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    California Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: SB800 (codified as Civil Code §§895, et seq) is the most far-reaching, complex law regulating construction defect litigation, right to repair, warranty obligations and maintenance requirements transference in the country. In essence, to afford protection against frivolous lawsuits, builders shall do all the following:A homeowner is obligated to follow all reasonable maintenance obligations and schedules communicated in writing to the homeowner by the builder and product manufacturers, as well as commonly accepted maintenance practices. A failure by a homeowner to follow these obligations, schedules, and practices may subject the homeowner to the affirmative defenses.A builder, under the principles of comparative fault pertaining to affirmative defenses, may be excused, in whole or in part, from any obligation, damage, loss, or liability if the builder can demonstrate any of the following affirmative defenses in response to a claimed violation:


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    Building Industry Association Southern California - Desert Chapter
    Local # 0532
    77570 Springfield Ln Ste E
    Palm Desert, CA 92211
    http://www.desertchapter.com

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Riverside County Chapter
    Local # 0532
    3891 11th St Ste 312
    Riverside, CA 92501


    Building Industry Association Southern California
    Local # 0532
    17744 Sky Park Circle Suite 170
    Irvine, CA 92614
    http://www.biasc.org

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Orange County Chapter
    Local # 0532
    17744 Skypark Cir Ste 170
    Irvine, CA 92614
    http://www.biaoc.com

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Baldy View Chapter
    Local # 0532
    8711 Monroe Ct Ste B
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
    http://www.biabuild.com

    Building Industry Association Southern California - LA/Ventura Chapter
    Local # 0532
    28460 Ave Stanford Ste 240
    Santa Clarita, CA 91355


    Building Industry Association Southern California - Building Industry Association of S Ca Antelope Valley
    Local # 0532
    44404 16th St W Suite 107
    Lancaster, CA 93535



    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
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    ANAHEIM CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION EXPERT WITNESS
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    Through more than four thousand construction related expert witness designations, the Anaheim, California Construction Expert Directory delivers a comprehensive construction and design expert support solution to builders, risk managers, and construction practice groups concerned with construction defect, scheduling, and delay claims. BHA provides construction claims investigation, testimony, and support services to the construction industry's leading builders and developers, legal professionals, and owners, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies. Utilizing in house assets which include building envelope experts, forensic architects, professional engineers, credentialed construction standard of care consultants, the firm brings regional experience and flexible capabilities to the Anaheim construction industry.

    Anaheim California reconstruction expert witnessAnaheim California concrete expert witnessAnaheim California civil engineering expert witnessAnaheim California expert witness concrete failureAnaheim California expert witness structural engineerAnaheim California building code expert witnessAnaheim California structural engineering expert witnesses
    Construction Expert Witness News & Info
    Anaheim, California

    Introducing Nomos LLP!

    December 30, 2019 —
    We’ve been quiet lately we know. We’ve been nesting. Not the alien popping through your stomach kind of nesting, although, there have been a few white knuckled “what the heck did we get ourselves into!” moments. Rather, we’ve been quietly building something we think is pretty great. Not just for us, but for our clients. Our own law firm. So here’s the 411: What’s with the name Nomos LLP? We’ve gotten a few questions about that. We wanted to create a client-centric law firm not a lawyer-focused one. Hence, no last names. Plus, we don’t have cool last names like Low, Ball & Lynch or Payne & Fears. The name “nomos” is Greek for “law.” And, of course, it’s from the Greeks that much of modern Western legal system is derived. Simple. Opa! Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com

    U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments: Maritime Charters and the Specter of a New Permitting Regime

    February 24, 2020 —
    Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two important environmental cases—one that could change the approach to routine maritime charters and another that could introduce a potentially punishing permitting regime via a CWA citizen suit. Cleaning the Delaware: CITGO Asphalt Refining Company v. Frescati Shipping Company The CITGO case involves a large oil spill into the Delaware River, and who bears financial responsibility for the cleanup. CITGO chartered an oil tanker to bring Venezuelan crude oil to CITGO’s New Jersey refinery located on the Delaware River. The tanker struck a submerged and abandoned anchor within yards of the refinery, and a large and expensive oil spill resulted. In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act, both the shipper, Frescati Shipping Company, and the United States, paid for the immediate oil spill response, and CITGO was later sued for a large share of these costs based on the fact that it entered into a charter with Frescati, which obliged CITGO to provide a “safe berth.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that CITGO was liable under the principles of maritime law, meaning that CITGO was strictly liable for the spill even if no one knew that the anchor was present on the floor of the river or lurking in the waters of the Delaware River. CITGO has argued that this result is unfair and poses a threat to the maritime shipping industry if it is held to be strictly liable for this spill. It appears that this is may well be the majority rule that is applied when interpreting these routinely entered maritime charters. The Court’s decision will be immensely important to the shipping industry. 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

    Duty to Defend Broadly Applies to Entire Action; Insured Need Not Apportion Defense Costs, Says Maryland Appeals Court

    January 27, 2020 —
    In a recent decision, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reiterated that the duty to defend broadly requires a liability insurer to defend an entire lawsuit against its insured, even where only some of the allegations are potentially covered. The court further held that the insured has no obligation to apportion defense costs among multiple implicated policies. The decision, Selective Way Insurance Company v. Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Company, et al., can be found here. The coverage litigation arose out of a construction defect case against a general contractor. The general contractor tendered the action to its insurer, Nationwide, which, in turn, filed a declaratory judgment action against the various insurers of construction project subcontractors that had named the general contractor as an additional insured. Ultimately, the court granted a summary judgment motion declaring that all of the subcontractors’ insurers had a duty to defend the general contractor “because the allegations in the underlying lawsuit raised claims that potentially arose from the [s]ubcontractors’ work at the [construction site].” All of the subcontractors’ insurers settled with Nationwide except for one, Selective Way; and the parties proceeded to a jury trial on various issues. The jury found for Nationwide on all issues. Selective Way appealed. Selective Way argued on appeal that even if some of the allegations were covered under its policy, it had no obligation to defend the general contractor because its insureds, the subcontractors, could not have been responsible for all of the losses given the nature of their work. Further, Selective Way contended that if it was responsible for defending the general contractor, it was not responsible for the entire defense, and the general contractor was responsible for apportioning the costs among the various subcontractors. The panel disagreed on both points. Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Kevin V. Small, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Levine may be contacted at mlevine@HuntonAK.com Mr. Small may be contacted at ksmall@HuntonAK.com Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Leveraging the 50-State Initiative, Connecticut and Maine Team Secure Full Dismissal of Coverage Claim for Catastrophic Property Loss

    March 23, 2020 —
    On behalf of Gordon & Rees’ surplus lines insurer client, Hartford insurance coverage attorneys Dennis Brown, Joseph Blyskal, and Regen O’Malley, with the assistance of associates Kelcie Reid, Alexandria McFarlane, and Justyn Stokely, and Maine counsel Lauren Thomas, secured a full dismissal of a $15 million commercial property loss claim before the Maine Business and Consumer Court on January 23, 2020. The insured, a wood pellet manufacturer, sustained catastrophic fire loss to its plant in 2018 – just one day after its surplus lines policy expired. Following the insurer’s declination of coverage for the loss, the wood pellet manufacturer brought suit against both its agent, claiming it had failed to timely secure property coverage, as well as the insurer, alleging that it had had failed to comply with Maine’s statutory notice requirements. The surplus lines insurer agreed to extend the prior policy several times by endorsement, but declined to do so again. Notably, the insured alleged that the agent received written notice of the non-renewal prior to the policy’s expiration 13 days before the policy’s expiration. However, the insured (as well as the agent by way of a cross-claim) asserted that the policy remained effective at the time of the loss as the insured did not receive direct notice of the decision not to renew coverage and notice to the agent was not timely. Although Maine’s Attorney General and Superintendent intervened in support of the insured’s and agent’s argument that the statute’s notice provision applied such that coverage would still be owed under the expired policy, Gordon & Rees convinced the Court otherwise. At issue, specifically, was whether the alleged violation of the 14-day notice provision in Section 2009-A of the Surplus Lines Law (24-A M.R.S. § 2009-A), which governs the “cancellation and nonrenewal” of surplus lines policies, required coverage notwithstanding the expiration of the policy. The insured, the agent, and the State of Maine intervenors argued that “cancellation or nonrenewal” was sufficient to trigger the statute’s notice requirement, and thus Section 2009-A required the insurer to notify the insured directly of nonrenewal. In its motion to dismiss, Gordon & Rees argued on behalf of its client that Section 2009-A requires both “cancellation and nonrenewal” in order for the statute to apply. Since there was no cancellation in this case – only nonrenewal – Gordon & Rees argued that Section 2009-A is inapt and that the insurer is not obligated to provide the manufacturer with notice of nonrenewal. Alternatively, it argued that the statute is unconstitutionally vague and unenforceable. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Regen O'Malley, Gordon & Rees
    Ms. O'Malley may be contacted at romalley@grsm.com

    New York Appellate Court Holds Insurers May Suffer Consequences of Delayed Payment of Energy Company Property and Business Interruption Claims

    March 16, 2020 —
    A New York appellate court recently held that renewable bio-diesel fuel manufacturer BioEnergy Development Group LLC may pursue tens of millions of dollars in damages from its insurers under two all-risk insurance policies, including amounts in excess of the policy limits, where the insurers refused to pay claims in a timely manner. BioEnergy purchased two all-risk property policies from Lloyd’s to provide coverage for its manufacturing plant in Memphis, Tennessee. A fire destroyed the Memphis plant in March 2016, eliminating BioEnergy’s production capacity and sole source of revenue. BioEnergy made claims under the policies and sought to rebuild its plant. The insurers acknowledged coverage and eventually made approximately $8 million in interim payments, but the parties disagreed over the value of the total property damage claim, which BioEnergy contended was in excess of $24 million. The disputed claim was submitted to appraisal, which resulted in the insurers agreeing to pay the full business interruption limit of $15.1 million. The insurers filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit, however, seeking to limit BioEnergy’s recovery to the policy limits of $15.1 million. BioEnergy alleged that the insurers failed to make interim payments in a timely manner after the fire and, as a result, the company suffered increased losses because it could not rebuild without the insurance proceeds. BioEnergy sought actual and consequential damages, plus attorneys’ fees, arising from the delayed payments, including payment of its business interruption losses in excess of the policy limits. Reprinted courtesy of Syed S. Ahmad, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Geoffrey B. Fehling, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Ahmad may be contacted at sahmad@HuntonAK.com Mr. Fehling may be contacted at gfehling@HuntonAK.com Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Georgia Supreme Court Addresses Anti-Indemnity Statute

    October 21, 2019 —
    In prior blog posts, we addressed Georgia’s anti-indemnity statute. One of the posts addressed the statute in the context of an electric utility easement near an airport. That case made its way to the Supreme Court Georgia, which provided some additional clarity to the statute. Milliken & Co. v. Georgia Power Co., — Ga. –, 829 S.E.2d 111 (2019). When a plane crashed and several passengers and crew died or were injured, their representatives sued several defendants, including a nearby plant owner, Milliken & Company (“Milliken”), based on claims that transmission lines on Milliken’s property were too close to the runways, were too high, and encroached on the airport easements. Milliken cross claimed against Georgia Power Company (“GPC”). Milliken’s claim was based on an easement it granted to GPC, which required GPC to indemnify it for any claims arising out of GPC’s construction or maintenance of the transmission lines. On appeal, the Supreme Court considered whether the clause was unenforceable under O.C.G.A. § 13-8-2(b). In general, “a party may contract away liability to the other party for the consequences of his own negligence without contravening public policy, except when such agreement it prohibited by statute.” Id. at 113 citing Lanier at McEver v. Planners & Eng’rs Collaborative, 284 Ga. 204, 205 (2008). As one such statute, O.C.G.A. § 13-8-2(b) applies when an indemnification provision (i) “relates in some way to a contract for construction, alteration, repair, or maintenance of certain property” and (ii) “promises to indemnify a party for damages arising from that own party’s sole negligence.” Id. at 114 (internal punctuation omitted). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David R. Cook, Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP
    Mr. Cook may be contacted at cook@ahclaw.com

    Florida Adopts Daubert Standard for Expert Testimony

    October 07, 2019 —
    Seven months ago, the Florida Supreme Court declined to adopt Daubert as the standard for admitting expert testimony in Florida state courts. In DeLisle v. Crane Co., 258 So. 3d 1219 (2018), the court reaffirmed that “Frye, not Daubert, is the appropriate test in Florida.” On May 23, 2019, however, Florida’s high court did an about-face. In In Re: Amendment to the Florida Evidence Code, No. SC19-107, the Florida Supreme Court overruled its decision in DeLisle and declared that Florida will now apply the Daubert standard to determine whether scientific evidence is admissible. The Daubert standard comes from the case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), which held that the longstanding Frye test[1] for admitting expert testimony was superseded by Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Daubert instructed that federal judges should act as “gatekeepers” to ensure expert testimony is rooted in scientifically valid principles and that those principles are properly applied to the facts at issue. In determining whether scientific evidence should be admitted, Daubert sets forth several factors to consider: the testability of the theory or technique; the peer review and publication of the theory or technique; the error rate for the technique; the standards controlling the technique’s operation; and the general acceptance of the theory or technique.[2] The Daubert standard is generally considered a more onerous test than Frye, precluding expert testimony that might otherwise go to the jury under Frye.[3] Whereas Frye is a single factor test that applies only to new or novel science, Daubert is a multifactor test that applies to all expert testimony. Since Daubert, a growing number of states have moved away from the Frye test in favor of the Daubert standard; it is now followed by a majority of jurisdictions in the country. In 2013, the Florida State legislature attempted to move Florida in this direction by amending the Florida Evidence Code to codify the Daubert standard. But because the Florida Supreme Court is vested with the power to make procedural rules and it was unclear whether the Daubert standard was a procedural or substantive rule, it was uncertain whether the 2013 Daubert amendments were controlling law. Then in 2017, in In Re: Amendment to the Florida Evidence Code, No. SC16-181, the Florida Supreme Court expressly declined adopting the Daubert amendments to the extent they were procedural. This decision signaled that, if faced with the Daubert standard on appeal from a litigated case, the Florida Supreme Court would reaffirm that Frye – not Daubert – controlled the admissibility of expert testimony in Florida state courts. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Michael L. DeBona, White and Williams LLP
    Mr. DeBona may be contacted at debonam@whiteandwilliams.com

    Breaking the Impasse by Understanding Blame

    January 13, 2020 —
    For this week’s Guest Post Friday (on a Thursday) here at Construction Law Musings, Victoria Pynchon (@vickiepynchon) joins us for the 4th time. Victoria is an attorney-mediator with ADR Services, Inc. in Century City; an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association in Los Angeles, California; and, a negotiation consultant and trainer world-wide. Victoria co-founded She Negotiates Training and Consulting in 2010 and writes for ForbesWoman at its She Negotiates blog. She is the author of one of my favorite books on conflict resolution, A is for A*@!#, the Grownups’ ABC’s of Conflict Resolution reviewed at Musings here. First Let’s Talk About Anger Please raise your hand if your clients — corporate clients — are angry about the burdens of litigation. Irritated with the document “demands” and interrogatories. Frustrated about the e-discovery. Ticked off at the way opposing counsel asks them questions as if they’re lying. Hot under the collar about the mounting attorneys’ fees and the distance between the day suit was filed and the probable day on which a trial might eventually be scheduled. Simmering about the time the litigation consumes, time they’d prefer to be spending doing their actual jobs — planning for and implementing business strategies for a profitable future instead of fighting about the unprofitable past. And we’re not even talking about your clients’ anger at the defendant who has stolen their intellectual property or stopped worked at the construction site or refused to release the remaining funds in the construction loan account. And if you believe that powerful people in highly successful and profitable businesses do not fear that litigation might hurt their careers, think again. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com