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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.

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    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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    The Seattle, Washington Building Expert Group is comprised from a number of credentialed construction professionals possessing extensive trial support experience relevant to construction defect and claims matters. Leveraging from more than 25 years experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to the nation's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, Fortune 500 builders, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, and a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Building Expert News & Info
    Seattle, Washington

    New York Appellate Division: Second Department Contradicts First Department, Denying Insurer's Recoupment of Defense Costs for Uncovered Claims

    March 01, 2021 —
    New York law has historically allowed insurers to recoup defense costs paid on behalf of an insured if there is ultimately no coverage for the underlying action, provided that the insurer reserved its rights to seek reimbursement. On December 30, 2020, the New York Appellate Division, Second Department declined to follow this longstanding principle in American Western Home Insurance Co. v. Gjonaj Realty & Mgt. Co.,1 by holding that the insurer was not entitled to recoup defense costs, even where it was determined that the claim was not covered under the insurance policy. In American W. Home Ins. Co., the insureds were named as defendants in an underlying personal injury action. More than four years after the accident, and a $900,000 default judgment against the insureds, they tendered the lawsuit to their commercial general liability insurer, American Western Home Insurance Company (“American”). American denied coverage based on untimely notice, but after the default judgment was subsequently vacated, it agreed to defend the underlying action subject to a reservation of rights. The reservation of rights specifically reserved American’s right to deny coverage if the vacatur of the default judgment against the insureds was reversed. Further, American reserved its right to recover the costs of defending the underlying litigation. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Jasjeet K. Sahani, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
    Mr. Sahani may be contacted at

    Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Limits The Scope Of A Builder’s Implied Warranty Of Habitability

    September 10, 2014 —
    In Conway v. Cutler Group, Inc., -- A.3d --, 2014 WL 4064261 (Pa.), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania addressed the question of whether a subsequent home buyer can recover from a home builder pursuant to the builder’s implied warranty of habitability, a warranty that protects those who purchase a newly constructed home from latent defects. Concluding that a builder’s warranty of habitability is grounded in contract, the Court held that a subsequent purchaser of a previously inhabited home cannot recover damages from a builder-vendor based on the builder-vendor’s breach of the implied warranty of habitability. The Court’s decision leaves unanswered the question of whether a purchaser who is also the first user-purchaser of a new home can pursue a breach of warranty action against a builder with whom the purchaser is not in privity of contract. In Conway, the Cutler Group, Inc. (Cutler) sold a new home to Davey and Holly Fields. The Fields subsequently sold the home to Michael and Deborah Conway. After the Conways discovered water infiltration problems in their home, they filed a one-count complaint against Cutler, alleging that Cutler breached its implied warranty of habitability. In response to the Conways’ complaint, Cutler filed preliminary objections, arguing that the warranty of habitability extends from the builder only to the first purchaser of a newly constructed home. The trial court sustained Cutler’s preliminary objections based on the lack of contractual privity between the parties and the Conways appealed the trial court’s decision. On appeal, the Superior Court reversed, stating that the implied warranty of habitability is based on public policy considerations and exists independently of any representations by the builder, and even in the absence of an express contract between the builder and the purchaser. Cutler appealed the Superior Court’s decision to the Supreme Court. To address the question of whether the implied warranty of habitability extends to a subsequent purchaser of a used residence, the Court discussed the history of the implied warranty of habitability in Pennsylvania. As stated by the Court, the Court adopted the implied warranty of habitability in the context of new home sales to reject the traditional doctrine of caveat emptor (buyer beware) because the purchaser of a new home justifiably relies on the skill of the developer. Thus, as between the builder-vendor and the buyer, the builder should bear the risk that the home he builds is habitable and functional. In adopting the doctrine, the Court noted that the doctrine is rooted in the existence of a contract – an agreement of sale – between the builder-vendor and the buyer. Reprinted courtesy of Edward A. Jaeger, Jr., White and Williams LLP and William L. Doerler, White and Williams LLP Mr. Jaeger may be contacted at; Mr. Doerler may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    BOO! Running From Chainsaw Wielding Actor then Falling is an Inherent Risk of a Haunted Attraction

    December 10, 2015 —
    In Griffin v. The Haunted Hotel, Inc. (filed 10/23/15; certified for publication 11/20/15), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defendant haunted attraction operator holding that the risk of a patron being frightened, then running away and falling is inherent in the fundamental nature of a haunted house attraction. The Court further determined there was no evidence the operator acted recklessly or unreasonably increased such risks beyond those inherent in the attraction. In October 2011, Plaintiff attended The Haunted Trail attraction, which featured actors in costumes jumping out holding prop weapons to scare patrons walking along a trail through Balboa Park. The Haunted Trail also employed a scare tactic known as the “Carrie” effect, in which the patrons walk through a fake exit and suddenly a chainsaw wielding actor appears and charges at the patrons for one final jolting scare. It was during this final scene of The Haunted Trail’s “Carrie” effect that Griffin became frightened by an actor brandishing a chainsaw causing him to suddenly run away in fear. As he was fleeing, Griffin fell and injured his wrist. Reprinted courtesy of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP attorneys Laura C. Williams, R. Bryan Martin and Lawrence S. Zuckerman Ms. Williams may be contacted at Mr. Martin may be contacted at Mr. Zucker may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Consumer Confidence in U.S. Increases More Than Forecast

    August 26, 2015 —
    Consumer confidence climbed more than forecast in August to the second-highest level in eight years as Americans held more favorable views of the labor market. The Conference Board’s index rose to 101.5 this month from a revised July reading of 91, the New York-based private research group said Tuesday. The gauge exceeded the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, whose median forecast was 93.4. The cutoff date for the survey was Aug. 13, before the recent stock-market sell-off. Americans remained emboldened by job gains, cheaper gasoline and rising home prices in the period leading up to a slump in stock prices as global financial markets took a turn for the worse. The risk for the economy is that households will reassess their spending plans as they wait for evidence the U.S. expansion can withstand such shocks. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Victoria Stilwell, Bloomberg

    White and Williams Ranked in Top Tiers of "Best Law Firms"

    November 08, 2021 —
    White and Williams has achieved national recognition from U.S. News and World Report as a "Best Law Firm" in the practice areas of Insurance Law, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Media Law. Our Boston, Delaware, New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia offices have also been recognized in their respective metropolitan regions in several practice areas. National Tier 1 Insurance Law National Tier 2 Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law National Tier 3 Media Law Metropolitan Tier 1 Boston Insurance Law Litigation - Insurance Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of White and Williams LLP

    2017 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

    March 01, 2017 —
    As a part of our 80 acts of Kindness commitment, Haight has registered a team to walk/run in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Event taking place Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Dodger Stadium from 7:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. We have a great group of partners, associates, and staff joining the Haight team to walk or run in support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. For over 30 years, the Foundation’s efforts have funded life-saving breast cancer research and provided support to the thousands of women and men battling the disease. For 80 years, Haight Brown & Bonesteel has been one of California’s leading full service law firms. To commemorate our 80 years in business, we are giving back to the community. Throughout 2017, we will demonstrate our commitment to those in need through 80 different acts of kindness. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP

    Defeating the Ten-Year Statute of Repose For Latent Construction Defects

    January 28, 2015 —
    It is an all-too-common scenario in California construction: Nine and a half years after completion of a major California construction project, immediately before the 10-year “statute of repose” for suing on “latent” construction defects expires, a lawsuit claiming damages for “recently discovered” latent construction defects is filed. The property owner sues the contractor for the alleged defects. The direct contractor sues all its subcontractors for indemnity and defense. The attorneys spontaneously generate. Experts proliferate. Claimed defects are extrapolated. Four or five years later, after a few dozen attorneys earn a small fortune in fees, the insurance companies make payments. Attorneys collect more fees. The owners take what remains. They repair nothing... and buy vacation homes. Perhaps a cynical view, but there are many in the construction defect world who would reach a similar conclusion. The question is: How can you defeat this seemingly inevitable chain of events? Under a case known as Brisbane Lodging L.P. v. Webcor Builders, Inc. 216 Cal.App 4th 1249 (2013) there may be hope. California Code of Civil Procedure sections 337.1 and 337.15 grant a 10-year “statute of repose” for bringing claims for “latent” construction defects. These statutes allow a lawsuit for such claimed defects to be filed in court up until ten years after the project has been completed. Latent defects are generally defined as those which are “not apparent by reasonable inspection” (CCP §337.15(b)). It is extremely common for such claims to be filed immediately before this 10-year deadline expires. When the lawsuit is brought, the cash register begins to ring. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Porter Law Group

    Virginia General Assembly Helps Construction Contractors

    June 10, 2015 —
    As reported last week at the Virginia Real Estate, Land Use and Construction Law Blog (authored by my good friend Tim Hughes (@timrhughes)), the Virginia General Assembly has passed an amendment to the jurisdictional limitations of Virginia General District Courts. The new statute, going into effect July 1, 2011, increases the jurisdiction of these courts to $25,000 from the present level of $15,000. Why is this a big deal? As a solo practitioner who represents contractors and subcontractors in cases big and small, this increase is a boon to my practice and the collect-ability of some debts. I think back to the numerous conversations I have had with clients who had bona fide claims for around $20,000. These conversations inevitably turned toward the cost of Circuit Court versus General District Court and whether it would be better to leave money out of the claim to avoid the ramped up attorney fee and filing costs (not to mention the time from filing to judgment). This conversation was especially relevant in the instance where the contracts did not contain an attorney fees provision. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christopher G. Hill, Law Office of Christopher G. Hill, PC
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at