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    Seattle, Washington

    Washington Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: (SB 5536) The legislature passed a contractor protection bill that reduces contractors' exposure to lawsuits to six years from 12, and gives builders seven "affirmative defenses" to counter defect complaints from homeowners. Claimant must provide notice no later than 45 days before filing action; within 21 days of notice of claim, "construction professional" must serve response; claimant must accept or reject inspection proposal or settlement offer within 30 days; within 14 days following inspection, construction pro must serve written offer to remedy/compromise/settle; claimant can reject all offers; statutes of limitations are tolled until 60 days after period of time during which filing of action is barred under section 3 of the act. This law applies to single-family dwellings and condos.

    Building Expert Contractors Licensing
    Guidelines Seattle Washington

    A license is required for plumbing, and electrical trades. Businesses must register with the Secretary of State.

    Building Expert Contractors Building Industry
    Association Directory
    MBuilders Association of King & Snohomish Counties
    Local # 4955
    335 116th Ave SE
    Bellevue, WA 98004

    Seattle Washington Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Kitsap County
    Local # 4944
    5251 Auto Ctr Way
    Bremerton, WA 98312

    Seattle Washington Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Spokane
    Local # 4966
    5813 E 4th Ave Ste 201
    Spokane, WA 99212

    Seattle Washington Building Expert 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of North Central
    Local # 4957
    PO Box 2065
    Wenatchee, WA 98801

    Seattle Washington Building Expert 10/ 10

    MBuilders Association of Pierce County
    Local # 4977
    PO Box 1913 Suite 301
    Tacoma, WA 98401

    Seattle Washington Building Expert 10/ 10

    North Peninsula Builders Association
    Local # 4927
    PO Box 748
    Port Angeles, WA 98362
    Seattle Washington Building Expert 10/ 10

    Jefferson County Home Builders Association
    Local # 4947
    PO Box 1399
    Port Hadlock, WA 98339

    Seattle Washington 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 Seattle, Washington Building Expert Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Seattle'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.

    Building Expert News & Info
    Seattle, Washington

    New York Court of Appeals Finds a Proximate Cause Standard in Additional Insured Endorsements

    June 15, 2017 —
    In The Burlington Insurance Company v. NYC Transit Authority, et al., No. 2016-00096, the New York Court of Appeals issued a landmark decision with regard to the meaning of “caused, in whole or in part, by” in the additional insured context. In a split decision, the court rejected Burlington Insurance Company’s argument that the language implied a “negligence” standard, but held that coverage was provided to the additional insured only where the named insured’s acts or omissions were the proximate cause of the injury:
    While we [the majority] agree with the dissent that interpreting the phrases differently does not compel the conclusion that the endorsement incorporates a negligence requirement, it does compel us to interpret ‘caused, in whole or in part’ to mean more than ‘but for’ causation. That interpretation, coupled with the endorsement’s application to acts or omissions that result in liability, supports our conclusion that proximate cause is required here.[1]
    Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Geoffrey Miller, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
    Mr. Miller may be contacted at

    New Jersey Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Coverage Gap Dispute

    October 26, 2017 —
    On Tuesday, October 24, the New Jersey Supreme Court heard arguments in a 17-year-old battle over whether Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell) will have to help cover the costs of asbestos-related injury suits that were filed against it after insurers began to universally exclude coverage for asbestos-related liabilities. The Court considered the arguments made by two excess insurers, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. (St. Paul) and parent Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. (Travelers), that the Court should overturn a state appellate court’s ruling that Honeywell does not have to contribute to these costs. During the course of this case, Honeywell has sought coverage under more than 300 different policies, ultimately settling with all insurers except St. Paul and Travelers, who had issued a total of 10 excess policies to Honeywell’s predecessor, Bendix Corp. (Bendix) between 1968 and 1983. Honeywell has only sought coverage for claims made by individuals who allege that they were first exposed to asbestos prior to 1987. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Austin D. Moody, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
    Mr. Moody may be contacted at

    Reminder: In Court (as in life) the Worst Thing You Can Do Is Not Show Up

    September 28, 2017 —
    As long time (and possibly recent) readers of Construction Law Musings know, I am a Virginia Supreme Court Certified Mediator. In that capacity, I spend quite a bit of time sitting in general district court courtrooms in places like Goochland and Caroline Counties “court sitting” awaiting a referral from the judge of a case with parties ready and willing to take advantage of the mediation process. As I sit there wearing my mediator “hat,” I see case after case be called for the first return date. Without fail, several cases are called where the defendant fails to appear after being served with process. There are even a case or two where the plaintiff (the party that picked the return date in the first place) fails to appear. In the first instance, where the defendant doesn’t appear, the judge almost inevitably enters a judgment for the amount sued for by the plaintiff. In the latter instance, the case is dismissed without prejudice to the plaintiff with a shake of the head by the judge at the wasted time and filing fee. This post focuses on the first case. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christopher G. Hill, Law Offices of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Chinese Billionaire Developer Convicted in UN Bribery Case

    August 02, 2017 —
    A Chinese developer was convicted of charges he paid bribes to win backing for a United Nations conference center that he hoped to build in Macau. A jury in Manhattan on Thursday found the developer, billionaire Ng Lap Seng, guilty of all six charges he faced, including conspiracy, bribery and money laundering, in the biggest UN corruption scandal since the oil-for-food program in the early 2000s. Prosecutors claimed Ng funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to former UN General Assembly President John Ashe and other officials. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Bob Van Voris, Bloomberg

    Construction Materials Company CEO Sees Upturn in Building, Leading to Jobs

    November 05, 2014 —
    The Washington Post reported that Mesa Industries Inc. (a construction equipment and materials company), are "prepping for significant growth," which suggests that the construction industry is poised for growth. Terry Segerberg, CEO of Mesa Industries Inc., "is seeing enough nonresidential orders to suggest a sustained jobs recovery is underway in the industry — and in firms like hers that supply it." A Bureau of Labor Statistics report predicted that 1.6 million construction jobs will be added through 2022, according to the Washington Post. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Construction Defect Leads to Death of Worker

    January 28, 2013 —
    The family of a Florida man has received $2.4 million in damages as a result of his death. Victor Lizarraga was killed when a steel column fell due to the anchor bolts being improperly secured. The general contractor on the project, R. L. Haines, told subcontractors that the epoxy had sufficient time to cure. An OSHA investigation determined that the epoxy was not used properly. Mr. Lizarraga worked for a subcontractor on the project. Mr. Lizarraga and his coworkers were hired to erect steel columns. The epoxy failed, sending a 1,750-pound column down onto Mr. Lizarraga. According to the lawsuit, "due to the sudden and unexpected nature of this incident Mr. Lizarraga had no ability, opportunity or time to get out of the way of the falling column." Other parties in the lawsuit settled with the family. R. L. Haines was the only defendant to go to a jury trial. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Lease-Leaseback Fight Continues

    June 01, 2020 —
    It’s like the rematch between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. In the right corner we have the California Taxpayers Action Network. In the left corner, Taber Construction, Inc. The title in contention: Construction of California’s Lease-Leaseback Program and, specifically, whether a construction firm can provide both pre-construction services as well as perform construction or, whether doing so, would be an impermissible conflict of interest under the Lease-Leaseback Law. In their first appellate court match, California Taxpayers Action Network argued that a lease-leaseback arrangement between Taber Construction and the Mount Diablo Unified School District, whereby the District agreed to lease the site to Taber Construction one dollar (which is permissible) and to pay Taber a “guaranteed project cost” of $14,743,395 comprised of “tenant improvement payments” totaling $13,269,057 prior to the District taking delivery of the project (which was the issue in dispute) and six “lease payment amount[s]” of $345,723 plus interest paid in 30-day intervals, violated the Lease-Leaseback Law because the bulk of the payments by the District to Taber Construction occurred during construction rather than during the lease-term which could only “truly” occur after the District took delivery of the project. The 1st District Court of Appeal sided with Taber Construction, and in doing so created an appellate court split with the 5th District Court of Appeal’s decision in Davis v. Fresno Unified School District, 237 Cal.App.4th 261 (2015), which held that contractor who received all payments prior to turnover of the project to the district violated the Lease-Leaseback Law. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at

    No Global MDL for COVID Business Interruption Claims, but Panel Will Consider Separate Consolidated Proceedings for Lloyds, Cincinnati, Hartford, Society

    August 24, 2020 —
    In a widely anticipated ruling, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has denied two motions to centralize pretrial proceedings in hundreds of federal cases seeking coverage for business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Panel has ordered expedited briefing on whether four separate consolidated proceedings should be set up for four insurers – Cincinnati, Society, Hartford, and Lloyds – who appear to be named in the largest number of claims. In seeking a single, industry-wide MDL proceeding, some plaintiffs had argued that common questions predominated across the hundreds of pending federal suits: namely, [1] the question of what constituted ‘physical loss or damage’ to property, under the allegedly standardized terms of various insurers’ policies; [2] the question whether various government closure orders should trigger coverage under those policies, and [3] the question whether any exclusions, particularly virus exclusions, applied. Reprinted courtesy of Eric B. Hermanson, White and Williams and Konrad R. Krebs, White and Williams Mr. Hermanson may be contacted at Mr. Krebs may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of