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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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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.


    Construction Expert Witness Contractors Building Industry
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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
    For Anaheim California

    District Court Awards Summary Judgment to Insurance Firm in Framing Case

    General Contractors Must Plan to Limit Liability for Subcontractor Injury

    Sometimes It’s Okay to Destroy Evidence

    New Apartment Tower on the Rise in Seattle

    Hovnanian Increases Construction Defect Reserves for 2012

    Insurer Rejects Claim on Dolphin Towers

    Important Information Regarding Colorado Mechanic’s Lien Rights.

    Counterpoint: Washington Supreme Court to Rule on Resulting Losses in Insurance Disputes

    Federal District Court Continues to Find Construction Defects do Not Arise From An Occurrence

    New Buildings in California Soon Must Be Greener

    Construction Firm Charged for Creating “Hail” Damage

    Changes to Arkansas Construction and Home Repair Laws

    Is Construction Heading Off the Fiscal Cliff?

    Follow Up on Continental Western v. Shay Construction

    Georgia Law: “An Occurrence Can Arise Where Faulty Workmanship Causes Unforeseen or Unexpected Damage to Other Property”

    Fifth Circuit Reverses Insurers’ Summary Judgment Award Based on "Your Work" Exclusion

    Loss Caused by Seepage of Water Not Covered

    Home Repair Firms Sued for Fraud

    Illinois Court Determines Insurer Must Defend Property Damage Caused by Faulty Workmanship

    Subcontractor Not Liable for Defending Contractor in Construction Defect Case

    Contractor Sues Supplier over Defective Products

    South Carolina “occurrence” and allocation

    New Households Moving to Apartments

    Southern California Lost $8 Billion in Construction Wages

    Texas Construction Firm Files for Bankruptcy

    Ensuing Losses From Faulty Workmanship Must be Covered

    Nebraska Man Sentenced for Insurance Fraud in Construction Projects

    California Posts Nation’s Largest Gain in Construction Jobs

    Construction on the Rise in Washington Town

    Homebuilders Go Green in Response to Homebuyer Demand

    Steps to Defending against Construction Defect Lawsuits

    Don MacGregor To Speak at 2011 West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar

    Defective Shingle Claims Valid Despite Bankruptcy

    California Supreme Court Finds Associations Bound by Member Arbitration Clauses

    Product Exclusion: The Big Reason Behind The Delay of LEED 2012

    Australian Developer Denies Building Problems Due to Construction Defects

    Ohio Court of Appeals Affirms Judgment in Landis v. Fannin Builders

    Continuous Trigger of Coverage Adopted for Loss Under First Party Policy

    Defect Claims as Occurrences? Check Your State Laws

    Construction Worker Dies after Building Collapse

    Court Strikes Down Reasonable Construction Defect Settlement

    Homeowners Must Comply with Arbitration over Construction Defects

    Texas “your work” exclusion

    Construction Defect Bill Introduced in California

    Plaintiff Not Entitled to Further Damages over Defective Decking

    Does the New Jersey Right-To-Repair Law Omit Too Many Construction Defects?

    Eighth Circuit Remands to Determine Applicability of Collapse Exclusion

    Destruction of Construction Defect Evidence Leads to Sanctions against Plaintiff

    Construction Defect Not an Occurrence in Ohio

    Builder to Appeal Razing of Harmon Tower
    Corporate Profile

    ANAHEIM CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION EXPERT WITNESS
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    With over four thousand construction claims related expert witness designations, the Anaheim, California Construction Expert Directory delivers a comprehensive construction and design expert support solution to legal professionals and construction practice groups concerned with construction defect and claims matters. BHA provides building claims investigation and expert services to the construction industry's most recognized companies, legal professionals, Fortune 500 builders, CGL carriers, owners, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies. Utilizing in house assets which comprise testifying architects, design engineers, construction cost and standard of care experts, licensed general and specialty contractors, the firm brings national experience and local capabilities to Anaheim region.

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    Construction Expert Witness News & Info
    Anaheim, California

    Building Inspector Jailed for Taking Bribes

    September 30, 2011 — CDJ Staff

    The LA Times reports that Raoul Germain, a city Los Angeles building inspector has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to taking bribes. Germain was caught as part of an FBI sting operation in which he approved work in exchange for thousands of dollars in bribes. The Times notes that that in some cases, Germain never visited the construction sites. Germain was offered a chance to cooperate with investigators. His lawyer, Steve Cron asked the Times, “What do you think happens to someone who cooperates?”

    In addition to Germain, another city inspector has pleaded guilty to taking bribes and two more employees of the Department of Building and Safety have been fired in connection with the investigation.

    Read the full story…


    United States District Court Confirms That Insurers Can Be Held Liable Under The CCPA.

    June 19, 2012 — Chad Johnson

    In D.R. Horton, Inc.-Denver v. The Travelers Indem. Co. of Am., 10-CV-02826-WJM-KMT, 2012 WL 527204 (D. Colo. Feb. 16, 2012), the court was asked to rule on Travelers’[1] motion to dismiss D.R. Horton, Inc. ?Äì Denver’s (“DRH”) claim that Travelers violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”).

    In the underlying construction defect case (“CD case”), DRH, as the developer and general contractor of a construction project, tendered the defense of the CD case to certain subcontractors and to Travelers as an insurer to those subcontractors. Travelers accepted the duty to defend DRH. DRH hired counsel to defend it, and the attorney fees and costs of suit were billed to Travelers. However, for a period of over five years, Travelers failed to actually pay any portion of the defense of DRH. Finally, on October 31, 2008, Travelers offered checks for payment of only 4% of the costs and fees incurred. DRH then returned the checks to Travelers and provided Travelers with authority to support its position that the amounts in Travelers’ checks were inadequate. Thereafter, Travelers dug its heels in, and resubmitted the same checks.

    DRH was then forced to file a coverage action against Travelers for declaratory judgment, breach of contract, bad faith breach of insurance contract, and deceptive trade practices under the CCPA. In its motion to dismiss DRH’s CCPA claim, Travelers’ argued that DRH failed to plead specific facts that Travelers engaged in a deceptive trade practice under C.R.S. § 6-1-105, and DRH failed to plead sufficient facts showing that Travelers’ actions significantly affect the public ?Äì a necessary element of a CCPA claim.

    Read the full story…

    Reprinted courtesy of Chad Johnson, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC. Mr. Johnson can be contacted at johnson@hhmrlaw.com


    Construction Defect Case Not Over, Despite Summary Judgment

    November 7, 2012 — CDJ Staff

    The Supreme Court of Oregon has concluded in an en banc decision that a motion to reconsider a summary judgment is not a motion for a new trial. In coming to their conclusion the court overturned an earlier Oregon Supreme Court case, Carter v. U.S. National Bank. Although the decision does not bear on construction defects, the underlying case did. Due to the decision, these claims can now be evaluated in a trial.

    The case, Association of Unit Owners of Timbercrest Condominiums v. Warren, came about after an apartment complex was converted into condominium units. The developers hired Big Al’s Construction for some of the remodeling work. The condominium association later sued the developer and the contractor over claims of construction defects. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted.

    But that wasn’t the end of things. The plaintiff soon filed a “motion to reconsider,” noting that the summary judgment seemed to be in conflict with both law and other recent rulings, and additionally, the grounds for the decision were not in the order. The judge then notified the parties that the court had “pulled the trigger too quickly” and had seven questions for the parties to answer.

    The court dismissed all claims against the defendants. The defendants filed their responses, objecting that that “‘there is no such thing’ as a motion for reconsideration.” Further, while “the rules do allow for post-judgment review of pre-judgment rulings through a motion for a new trial,” the plaintiffs had not filed for a new trial. But did they need one? They did file an appeal.

    The judge in the case admitted that there was no such thing as a motion to reconsider, and felt bad about prematurely signing the judgment. The case was sent to the Court of Appeals to determine if the motion to reconsider was a request for a new trial. The Court of Appeals concurred.

    In reviewing the decision, the Oregon Supreme Court concluded that there were a maximum of three questions to address. Was the motion for reconsideration a motion for a new trial? If so, was the later notice of appeal premature? And if so, was the plaintiff required to file a new appeal? The court determined that the answer to the first question was no.

    Prior decisions pointed to the conclusion “that a motion for reconsideration of a summary judgment amounts to a motion for a new trial,” but here the court concluded that “our prior cases erred,” and turned to the summary judgment rule for clarification. The court noted that “the rule contemplates that summary judgment and trial are separate and distinct events.” With this conclusion, the Oregon Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings.

    Read the court’s decision…


    The Colorado Court of Appeals Rules that a Statutory Notice of Claim Triggers an Insurer’s Duty to Defend.

    October 23, 2012 — David M. McLain, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell

    Gene and Diane Melssen d/b/a Melssen Construction (“Melssen”) built a custom home for the Holleys, during which period of time Melssen retained a CGL insurance coverage from Auto Owners Insurance Company. Soon after completion of the house, the Holleys noticed cracks in the drywall and, eventually, large cracks developed in the exterior stucco and basement slab. Thereafter, the Holleys contacted Melssen, the structural engineer, an attorney, and Auto-Owners, which assigned a claims adjuster to investigate the claim.

    In April 2008, the Holleys sent Melssen a statutory notice of claim pursuant to C.R.S. § 13-20-803.5 (“NOC”). In this NOC, the Holleys claimed approximately $300,000 in damages related to design and construction defects. The Holleys also provided a list of claimed damages and estimated repairs, accompanied by two reports from the Holleys’ consultant regarding the claimed design and construction defects. In June 2008, Melssen tendered the defense and indemnity of the claim to Auto-Owners. While Auto-Owners did not deny the claim at that time, it did not inspect the property or otherwise adjust the claim. Thereafter, in October 2008, Auto-Owners sent Melssen a letter denying coverage on the basis that the damage occurred outside of the applicable policy period.

    Ultimately, Melssen settled the claims against it for $140,000.

    Read the full story…

    Reprinted courtesy of David McLain, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC. Mr. McLain can be contacted at mclain@hhmrlaw.com


    Florida: No Implied Warranties for Neighborhood Improvements

    July 10, 2012 — CDJ Staff

    A new law in Florida ends suits from homeowners associations from suing over damages from off-site improvements on the basis of implied warranties. Rob Samouch, writing for the Naples Daily News quotes House Biill 1013: “There is no cause of action in law or equity available to a purchaser of a home or to a homeowners’ association based upon the doctrine or theory of implied warranty of fitness and merchantability or habitability for damages to off-site improvements." The off-site improvements are defined as: "The street, road, driveway, sidewalk, drainage, utilities, or any other improvement or structure that is not located on or under the lot on which a new home is constructed.”

    Mr. Samouch notes that “there are no statutory warrant rights in homeowner associations of fitness and merchantability or habitability like there is for condominium associations.” He predicts that the Florida legislature will have to address this issue “once new homeowners start screaming and yelling to them about their shoddy infrastructure for which they have no legal remedy.”

    The bill took effect on July 1, 2012 and applies to “all cases accruing before, pending on, or filed after July 1, 2012.”

    Read the full story…


    Construction Jobs Expected to Rise in Post-Hurricane Rebuilding

    November 7, 2012 — CDJ Staff

    Businessweek reports that construction jobs and materials will see increased demand as property owners in New York and New Jersey rebuild after hurricane Sandy. Tom Jeffery, of Irvine, California-based CoreLogic, a real estate information service, noted that “a high percent of damaged properties are going to be repaired.” Experts estimate property damage to total anywhere from $7 billion to $40 billion.

    It is also estimated that about 739,000 properties in the area are underwater in the way that has nothing to do with flooding, with negative equity of 25 percent or more. Many of these homeowners are likely to walk away from their mortgages.

    Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America, expects “localized spikes in construction employment throughout November and the winter.” Martin Connor, the chief financial officer of Toll Brothers, expects to see more a rise in labor costs than in materials.

    Read the full story…


    Home Repair Firms Sued for Fraud

    September 30, 2011 — CDJ Staff

    The Illinois Attorney General has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court alleging that two connected firms took money from homeowners and then failed to perform the contracted work. One of the three defendants, Chris Bidigare, was an owner of agent of both Fairway Construction and Maintenance Services, LLC, and Rock Construction Management, LLC.

    In once case, according to the article on the OakPark Patch, one homeowner provided a $111,000 down payment, only to have the company cancel the job and refuse to return the money. One homeowner was told by Fairway that she should contact their insurance provider. The insurance provider told her that Fairway’s insurance had been cancelled due to non-payment.

    The suit seeks to bar the three defendants from working in home repair in Illinois.

    Read the full story…


    Public Relations Battle over Harmon Tower

    October 23, 2012 — CDJ Staff

    Tutor Pernini claims that CityCenter is portraying the construction firm as “the scum of the earth” in an attempt to influence eventual jurors, according to an article at Vegas Inc. The contractor’s attorneys have requested information regarding the public relations efforts of MGM Resorts and CityCenter, characterizing CityCenter’s PR as a “litigation spin doctor.”

    CityCenter has requested that at least one subpoena be canceled. Judge Elizabeth Gonzales has already allowed one to go through, although she has noted that Perini cannot request documents from CityCenter’s lawyers to the litigation consultants under attorney/client privilege. Tutor Perini claims that in 2010, Patricia Glaser, who has represented CityCenter, said her goal was to portray Perini as “the scum of the earth,” and make that certain that judges and juries would not “adopt the world view espoused by the opposing party.”

    Read the full story…