recover. In Aarow v Travelers the Court looked at the interaction between a typical termination clause, a “pay when paid” clause, and the Miller Act. The key facts are these. The general contractor on the project at issue, Syska, did not get paid some disputed amounts by the owner and subsequently did not pay Aarow, the plaintiff and a subcontractor on the project. Aarow then refused to continue work and was terminated by Syska who then took over the completion of the work. Aarow sued, seeking damages for the value of its work prior to the termination. Travellers, the surety defended stating that, if Aarow was properly terminated for cause by Syska, then Aarow was not entitled to payment under the contract until such time as the work was completed and accepted by the owner. The termination clauses are set out in the linked opinion. The Court agreed with Travelers, stating that the pay when paid clause created a situation whereby Aarow could not stop work merely because of a non-payment by Syska attributed to non-payment by the owner. The Court was clear in stating that the Miller Act trumps “pay when paid” in instances where the only cause for non-payment is non-payment by an owner. The Court then reasoned that it is the interaction between the termination and “pay when paid” provisions, and not the “pay when paid” clause itself, that exonerated Travelers because it created the default by Aarow due to its refusal to continue work. In short, Aarow was properly terminated for cause because it left the job without justification and therefore Travelers was not liable. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Partner Bradley T. Guldalian Secures Summary Judgment Win for National Hotel Chain

    August 26, 2019 —
    On June 26, 2019, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP Partner Bradley T. Guldalian secured summary judgment on behalf of a national hotel chain in a slip and fall accident filed in Osceola County Circuit Court in Kissimmee, Florida. The underlying loss occurred when the Plaintiff slipped and fell in a puddle of water allegedly existing in the hotel’s laundry room and suffered a partial thickness rotator cuff tear involving the distal infraspinatus tendon for which he underwent surgery and incurred over $70,000 in medical bills. The Plaintiff filed a premises liability action against the hotel claiming the hotel had failed to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition proximately causing the Plaintiff’s fall and resulting injuries. After discovery closed, Mr. Guldalian filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the hotel arguing that to prevail in a negligence claim involving a “transitory foreign substance”, such as water on a floor, an injured party must plead and prove pursuant to Florida Statute 768.0755 that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it prior to the time of the alleged fall. Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that (1) the dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition or (2) that the condition occurred with such regularity that it was foreseeable that the condition would be present on the day the injury occurred. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Bradley T. Guldalian, Traub Lieberman
    Mr. Guldalian may be contacted at

    Zero-Energy Commercial Buildings Increase as Contractors Focus on Sustainability

    February 10, 2020 —
    Imagine a functional, low energy commercial building that annually consumes only as much power as the building creates with on-site, clean, renewable resources. From coast to coast, there is considerable momentum for zero-energy (ZE) buildings, also known as ZEB’s or net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs). Although still an emerging market, the growth trend for ZEBs is steep. The world’s net-zero energy market for commercial and residential projects is expected to exceed $1.4 trillion by 2035. The number of ZEBs across North America has dramatically increased since 2010 which encompasses about 80 million square feet of commercial building space. ZE has captured the attention of building owners, developers, architects, engineers, contractors, designers, policymakers and others who see its potential to efficiently use clean energy resources to reduce the substantial carbon footprint of buildings. Real Applications of Net Zero From 2012 to 2019, the number of ZE projects has increased ten-fold. According to the “2019 Getting to Zero Project List” released in May 2019 by the New Buildings Institute, a nonprofit organization striving to achieve better energy performance in commercial buildings, the total number of certified, verified and emerging ZE projects grew to 607 in 2019. New projects continue to appear regularly. Today, hundreds of ZE buildings, including commercial buildings of all types (including retail, office, warehouse, hotel, educational and government) are being developed. Reprinted courtesy of Jeffrey S. Wertman, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of