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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.

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

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    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
    For Seattle Washington

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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

    Are Housing Prices Poised to Fall in Denver?

    December 10, 2015 —
    Denver, Dallas, and Houston’s housing markets are rising too quickly and will soon hit “’bubble territory’” according to a housing market index by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University, reported the Denver Business Journal. "There is about a 70 percent chance that renters in Denver will get more wealth on average than buyers," Ken Johnson, a real estate economist at the university in Boca Raton, Florida, told the Denver Post. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Every Employer Should Know

    April 06, 2020 —
    Smith Currie provides this update regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as part of its continuing effort to monitor developments concerning the Coronavirus disease (“COVID-19”) and provide guidance as to potential issues that may arise in businesses across the United States. On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”), which contains provisions requiring certain private employers to provide paid leave to employees who cannot work because of Coronavirus, expanding Family and Medical Leave Act coverage, providing for federal tax credits to affected employers, and providing eligible states the ability to further fund their unemployment trust fund accounts. The Act is effective as of April 2, 2020 and will remain in place through December 31, 2020. Below, we provide a summary of the Act and several of its key components, including the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”), the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, and the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act. Reprinted courtesy of Smith Currie attorneys Donald A. Velez, Karissa L. Fox and Sarah K. Carpenter Mr. Velez may be contacted at Ms. Fox may be contacted at Ms. Carpenter may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Fungi, Wet Rot, Dry Rot and "Virus": One of These Things is Not Like the Other

    November 02, 2020 —
    The Hartford’s so-called virus exclusion in its commercial property forms is getting a workout, and policyholders now have an argument that may help their cases move past the pleadings stage. A U.S. District Court in Florida has deemed the exclusion ambiguous and denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss.1 The exclusion applies to “presence, growth, proliferation, spread, or any activity of ’fungi’, wet rot, dry rot, bacteria or virus.”2 The Court held that the parties did not necessarily intend to exclude a pandemic. In Urogynecology, the plaintiff sought coverage for the loss of the usefulness and functionality of its business location due to the Florida Governor’s shutdown order. The policy contained a 'fungi', wet rot, dry rot, bacteria, or virus” exclusion.3 The carrier moved to dismiss, and the plaintiff argued that the exclusion only applied if COVID-19 was present on-site, which was not the case. The Court addressed none of the issues regarding direct physical loss and instead decided the motion on the fungi exclusion. The Court held the exclusion ambiguous because the exclusion of virus “does not logically align with the grouping of the virus exclusion with other pollutants such that the Policy necessarily anticipated and intended to deny coverage for these kinds of business losses.”5 In addition, the Court stated that pollution case law was not on point because “none of the cases dealt with the unique circumstances of the effect COVID-19 has had on our society – a distinction this Court considers significant.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Hugh D. Hughes, Saxe Doernberger & Vita
    Mr. Hughes may be contacted at

    Barratt Said to Suspend Staff as Contract Probe Continues

    January 26, 2017 —
    Barratt Developments Plc suspended at least three more employees within its London business as part of an ongoing probe into potential misconduct in the awarding of contracts, according to two people familiar with the decision. The people asked not to be named because a police investigation is ongoing. The suspensions follow that of London regional managing director Alastair Baird, who was arrested in October. He was released on bail until April, along with a 47-year-old woman, according to a Metropolitan Police spokesman, who was unable to immediately respond to a request for comment. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Jack Sidders, Bloomberg
    Mr. Sidders may be followed on Twitter @JackSidders

    Order for Appraisal Affirmed After Insureds Comply with Post-Loss Obligations

    April 15, 2015 —
    The Florida Court of Appeal affirmed an order compelling an appraisal because the insureds complied with their post-loss obligations under the policy. State Farm Fla. Ins. Co. v. Cardelles, 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 2559 (Fla. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2015). The insureds suffered damage to their home after Hurricane Katrina on August 25, 2005, and again after Hurricane Wilma on October 24, 2005. After each hurricane, State Farm was notified. With the assistance of their public adjuster, the insureds submitted sworn proofs of loss for damages caused by each hurricane. After the deductible, State Farm paid $19,000 for the Hurricane Katrina claim and $13,000 for the Hurricane Wilma claim. The insureds repaired their roof and made minor repairs to their home with the State Farm payment, but claimed the payment was insufficient to fully repair the damage from the two hurricanes. Four years later, the insureds hired a second public adjuster, who submitted a supplemental claim to State Farm for $127,000 in damages. State Farm requested documents and an updated sworn proof of loss. The insureds did not submit any additional documents because they had not made any additional repairs without further payment from State Farm. The insureds did, however, allow State Farm to make a further inspection of the damages. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    Subcontractors Found Liable to Reimburse Insurer Defense Costs in Equitable Subrogation Action

    August 03, 2020 —
    In Pulte Home Corp. v. CBR Electric, Inc. (No. E068353, filed 6/10/20), a California appeals court reversed the denial of an equitable subrogation claim for reimbursement of defense costs from contractually obligated subcontractors to a defending insurer, finding that all of the elements for equitable subrogation were met, and the equities tipped in favor of the insurer. After defending the general contractor, Pulte, in two construction defect actions as an additional insured on a subcontractor’s policy, St. Paul sought reimbursement of defense costs solely on an equitable subrogation theory against six subcontractors that had worked on the underlying construction projects, and whose subcontracts required them to defend Pulte in suits related to their work. After a bench trial, the trial court denied St. Paul’s claim, concluding that St. Paul had not demonstrated that it was fair to shift all of the defense costs to the subcontractors because their failure to defend Pulte had not caused the homeowners to bring the construction defect actions. The appeals court reversed, holding that the trial court misconstrued the law governing equitable subrogation. Because the relevant facts were not in dispute, the appeals court reviewed the case de novo and found that the trial court committed error in its denial of reimbursement for the defense fees. The appeals court found two errors: First, the trial court incorrectly concluded that equitable subrogation requires shifting of the entire loss. Second, the trial court applied a faulty causation analysis – that because the non-defending subcontractors had not caused the homeowners to sue Pulte, thereby necessitating a defense, St. Paul could not meet the elements of equitable subrogation. Reprinted courtesy of Christopher Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Valerie A. Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Mr. Kendrick may be contacted at Ms. Moore may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Chinese Millionaire Roils Brokers Over Shrinking Mansion

    August 20, 2014 —
    Millionaire Hiroshi Horiike spent two years searching California for a dream home, one grander than any he could find in his native China. After visiting more than 80 properties in the Los Angeles area with an agent from Coldwell Banker, Horiike paid $12.25 million in cash for a four-bedroom, six-bath Tuscan-style mansion with a swimming pool, spa and guest house on 5.1 acres (2.1 hectares) overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There was just one catch. After settling in, Horiike found the Malibu home had less living space than he’d been told -- a third less. It had 9,434 square feet (876 square meters) instead of the 15,000 square feet shown in marketing brochures from the seller’s agent, who also worked with Coldwell Banker. Mr. Gittelsohn may be contacted at; Ms. Gullo may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of John Gittelsohn and Karen Gullo, Bloomberg

    New York Court Holds Radioactive Materials Exclusion Precludes E&O Coverage for Negligent Phase I Report

    October 30, 2018 —
    In its recent decision in Merritt Environmental Consulting Corp. v. Great Divide Ins. Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175527 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 10, 2018), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York had occasion to consider the application of a radioactive materials exclusion in a professional liability policy. Great Divide’s insured, Merritt Environmental, was hired as an environmental consultant by a bank in connection with a mortgage refinance of a property located in Westchester County, New York. Merritt’s responsibility was to prepare a Phase I environmental report concerning the property, which the bank ultimately relied on in agreeing to the refinance. It was later claimed, however, that Merritt’s report failed to document the full extent of the property’s radium and uranium contamination resulting from its use in the Manhattan Project. Merritt was named in two separate lawsuits as a result of its allegedly faulty report, including one by the bank alleging that Merritt negligently prepared its report. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Brian Margolies, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP
    Mr. Margolies may be contacted at