In the recent decision of Carithers v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision that a general liability carrier had an obligation to defend a homebuilder and satisfy a $90,000 consent judgment, which had been entered against the homebuilder.
A recent case involving an engineering firm’s lawsuit for nonpayment against a Miami Beach condominium association illustrates the importance for contractors and engineers to file liens for work performed under a single contract as opposed to umbrella liens for services rendered under multiple contracts.
The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Construction Law Committee of The Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section’s 8th Annual Construction Law Institute took place in Orlando March 12-14, 2015, and I was privileged to have had the opportunity to work with The Honorable John W. Thornton, Judge of the Complex Business Division of the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, presenting “Expert Opinion Testimony in Florida: Navigating the Mine Field.”
During the 2015 legislative session in Tallahassee, the Florida construction industry will be keeping a close eye on the outcome for House of Representatives Bill 87 and the corresponding bill in the Senate that is expected to be filed. The bill was developed with the assistance of the South Florida Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, and it seeks to amend Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, to address several issues with the current construction defect notice process in order to help contractors to address these claims and avoid litigation.
A recent ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeal reiterates that Florida’s courts will favor arbitration when there is a clear arbitration provision in construction contracts, even if the contracts also include a jury waiver provision.In the case of Bari Builders, Inc. v. Hovstone Properties Florida, LLC, a condominium association sued the developer for construction defects, and the developer filed a third-party complaint against Bari Builders (its subcontractor). The subcontract with Bari included both a provision that the parties agreed to binding arbitration to resolve any claim as well as a separate provision stating that “the parties waive the right to jury and agree to determination of all facts by the court.”
The firm’s lawsuits alleging major construction defects against the developer, general contractor, architect and engineers behind Miami’s Quantum on the Bay condominium towers were the subject of an article by the Daily Business Review that appeared in the June 16, 2014, edition of the newspaper. The lawsuits allege that the defendants’ work resulted in hundreds of defects, including stucco and HVAC problems as well as inadequate drainage that has led to severe flooding in the community’s fitness center and loading dock.
(This article appears in The Dispute Resolver Blog from Division 1 of the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry – ADR, Dispute Avoidance and Litigation. Click on the link below to read the complete article).
Firm partners Michael J. Kurzman and Elisabeth D. Kozlow will be playing important roles at the Construction Defect Process full-day seminars taking place in Miami on Wednesday, May 1, and in Orlando on Friday, May 3. Michael will be serving as the co-chair and one of the speakers for these seminars, which qualify for 7.5 hours of continuing education credits for Florida contractors, engineers and attorneys, and 6.5 AIA LUs for architects. Elisabeth will also be one of the featured speakers, and she will be presenting the first session on the morning of the event titled “Construction Contract Terms Relevant to Warranty and Defect Claims.”
I recently had the honor of appearing as a special guest on the ArchiTalk radio show airing on 880-AM “The Biz” in South Florida on Mondays at 11 a.m. Local architects Sebastian Eilert and Jane Decker host the show, which focuses on what’s happening in the South Florida architecture world and beyond. Additional info on the show can be found at www.architalkradio.com.
The firm’s Steven Siegfried and Jason Rodgers-Da Cruz recently had the honor of co-authoring a chapter (Chapter 4) for the American Bar Association’s new Construction Defects legal manual, which is available for purchase from the ABA by clicking here. The 384-page manual provides an analytical guide to construction defect law throughout the United States. It covers key issues in the law and serves as a complete frame of reference for any construction defect case.