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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 Expert News and Information
    For San Diego California

    Sometimes a Reminder is in Order. . .

    Real Estate & Construction News Round-Up (08/10/22)

    Five New Laws to Know Before They Take Effect On Jan. 1, 2022

    The G2G Year-End Roundup (2022)

    Insurer Has Duty to Defend Despite Construction Defects

    General Release of Contractor Upheld Despite Knowledge of Construction Defects

    Assert a Party’s Noncompliance of Conditions Precedent with Particularity

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    Leveraging from more than 7,000 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the San Diego, California Building Expert Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to San Diego'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
    San Diego, California

    Suppliers of Inherently Dangerous Raw Materials Remain Excluded from the Protections of the Component Parts Doctrine

    December 02, 2015 —
    In Brady v. Calsol, Inc. 2015 No. B262028, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, reversed summary judgment for a raw materials supplier where there was a triable issue of fact as to whether the benzene levels contained in the supplier’s mineral spirits could have caused plaintiffs’ leukemia. Plaintiffs were mechanics Ernest Brady and David Gibbs, who used Safety-Kleen solvent to degrease automotive parts. Brady and Gibbs were diagnosed with leukemia allegedly caused by exposure to Safety-Kleen solvent during the course of their employment. In 2008, Plaintiffs sued Calsol, Inc., a distributor of mineral spirits for the ultimate manufacturer, Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc. Plaintiffs asserted negligence and strict products liability claims. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that benzene, a carcinogen found in mineral spirits, caused their leukemia. Benzene is only carcinogenic to humans at certain levels. The parties dispute the levels of benzene found in the mineral spirits supplied to Safety-Kleen. Calsol contended the benzene levels were present only in low concentrations. Plaintiffs alleged the benzene levels were capable of causing injury. Reprinted courtesy of Leah B. Mason, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Michael J. Worth, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Ms. Mason may be contacted at Mr. Worth may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    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

    Other Colorado Cities Looking to Mirror Lakewood’s Construction Defect Ordinance

    October 22, 2014 —
    The Denver Post reported that some Colorado metro communities “say they are ready to take a hard look at modifying Colorado's law on builder defects, which they blame for hampering new condominium construction amid the buildout of the region's 122-mile commuter-rail system.” Lone Tree has “scheduled a study session for Tuesday to discuss drafting its own construction-defects ordinance while a city councilmember in Englewood has put in a request that the city take up the topic.” According to the Denver Post, “Brighton, Broomfield and Centennial…also want to give the issue more attention.” Read the court decision
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    California Insurance Commissioner Lacks Authority to Regulate Formula for Estimating Replacement Cost Value

    April 15, 2015 —
    In Assn. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones ( No. B248622, filed 4/8/15), a California appeals court held that California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones lacked the authority to promulgate California Code of Regulations, title 10, section 2695.183, which set out specific requirements for estimating replacement cost as part of any application or renewal for homeowners insurance. The regulation was promulgated in 2010 in response to complaints from homeowners who lost their homes in the wildfires in Southern California in 2003, 2007, and 2008, and who discovered that they did not have enough insurance to cover the full cost of repairing or rebuilding their homes because the insurers’ estimates of replacement value were too low when they purchased the insurance. Reprinted courtesy of Valerie A. Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Christopher Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Ms. Moore may be contacted at Mr. Kendrick may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    No Coverage for Subcontractor's Faulty Workmanship

    November 28, 2022 —
    Finding faulty workmanship that did not cause property damage beyond the subcontractor's work, the court found there was no coverage under the CGL policy. Middlesex Ins. Co. v. Dixie Mech., Inc., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175190 (N. D. Ga. Sept. 27, 2022).  The case involved a construction project on Elba Island, Georgia. IHI E&C International Corporation (IHI) filed suit against Robinson Mechanical Contractors ("Robinson") for faulty construction work, including a pipe rack and process module installation. The pipe racks allegedly contained defective welds. Robinson filed a third-party complaint against Patriot Modular, Inc. (Patriot), Robinson's subcontractor, for faulty work for IHI. Finally, Patriot filed a fourth-party complaint against Dixie Mechanical, Inc. (Dixie), alleging it subcontracted with Dixie to perform fabrication, welding, testing, and inspection of pipes under Patriot's subcontract with Robinson. Patriot contended that to the extent it was found liable to Robinson for any defective work, delays or breaches of contract for Dixie's work, Patriot was entitled to recover such amounts from Dixie. In this case, Dixie's insurer, Middlesex Insurance Company, sought a declaration that it had no duty to defend or to indemnify Dixie. Middlesex contended that the claims of faulty workmanship in the underlying complaints constituted neither an "occurrence" nor "property damage." Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    Feds to Repair Damage From Halted Border Wall Work in Texas, California

    May 31, 2021 —
    With hurricane season fast approaching, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has begun repair of large breaches in a 13-mile section of Rio Grande flood barriers in Texas caused by Trump administration border wall contractors building on them—after local officials feared "extensive problems" with their integrity and threatened to bring in their own crews. Reprinted courtesy of Mary B. Powers, Engineering News-Record ENR may be contacted at Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    Where Breach of Contract and Tortious Interference Collide

    January 11, 2022 —
    Claims for breach of contract are numerous in the construction law world. Without these claims we construction attorneys would have a hard time keeping the doors open. A 2021 case examined a different sort of claim that could arise (though, “spoiler alert” did not in this case) during the course of a construction project. That type of claim is one for tortious interference with business expectancy. In Clark Nexsen, Inc. et. al v. Rebkee, the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia gave a great explanation of the law of this type of claim in analyzing the following basic facts: In 2018, Clark Nexsen, Inc. (“Clark”) and MEB General Contractors, Inc. (“MEB”) responded to Henrico County’s (“Henrico”) Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for the design and construction of a sport and convocation center (the “Project”). Henrico initially shortlisted Clark and MEB as a “design-build” team for the Project, but later restarted the search, issuing a second RFP. Clark and MEB submitted a second “design-build” proposal, but Henrico selected Rebkee Co. (“Rebkee”) for certain development aspects of the Project. MEB also submitted proposals to Rebkee, and Rebkee selected MEB as the design-builder for the Project. MEB, at Rebkee’s request, solicited proposals from three design firms and ultimately selected Clark as its design partner. From December 2019 to May 2020, Clark and MEB served as the design-build team to assist Rebkee in developing the Project. In connection therewith, Clark developed proprietary designs, technical drawings, and, with MEB, several cost estimates. In February 2020, MEB submitted a $294,334.50 Pay Application to Rebkee for engineering, design, and Project development work. Rebkee never paid MEB. Henrico paid MEB $50,000.00 as partial payment for MEB’s and Clark’s work. MEB then learned that Rebkee was using Clark’s drawings to solicit design and construction proposals from other companies. On July 23, 2020, Rebkee told MEB that Henrico directed it to cancel the design-build arrangement with MEB and Clark and pursue a different planning method. MEB and Clark sued and Rebkee for, among other claims, tortious interference with a business expectancy. Rebkee moved to dismiss the tortious interference claim. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
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    Unit Owners Have No Standing to Sue under Condominium Association’s Policy

    February 10, 2012 —

    If a condominium owner suffers damage caused by a leak from another unit, may it sue the insurer for the Association of Apartment Owner (AOAO) for coverage? The federal district court for Hawaii said "no" in a decision by Judge Mollway. See Peters v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148734 (D. Haw. December 27, 2011).

    Two cases were consolidated. In each case, Plaintiffs owned condominium units at the Watercrest Resort on Molokai. Water leaking from another unit damaged Plaintiffs’ units.

    Watercrest Resort was insured by Lexington pursuant to a policy maintained by the AOAO. Plaintiffs filed claims with Lexington. Lexington hired an adjustor.

    Unhappy with the adjustment of their claims, Plaintiffs sued Lexington and the adjustor.

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

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