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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

    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

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Orange County Chapter
    Local # 0532
    17744 Skypark Cir Ste 170
    Irvine, CA 92614

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Baldy View Chapter
    Local # 0532
    8711 Monroe Ct Ste B
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

    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
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    Lancaster, CA 93535

    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
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    Leveraging from approximately 5000 engineering, construction, and builders standard of care related expert designations, the Anaheim, California Construction Expert Directory delivers a comprehensive construction and design expert support solution to attorneys and construction practice groups concerned with construction defect and claims matters. BHA provides construction claims investigation and expert services to the nation's leading construction practice groups, Fortune 500 builders, general liability carriers, owners, as well as a variety of public entities. Utilizing in house assets which include licensed architects, civil engineers, building envelope experts, general and specialty contractors focused on the evaluation of construction claims, the firm brings specialized expertise and local capabilities to the Anaheim region.

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    Construction Expert Witness News & Info
    Anaheim, California

    Construction Litigation Roundup: “Ursinus is Cleared!”

    March 11, 2024 —
    Ursinus University in Pennsylvania – a “private, nonprofit liberal arts college” – funded a construction project for a new building utilizing monies loaned by the Montgomery County Health and Higher Education Authority, a public economic development authority “formed by the Board of County Commissioners… authorized to issue bonds relative to projects for eligible educational institution such as Ursinus.” Loans up to the amount of $23,000,000 became available to the University, and construction proceeded using the loans as construction funds. At issue: whether a project was to be considered publicly funded project such that prevailing wage rates were required to be paid. IBEW filed a related grievance with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Bureau of Labor Law Compliance, which was refused by the Bureau, on the basis that because work was “financed completely by loans from the Authority, which Ursinus was required to repay in their entirety, the Project was ultimately funded through private sources and exempt from coverage under the [Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act].” A grievance to the Prevailing Wage Appeals Board ensued, and the Board took a different position. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Daniel Lund III, Phelps
    Mr. Lund may be contacted at

    What Should Business Owners Do If a Customer Won’t Pay

    January 02, 2024 —
    It should be simple: you provide a service, and your customer pays you for that service. Unfortunately, it is not always so simple. Not getting paid for your work can be one of the most frustrating issues, especially for small businesses. It also does not take much for money matters to lead to larger disputes. So, what should small business owners do in these cases? 1. Start with a reminder notice Most sources, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, agree that business owners should not begin by escalating the situation. Take time to review and fully understand the circumstances of this individual case. Then, begin with resending the invoice or sending reminders to pay. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Scott L. Baker, Baker & Associates
    Mr. Baker may be contacted at

    Hawaii Supreme Court Bars Insurers from Billing Policyholders for Uncovered Defense Costs

    April 23, 2024 —
    Across the country, there is a split in authority as to whether an insurance company should be allowed to recoup defense costs where it is ultimately determined that the carrier has no duty to defend under the policy and the policy is silent as to such reimbursement. The Hawaii Supreme Court is the latest to enter the fray to address this very question, ruling in favor of policyholders in the recent case of St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company v. Bodell Construction Company. Facts of the Case and Procedural History The Bodell case arose in response to a pair of certified questions from the US District Court for Hawaii to the Hawaii Supreme Court. The case involved a group of primary and excess insurers that sold liability policies to Bodell Construction and sought reimbursement of defense costs that the insurers had paid to defend a construction defect claim against Bodell. In the Underlying Action, the District Court ultimately ruled that the claims against Bodell Construction were not covered under the policies. Because the claims were not covered, the insurers demanded reimbursement of the defense fees from Bodell . Having determined there was no Hawaii state law on this issue, and in light of conflicting decisions in the district courts, the US District Court for Hawaii requested guidance from the Hawaii Supreme Court. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Amanda C. Stefanatos, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
    Ms. Stefanatos may be contacted at

    Is Modular Construction Destined to Fail?

    March 11, 2024 —
    The construction sector is a harsh environment for innovation. I’ve been following the story of one Finnish innovative contractor, Lehto Group, over the years with enthusiasm. I was saddened to hear that the group’s three significant subsidiaries joined the ranks of many Finnish contractors who have filed for bankruptcy over the last six months. Lehto developed industrialized building concepts and had its own production facilities. The company had a promising start but eventually ran into problems. Was the industrial approach a mistake, or were other factors contributing to the firm’s fall? Three Contributing Factors Lehto Group’s collapse was not a surprise to its competitors, who had observed warning signs years prior. The company’s order book plummeted in 2024 despite still employing around 500 workers. Rakennuslehti, the leading construction magazine in Finland, asked three experienced industry professionals to give their views on Lehto’s failure. The interviewees spoke anonymously due to the small size of the Finnish market and the sensitive nature of commenting on a competitor’s matters. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

    Giant Gas Pipeline Owner, Contractor in $900M Payment Battle

    January 22, 2024 —
    A Canadian partnership including energy developer TC Energy that is building the $10.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline, and a key project contractor, are disputing more than $900 million in project costs in court and in upcoming arbitration. The 670-kilometer line in British Columbia that announced mechanical completion last year is set to carry liquefied natural gas to the LNG Canada export terminal under construction on the province’s Pacific Coast—the country’s first such facility. Reprinted courtesy of David Godkin, Engineering News-Record and Debra K. Rubin, Engineering News-Record Ms. Rubin may be contacted at Read the full story...

    Drawing the Line: In Tennessee, the Economic Loss Doctrine Does Not Apply to Contracts for Services

    December 11, 2023 —
    In Commercial Painting Co. v. Weitz Co. LLC, No. W2019-02089-SC-R11-CV, 2023 Tenn. LEXIS 39 (Weitz), the Supreme Court of Tennessee (Supreme Court) considered whether the economic loss doctrine barred the plaintiff’s claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and punitive damages arising out of a contract with the defendant for construction services. The court held that the economic loss doctrine only applies to product liability cases and does not apply to claims arising from contracts for services. This case establishes that, in Tennessee, the economic loss doctrine does not bar tort claims in disputes arising from service contracts. In Weitz, defendant, Weitz Co. LLC (Weitz), was the general contractor for a construction project and hired plaintiff Commercial Painting Co. (Commercial) as a drywall subcontractor. Weitz refused to pay Commercial for several of its payment applications, claiming that the applications were submitted untimely and contained improper change order requests. Commercial filed a lawsuit against Weitz seeking over $1.9 million in damages, alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, enforcement of a mechanic’s lien, and interest and attorney’s fees under the Prompt Pay Act of 1991. Weitz filed a counterclaim for $500,000 for costs allegedly incurred due to Commercial’s delay and defective workmanship. In response, Commercial amended its complaint to add claims for fraud, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, rescission of the contract and $10 million in punitive damages. Commercial alleged that Weitz received an extension of the construction schedule but fraudulently withheld this information from Commercial and continued to impose unrealistic deadlines. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Gus Sara, White and Williams
    Mr. Sara may be contacted at

    Eleventh Circuit Set to Hear Challenge to Florida Law Barring Foreign Citizens From Buying Real Property

    April 22, 2024 —
    Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (April 2, 2024) - This month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will hear a challenge to a recently-enacted Florida law, Senate Bill 264, which restricts foreign ownership or investment in Florida real property from specific countries and imposes a near ban on property purchases by Chinese, Russian and other foreign nationals. On July 1, 2023, Senate Bill 264 [codified under Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 692.201 to 692.205] took effect. The bill, titled “Interests of Foreign Countries,” prohibits Chinese nationals and nationals from other countries, including Russia, from buying real property unless they are American citizens or permanent residents. Prior to the new law's effective date, on May 22, 2023, four Chinese citizens who hold nonimmigrant visas and reside in Florida, along with a Florida-based real estate firm, sued the state of Florida in federal district court, alleging that the new law is unconstitutional and discriminatory, and that it violates the Fair Housing Act [Shen v. Simpson, Case No. 4:23-cv-208]. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Michael Gnesin, Lewis Brisbois
    Mr. Gnesin may be contacted at

    Compliance Doesn’t Pay: Compliance Evidence Inadmissible in Strict Liability Actions

    February 05, 2024 —
    In Sullivan v. Werner Co., No. 18 EAP 2022, 2023 Pa. LEXIS 1715 (Dec. 22, 2023), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Supreme Court) clarified that in light of its decision in Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 628 Pa. 296 (2014), evidence that a product complied with industry standards is inadmissible in an action involving strict product liability. In Tincher, the Supreme Court overruled prior case law and reaffirmed that Pennsylvania is a Second Restatement Jurisdiction. As stated in Sullivan, discussing Tincher, under the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 402A, a “seller of a product has a duty to provide a product that is free from ‘a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the consumer or [the consumer’s] property.’ To prove breach of this duty, a ‘plaintiff must prove that a seller (manufacturer or distributor) placed on the market a product in a “defective condition.”” Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Kyle Rice, White and Williams
    Mr. Rice may be contacted at