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    Ashburn, Virginia

    Virginia Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: (HB558; H 150; §55-70.1) Warranty extension applicable to single-family but not HOAs: in addition to any other express or implied warranties; It requires registered or certified mail notice to "vendor" stating nature of claim; reasonable time not to exceed six months to "cure the defect".

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    Guidelines Ashburn Virginia

    A contractor's license is required for all trades. Separate boards license plumbing, electrical, HVAC, gas fitting, and asbestos trades.

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    Association Directory
    Northern Virginia Building Industry Association
    Local # 4840
    3901 Centerview Dr Suite E
    Chantilly, VA 20151

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    The Top of Virginia Builders Association
    Local # 4883
    1182 Martinsburg Pike
    Winchester, VA 22603

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Shenandoah Valley Builders Association
    Local # 4848
    PO Box 1286
    Harrisonburg, VA 22803

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Piedmont Virginia Building Industry Association
    Local # 4890
    PO Box 897
    Culpeper, VA 22701

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Fredericksburg Area Builders Association
    Local # 4830
    3006 Lafayette Blvd
    Fredericksburg, VA 22408

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Augusta Home Builders Association Inc
    Local # 4804
    PO Box 36
    Waynesboro, VA 22980

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Blue Ridge Home Builders Association
    Local # 4809
    PO Box 7743
    Charlottesville, VA 22906

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Building Expert News and Information
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    Leveraging from more than 5500 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Ashburn, Virginia Building Expert Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Ashburn's most acknowledged construction practice groups, CGL carriers, builders, owners, and public agencies. Drawing from a diverse pool of construction and design professionals, BHA is able to simultaneously analyze complex claims from the perspective of design, engineering, cost, or standard of care.

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    Ashburn, Virginia

    Homeowner’s Policy Excludes Coverage for Loss Caused by Chinese Drywall

    November 18, 2011 —

    Exclusions barred the homeowners from recovering for losses caused by Chinese drywall in their home. Ross v. C. Adams Const. & Design, L.L.C., 2011 La. App. LEXIS 769 (La. Ct. App., released for publication Oct. 5, 2011).

    Two years after purchasing their home, the Rosses began experiencing chronic malfunctions in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. After discovering the presence of gypsum drywall, or "Chinese drywall", they submitted a claim to their insurer, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Company, for damages caused by the Chinese drywall. Louisiana Citizens denied the claim.

    The Rosses sued. The trial court granted summary judgment to Louisiana Citizens based upon exclusions in the policy.

    On appeal, the appellate court first agreed the Rosses had sustained a direct physical loss. The inherent qualities of the Chinese drywall created a physical loss to the home and the drywall had to be removed and replaced.

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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii. Mr. Eyerly can be contacted at

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    Is Everybody Single? More Than Half the U.S. Now, Up From 37% in '76

    September 10, 2014 —
    Single Americans make up more than half of the adult population for the first time since the government began compiling such statistics in 1976. Some 124.6 million Americans were single in August, 50.2 percent of those who were 16 years or older, according to data used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly job-market report. That percentage had been hovering just below 50 percent since about the beginning of 2013 before edging above it in July and August. In 1976, it was 37.4 percent and has been trending upward since. In a report to clients entitled “Selfies,” economist Edward Yardeni flagged the increase in the proportion of singles to more than 50 percent, calling it “remarkable.” The president of Yardeni Research Inc. in New York said the rise has “implications for our economy, society and politics.” Singles, particularly younger ones, are more likely to rent than to own their dwellings. Never-married young singles are less likely to have children and previously married older ones, many of whom have adult children, are unlikely to have young kids, Yardeni wrote. That will influence how much money they spend and what they buy. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Rich Miller, Bloomberg
    Mr. Miller may be contacted at

    Mobile Home Owners Not a Class in Drainage Lawsuit

    March 01, 2012 —

    Comparing it to a “complex construction defect action,” the California Court of Appeals for Orange County has rejected the claims of a group of mobile home owners that they should be certified as a class in their lawsuit against Huntington Shorecliffs Mobilehome Park. The Appeals court sustained the judgment of the lower court. The court issued a decision in the case of Criswell v. MMR Family LLC on January 17, 2012.

    The claims made by the group were that the owners and operators of the mobile home park had known of an “on-going and potentially worsening shallow groundwater condition on the property” and had “exacerbated the problem by changing ‘the configuration and drainage related to the hillside that abuts’ the park.” The homeowners claimed that the class should consist of “any past or current homeowner during the same time frame” who had experienced “the accumulation of mold, fungus, and/or other toxins,” “property damage to his/her mobilehome and/or other property resulting from drainage problems, water seepage, water accumulation, moisture build-up, mold, fungus, and/or other toxins,” emotional distress related to drainage problems or mold, and finally health problems “resulting from exposure to drainage problems, water seepage, water accumulation, moisture build-up, mold, fungus, and/or other toxins, in or around one’s home, lot, or common areas of the park.”

    The lower court concluded that while the limits of the class were identifiable, they failed to constitute a class in other ways. First, the people affected were small enough in number that they could be brought together. They “are not so numerous that it would be impracticable to bring them all before the Court.”

    The court noted that while many of the homeowners would have issues in common, they did not find “a well-defined community of interest among the class members.” The Appeals Court wrote that “the individual issues affecting each mobile home and homeowner will predominate over the common issue of the presence of standing or pooling water in and around the park.” The court noted that each home would be affected differently by water and “the ‘accumulation of mold, fungus, and/or other toxins.’”

    While the court conceded that there would be common issues, such as the “defendants’ alleged concealment of excess moisture conditions and their allegedly negligent roadwork and landscaping,” they noted that “these common issues would be swamped by the swarm of individual determinations of property damage, emotional distress, and personal injury.” The Appeals Court cited an earlier case that ruled against certification “if a class action ‘will splinter into individual trials.’” The court affirmed the judgment of the lower court that they could not proceed as a class.

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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Possible Real Estate and Use and Occupancy Tax Relief for Philadelphia Commercial and Industrial Property Owners

    September 07, 2017 —
    A recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court puts in jeopardy all of the recent real estate tax reassessments completed by the City of Philadelphia for tax year 2018 as well as appeals initiated by the School District of Philadelphia in 2016 for tax year 2017. The City’s current practice is to certify the market values of any reassessed properties to the Board of Revision of Taxes on March 31st prior to the year that the assessment would be implemented. The City then relies on those certified values to determine the applicable tax rate when it creates its budget each summer. Accordingly, the Office of Property Assessment (OPA) submitted the values applicable for the 2018 tax year to the BRT on March 31, 2017. The City set the applicable tax rates during its summer budget sessions. However, unlike prior years, this year the City only reassessed commercial and industrial properties and excluded residential properties. The result was reported to be an increase of over $118 million in new real estate taxes. Shortly after the City finished its budget, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided the case of Valley Forge Towers Apartments N, LP, et al. v. Upper Merion Area School District. The case involved a challenge by property owners to the Upper Merion School District’s practice of only appealing assessments on commercial properties. As with the recent reassessments by the City, Upper Merion was only seeking to increase the real estate tax assessments for high value commercial properties. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that the school district’s practice violated the Uniformity Clause in the Pennsylvania Constitution. The court reaffirmed the principle that real estate within a jurisdiction should be treated as a single class and that tax authorities are not permitted to discriminate against commercial and industrial properties in favor of residential properties for purposes of real estate taxation. Reprinted courtesy of James Vandermark, White and Williams LLP and Kevin Koscil, White and Williams LLP Mr. Vandermark may be contacted at Mr. Koscil may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Is the Issuance of a City Use Permit Referable? Not When It Is an Administrative Act

    January 10, 2018 —
    Arizona’s Constitution gives electors in cities, towns, and counties the ability to refer legislation that was enacted by their local elected officials to the ballot for popular vote. Ariz. Const. art. IV, Pt. 1 § 1(8). But only legislative acts are referable; administrative acts are not. In general, a legislative act makes new law and creates policy, is permanent in nature, and is generally applied. On the other hand, an administrative act is one that executes and implements a law already in place. Wennerstrom v. City of Mesa, 169 Ariz. 485, 489-90, 821 P.2d 146, 150-51 (1991). For more than fifty years, Arizona courts have been clear: zoning and rezoning ordinances are legislative acts and therefore referable to popular vote. City of Phoenix v. Fehlner, 90 Ariz. 13, 17, 363 P.2d 607, 609 (1961) (holding that “what constitutes an appropriate zone is primarily for the legislature”); Fritz v. City of Kingman, 191 Ariz 432, 432, 957 P.2d 337, 337 (1998) (noting “we reaffirm our view that zoning decisions are legislative matters subject to referendum”); Pioneer Trust Co. of Arizona v. Pima Cty., 168 Ariz. 61, 64–65, 811 P.2d 22, 25–26 (1991) (holding “that, in Arizona, zoning decisions are legislative acts subject to referendum” and that even a “conditional approval of . . . rezoning was a legislative act”); Cottonwood Dev. v. Foothills Area Coal. of Tucson, Inc., 134 Ariz. 46, 653 P.2d 694 (1982) (analyzing whether zoning referendum complied with statutory requirements); Wait v. City of Scottsdale, 127 Ariz. 107, 108, 618 P.2d 601, 602 (1980) (noting “that the enactment and amendment of zoning ordinances constitute legislative action”); City of Phoenix v. Oglesby, 112 Ariz. 64, 65, 537 P.2d 934, 935 (1975) (“The matter of zoning is appropriately one for the legislative branch of government.”); Queen Creek Land & Cattle Corp. v. Yavapai Cty. Bd. of Sup’rs, 108 Ariz. 449, 452, 501 P.2d 391, 394 (1972) (denying an attempt to enjoin referendum on county’s zoning decision). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Adam E. Lang, Snell & Wilmer
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    Sewage Treatment Agency Sues Insurer and Contractor after Wall Failure and Sewage Leak

    January 22, 2013 —
    Trial preparations continue over the failure of a wall at a sewage treatment plant and the failure of the insurer to provide coverage. The Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant sued its insurer, American Alternative Insurance Corp., in March 2012 over insurance coverage. AAIC claimed that the wall failure, which released hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage, was due to structural defects which preceded the policy. AAIC did pay more than $300,000 for covered losses, although officials claim that coverage should be a further $3.5 million. Additionally, the board is suing the contractor who constructed the wall. Here, the operators of the sewage plant are seeking $20 million. The wall was built as part of a $67 million improvement project between 2004 and 2006. Read the court decision
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    Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Enacted

    July 14, 2016 —
    On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) into law, creating a private federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. This landmark legislation, a product of bipartisan backing and significant support from the business community, will affect businesses and individuals operating in almost every economic sector across the country. The DTSA will potentially be at issue any time an employee with access to confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information moves on to a competitor or launches a startup that competes with the former employer. This will be true so long as the product or service that the trade secret relates to is either used in or intended for use in interstate or foreign commerce. Under present commerce clause jurisprudence, the vast majority of businesses providing products and services in the United States will be affected by this new law. The DTSA will provide, for the first time, a codified federal civil remedy for misappropriation of trade secrets. Although most states have adopted some version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”), there remains significant variation between the states in their application of the UTSA and litigants face significantly different statutory frameworks depending upon which state holds jurisdiction over the dispute. In addition, prior to this new law, litigants were limited to pursuing their claims for misappropriation of trade secrets in state courts, unless federal diversity jurisdiction applied to the dispute. The DTSA changes that dynamic, providing original federal subject matter jurisdiction over trade secret disputes. Reprinted courtesy of Michael B. McClellan, Newmeyer & Dillion and Jason L. Morris, Newmeyer & Dillion Mr. McClellan may be contacted at Mr. Morris may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Insurance Law Alert: Incorporation of Defective Work Does Not Result in Covered Property Damage in California Construction Claims

    June 18, 2014 —
    In Regional Steel Corp. v. Liberty Surplus Ins. (No. B245961, filed 5/16/14, ord. pub. 6/13/14), a California appeals court held that the insured's use of the wrong steel seismic reinforcement hooks in construction of a mixed-use building was not an occurrence, and did not result in covered property damage. Regional Steel was the structural steel subcontractor on a 14-story mixed-use project in North Hollywood, California. Regional supplied plans which were approved by the developer and its structural engineers for installation of steel reinforcements, including seismic reinforcement hooks, to be encased in concrete. During construction, City inspectors determined that the plans called for the wrong hooks, necessitating repairs to finished portions of the work and delays in further construction. This ultimately resulted in a lawsuit between the developer, Regional Steel, the concrete subcontractor, the structural engineer and a quality assurance inspector. The project was insured under a wrap policy issued to the developer, with Regional named as an additional insured. The court rejected an argument that the wrap endorsement fundamentally changed the insurance, and the issue boiled down to whether incorporation of the wrong hooks, the damage caused by tearing out concrete to replace the hooks, or the resulting loss of use, triggered coverage. Liberty asserted that no damage to property was alleged and the purely economic losses caused by the need to reopen the poured concrete to correct the tie hook problem did not constitute "property damage" within the meaning of the policy. Liberty further posited that the tie hook problem did not constitute an “occurrence” within the meaning of the policy because the alleged damage was not caused by an accident. Reprinted courtesy of Valerie A. Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Chris Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Read the court decision
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