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    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
    For Milford Delaware

    Insurance Law Client Alert: California Appeals Court Refuses to Apply Professional Services Exclusion to Products-Completed Operations Loss

    Wheaton to Require Sprinklers in New Homes

    Trump’s Infrastructure Weak

    Question of Parties' Intent Prevents Summary Judgment for Insurer

    It’s Time to Change the Way You Think About Case Complexity

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    Erasing Any Doubt: Arizona FED Actions Do Not Accrue Until Formal Demand for Possession is Tendered

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    BHA at the 10th Annual Construction Law Institute, Orlando

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    Supreme Court Holds Arbitrator can Fully Decide Threshold Arbitrability Issue

    Public Contract Code 9204 – A New Mandatory Claims Process for Contractors and Subcontractors – and a Possible Trap for the Unwary

    CA Supreme Court Permits Insurers to Bring Direct Actions Seeking Reimbursement of Excessive Fees Against Cumis Counsel Under Limited Circumstances

    A Sample Itinerary to get the Most out of West Coast Casualty’s Construction Defect Seminar

    Adjuster's Report No Substitute for Proof of Loss Under Flood Policy

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    Leveraging from approximately 5000 general contracting and design related expert designations, the Milford, Delaware Construction Expert Directory delivers a superior construction and design expert support solution to attorneys and construction practice groups seeking effective resolution of construction defect, scheduling, and delay matters. BHA provides construction claims investigation and expert services to the building industry's most recognizable companies, insurers, risk managers, and a variety of municipalities. Utilizing in house assets which comprise building envelope experts, forensic architects, professional engineers, credentialed construction standard of care consultants, the firm brings a wealth of experience and local capabilities to Milford and the surrounding areas.

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    Will There Be Construction Defect Legislation Introduced in the 2019 Colorado Legislative Session?

    March 18, 2019 —
    With the 2019 Colorado legislative session well underway, the construction industry is waiting with bated breath to see what the Democrat controlled legislature might do with respect to construction defect legislation. In recent years, having a split legislature has prevented any attempts to roll back positive changes in the law, either from the legislature or Colorado courts, that have been hailed by the construction community. This year, odds are good that we will see at least one bill similar to two introduced last year that would hinder the ability to have disputes decided by binding arbitration. While not full frontal assaults on the Colorado Supreme Court decision in the Vallagio case, HB18-1261, the “Colorado Arbitration Fairness Act,” and HB 18-1262, the “Arbitration Services Provider Transparency Act,” would have negatively impacted the ability to resolve any type of case through arbitration. Anything that prevents the resolution of construction defect cases through arbitration will increase the judgments and settlements in such cases, ultimately increasing the costs of construction and for insurance for those in the industry. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David McLain, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
    Mr. McLain may be contacted at

    English v. RKK. . . The Rest of the Story

    December 04, 2018 —
    Back in February, I discussed a case relating to indemnity and ambiguity. The opinion in that case, W.C. English, Inc. v. Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP et al., allowed a breach of contract and indemnity claim to move forward despite the fact that conflicting term sheets between the plaintiff and defendant could have been read to violate Virginia law by requiring indemnity for English’s own negligence. In other words, the ambiguity worked in English’s favor (though that is not something to count on). The Court did not however address whether there was any negligence on English’s part and if there was, what was the contractual effect. I’ll bet you were wondering what happened later in that case. Well, here’s the answer. In a subsequent opinion, the Court looked at the same ambiguous and conflicting term sheets between and among those defendants that were required to provide quality assurance services for the construction of a bridge in western Virginia. For the full procedural and factual analysis, be sure to read the full memorandum opinion linked above. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Wisconsin High Court Rejects Insurer’s Misuse of “Other Insurance” Provision

    March 04, 2019 —
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court held last week in Steadfast Ins. Co. v. Greenwich Ins. Co. that two insurers must contribute proportionally to the defense of an additional insured under their comprehensive liability policies. In 2008, torrential rainstorms battered the Milwaukee area for two days. The downpour overwhelmed the city’s sewer system, causing significant flooding in homes throughout the region. Out of those floods sprang several lawsuits against the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (“MMSD”) for negligent inspection, maintenance, repair, and operation of Milwaukee’s sewage system. MMSD was an additional insured under liability policies covering two other water service providers responsible for the city’s sewer systems. The first policy was issued by Greenwich Insurance Company for United Water Services Milwaukee, LLC, and the second was issued by Steadfast Insurance Company for Veolia Water Milwaukee, LLC. After learning of the lawsuits, MMSD tendered its defense of the sewage suits to both insurers. Steadfast accepted the defense; but Greenwich refused, claiming that its policy was excess to Steadfast’s based on an “other insurance” clause in Greenwich’s policy. Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth and David Costello, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Levine may be contacted at Mr. Costello may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Am I Still Covered Under the Title Insurance Policy?

    May 01, 2019 —
    When transferring property for corporate restructuring or estate planning purposes, an important issue to consider is whether the successor owner will be covered by the grantee’s title insurance policy. Because title insurance policies insure only the title of the “Insured” identified in the policy, the successor in interest of the named insured may not be covered following the transfer. In older ALTA title insurance policies, the definition of “Insured” included the person or entity specifically identified in the policy as the insured, as well as any subsequent owners who took title to the subject property by operation of law. Because those policies did not clarify what the term “by operation of law” meant, it was unclear whether certain subsequent owners, such as a parent or subsidiary of the original insured, fell within the definition of “Insured”. In order to avoid any risk that a subsequent owner following a transfer between related parties was not covered by the grantor’s title policy, parties often obtained an “additional insured” endorsement which provided the subsequent owner coverage under the original policy. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Ian Douglas, Snell & Wilmer
    Mr. Douglas may be contacted at

    2019 California Construction Law Update

    January 15, 2019 —
    The California State Legislature introduced 2,637 bills during the second year fo the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. Of these, 1,016 were signed into law. It was last official bill signing for Governor Jerry Brown who ends not only his second term as Governor but a colorful political career spanning nearly 50 years during which he has dated pop stars, practiced Zen meditation, kicked it with radical ex-nuns and an Apollo astronaut and, at 80, has sparred regularly with President Trump on issues ranging from climate change to immigration to net neutrality. For those in the construction industry it wasn’t quite as exciting, unless of course you count SCR 120, which officially makes April “California Safe Digging Month.” Hooray! Each of the bills discussed below took effect on January 1, 2018, except as otherwise stated. Building Codes SB 721 – Requires the inspection of exterior elevated elements, including balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and elevated entry structures, of multifamily buildings with three or more dwelling units by an architect, engineer or contractor with a Class A, B or C-5 license by January 1, 2025 and by January 1st every six years thereafter. Elements posing an immediate threat to the safety of occupants, or which prevent occupant access or emergency repairs, are required to be repaired immediately. Elements not posing an immediate threat to the safety of occupants, or which do not prevent occupant access or emergency repairs, are required to be repaired within 180 days. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Wendel Rosen
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at

    Update Your California Release Provisions to Include Amended Section 1542 Language

    April 02, 2019 —
    Most companies have been involved in a situation where they want to end their relationship with another company, or with an employee, and to permanently terminate their mutual obligations (e.g., a settlement agreement resolving end-of-project litigation). In 1992, a California Court of Appeals, in Winet v. Price, confirmed that upholding general releases is “in harmony… with a beneficial principle of contract law: that general releases can be so constructed as to be completely enforceable.” In California, agreements with a release of claims (or s general release) include what is often referred to as a California Civil Code § 1542 waiver for the purpose of ensuring that the releasing party is consciously releasing both known and unknown claims that may be later discovered. Such a waiver provision generally confirms that the Releasing Party acknowledges that it understands and waives the provisions of Section 1542, followed by the quoted text of Section 1542 (typically in all capital letters). Reprinted courtesy of Amy L. Pierce, Pillsbury and William S. Hale, Pillsbury Ms. Pierce may be contacted at Mr. Hale may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Trump Administration Issues Proposed 'Waters of the U.S.' Rule

    December 19, 2018 —
    Construction contractors said a proposed revised definition of “Waters of the United States,” released by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers on Dec. 11, would provide their firms with clarity about what types of permits they will need for their construction projects near various bodies of water. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Pam Radtke Russell, ENR
    Ms. Russell may be contacted at

    7 Areas where Technology is Shifting the Construction Business

    November 21, 2018 —
    The digital transformation of the last two decades has taken hold of the business environment in a powerful way. Companies in nearly all sectors are experiencing a significant shift in the way business is done, with a heavy focus on improved productivity, increase profitability, and enhanced product and service offerings. The construction industry has been historically slow to update its processes and business models in-line with other industries, but technology is currently making its long-awaited appearance in the sector. Construction professionals can embrace these new solutions to run more efficient businesses and keep a closer eye on profitability by reducing common costs over time. These are the seven major areas where technology is changing construction. 1 - Business Management One of the most apparent shifts taking place in the construction industry thanks to technology is the advancement of business processes and systems behind the scenes. Construction managers and job site owners have countless digital tools at their fingertips to help with managing all aspects of the business. This includes more efficient ways to manage material use and equipment inventory, logging subcontractor hours and pay, and maintaining reporting requirements from regulatory perspectives. Many software solutions integrate with older, legacy systems, making this change an easy one for construction businesses across the board. 2 – Jobsite Productivity Another area of transformation in construction is productivity on each job site. Technology has offered job owners and general contractors more efficient methods to keep track of project timelines as well as subcontractor progress from start to finish. The technology advancements in this arena come in the form of wearable devices that track work performed, as well as mobile devices that help keep the often mundane tasks necessary for a project’s success up to date and completed on time. 3 – Worker Safety Although wearables are being utilized in several different ways in the construction business, these devices are making a significant difference in the safety of workers. From smart helmets to digitally enhanced eyewear, workers are alerted to potential hazards on the job that they otherwise could not identify. Similarly, augmented and virtual reality solutions are being used to train workers before they arrive at a job, preparing them for safety concerns well in advance. Even though most licensed and bonded construction workers have appropriate training throughout their careers, the addition of these resources has the ability to further reduce the risks often associated with construction work. 4 – Surveying and Monitoring Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, are being used throughout construction. These digital tools are equipped with cameras to offer a bird’s eye view of a construction site to help with surveying and identifying potential hazards for workers. Drones also help with inspections throughout a project’s progression, offering some reduction in cost and improving efficiencies. 5 – Improved Materials Technology is also playing a role in the materials used on job sites. The addition of 3D printing has proven beneficial for construction companies, as concrete composites, plastics, and other materials are being printed and used to create structures on-site. This offers a more cost-effective and accurate way to complete a project. 6 – Self-operating Equipment Some technology firms are making waves in the construction industry because they are currently developing and implementing autonomous equipment solutions. Heavy machinery, like excavators, bricklayers, and bulldozers, are already being used on construction sites to help ease the burden of the labor shortage in the industry. While these machines are not yet mainstream, the benefits they offer mean they are likely to become a staple in construction in the years to come. 7 – Big Data Finally, technology is shifting the construction business by way of big data analytics. With the detailed information from new software solutions, wearable tech, and drones, construction site managers have more data than they have ever had. This influx of information offers a way to analyze job site progress, budgets, timelines, and efficiency for companies large and small. Author: Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog. Read the court decision
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