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    Builders Association of Central Massachusetts Inc
    Local # 2280
    51 Pullman Street
    Worcester, MA 01606

    Cambridge Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

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    Local # 2200
    700 Congress St Suite 200
    Quincy, MA 02169

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    Local # 2220
    700 Congress St. Suite 202
    Quincy, MA 02169

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    North East Builders Assn of MA
    Local # 2255
    170 Main St Suite 205
    Tewksbury, MA 01876

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    Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Western Mass
    Local # 2270
    240 Cadwell Dr
    Springfield, MA 01104

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    Local # 2211
    65 Neponset Ave Ste 3
    Foxboro, MA 02035

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    Local # 2230
    9 New Venture Dr #7
    South Dennis, MA 02660

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    Expert Witness Engineer News and Information
    For Cambridge Massachusetts

    Contractor to Repair Defective Stucco, Plans on Suing Subcontractor

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    Leveraging from more than 7,000 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Cambridge, Massachusetts Expert Witness Engineer Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Cambridge'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.

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    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Comparative Breach of Contract – The New Benefit of the Bargain in Construction?

    October 26, 2020 —
    Ask most Florida Construction Law practitioners, and you will likely hear that liability may not be apportioned in “pure” breach of contract cases via the Comparative Fault Act, section 768.81, Florida Statutes (the “Act”). If a material breach is a “substantial factor” in causing damages, the breaching party must answer for all damages that were reasonably contemplated by the parties when they formed the contract. Claimants argue that matters of contract should be governed strictly by the agreement, and risk can be controlled by negotiated terms, including waivers and limitations. Defendants complain that construction projects are collaborative, multi-party affairs, and strict application of contract principles leads to harsh results for relatively minor comparative fault for the same or overlapping damages. The notion of apportioning purely economic loss contract damages based on comparative fault is not new. Since April 2006, Florida has been a “pure” comparative fault jurisdiction with limited exceptions. Prior to the amendment, tort liability for non-economic damages was purely comparative, but liability for economic damages was typically a combination of joint and several liability with an additional exposure based on comparative fault. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Steven Hoffman, Cole, Scott & Kissane
    Mr. Hoffman may be contacted at

    Fact of Settlement Communications in Underlying Lawsuits is Not Ground for Anti-SLAPP Motion in Subsequent Bad Faith Lawsuit

    August 24, 2020 —
    In Trilogy Plumbing, Inc. v. Navigators Specialty Ins. Co. (No. G057796, filed 5/27/20, ord. pub. 6/18/20), a California appeals court ruled that an insurance bad faith lawsuit alleging a variety of claim handling misconduct in defending the insured was not subject to an insurer’s special Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) motion to strike because, while the alleged acts were generally connected to litigation, they did not include any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a judicial body and, therefore, did not constitute protected activity under California’s anti-SLAPP statute. In Trilogy Plumbing, the policyholder was sued in 33 different construction defect lawsuits, some of which Navigators defended, and others which were denied or had the defense withdrawn. The Navigators’ policies were subject to a $5,000 deductible, and Trilogy alleged that Navigators breached the contracts by “demanding deductible reimbursement amounts greater than the policies’ $5,000 stated deductible, and by seeking reimbursement of ordinary defense fees and expenses as if they were subject to deductible reimbursement,” “claiming a right to seek reimbursement from Trilogy for defense fees and expenses Navigators paid for the benefit of third-party additional insureds,” “providing conflicted defense counsel who took instructions only from Navigators without disclosing conflicts of interest,” “failing to reasonably settle cases and by withdrawing [the] defense as a strategic means of trying to force Trilogy to fund its own settlements,” “misrepresenting its deductible provisions,” “refusing to account for deductible amounts it charges and collects,” and others. 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

    Appeals Court Rules that Vertical and Not Horizontal Exhaustion Applies to Primary and First-Layer Excess Insurance

    August 31, 2020 —
    In Santa Fe Braun v. Ins. Co. of North America (No. A151428, filed 7/13/20), a California appeals court relied on Montrose Chemical Corp. of California v. Superior Court (2020) 9 Cal.5th 215 (Montrose III), to hold that absent express policy wording to the contrary, horizontal exhaustion of all primary insurance is not required in order to trigger first-layer excess coverage. Beginning in 1992, Braun was sued for asbestos injuries from refineries it constructed and maintained. Braun had primary coverage and multiple layers of excess coverage for the relevant time period. After defending for years, the primary insurers reached a settlement under which they paid their limits into a trust which would fund the ongoing defense and settlements. Certain of the excess insurers settled and also contributed to the trust. 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

    Update to Washington State Covid-19 Guidance

    November 23, 2020 —
    Yesterday, November 15, 2020, Governor Inslee announced modifications to the current COVID-19 restrictions in response to the current rise in cases across Washington State. There are no additional restrictions on construction at this time. However, during the Governor’s press conference yesterday, he did indicate that positive cases were increasing on construction sites, and that they would be tracking the statistics over the next 2 – 3 weeks – to see if additional restrictions would be necessary for construction sites in the future. Additionally, the construction industry group is meeting with the Governor’s office today, November 16, 2020, and we will keep you informed of any changes as a result of that meeting. Unless otherwise specifically noted, the modifications take effect at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, November 17, 2020. All modifications to existing prohibitions set forth herein shall expire at 11:59 p.m., Monday, December 14, 2020, unless otherwise extended. If an activity is not listed below, currently existing guidance shall continue to apply. If current guidance is more restrictive than the below listed restrictions, the most restrictive guidance shall apply. These below modifications do not apply to education (including but not limited to K-12, higher education, trade and vocational schools), childcare, health care, and courts and judicial branch-related proceedings, all of which are exempt from the modifications and shall continue to follow current guidance. Terms used in this proclamation have the same definitions used in the Safe Start Washington Phased Reopening County-by-County Plan. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Brett M. Hill, Ahlers Cressman Sleight PLLC
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Court of Appeal Puts the “Equity” in Equitable Subrogation

    October 05, 2020 —
    Subrogation as a concept is well understood in insurance circles. According to the Institute of Risk Management Institute’s glossary of insurance terms subrogation is “the assignment to an insurer by the terms of [a] policy or by law, after payment of a loss, of the rights fo the insured to recover the amount of the loss from one legally liable for it.” In other words, if an insurer comes out of pocket for something someone else broke, the insurer can turn to that responsible party for reimbursement of its out of pocket costs. Typically, subrogation is, as stated in IRMI’s glossary of insurance terms, a matter of contract and the rights and responsibilities of parties are set forth within the terms of a policy. However, subrogation may, as stated in IRMI’s glossary, also be matter of law. And this is where equitable subrogation comes in. “Equitable subrogation,” according to IRMI, is “the right of subrogation granted under common law when one party has made a payment on behalf of another and becomes entitled to whatever recovery rights the other party has against a responsible third party.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at

    Another Way a Mechanic’s Lien Protects You

    September 14, 2020 —
    Here at Construction Law Musings, we have discussed mechanic’s lien law in Virginia on multiple occasions. We have discussed everything from the very picky nature of the perfection and enforcement of these liens to the changes that the Virginia General Assembly periodically makes to these requirements and how to defend against such liens. While the steps taken and content of a Virginia mechanic’s lien will be strictly construed by the Virginia courts, when perfected properly, a mechanic’s lien can and will put you as a construction company seeking payment in a better position than if no lien were recorded. The direct benefit is that you now hold a lien on the property on which you performed work that takes a priority (read will be paid before) any mortgage or other lien on that structure. In other words, if you, the bank, or the owner seeks to sell the property through foreclosure or otherwise, mechanic’s lien holders generally get paid first. While there are exceptions to be explored with an experienced Virginia construction attorney, this is the general rule and the power of a mechanic’s lien. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Interpreting Insurance Coverage and Exclusions: When Sudden means Sudden and EIFS means Faulty

    June 15, 2020 —
    EIFS, or Exterior Insulation and Finish System, is an integrated exterior insulation and synthetic stucco system, praised for its energy efficiency.[1] However, EIFS has come to be well known in the construction defect world as placing homes at risk due to a lack of a built-in moisture management system. Before long, insurance companies recognized the risk and began explicitly excluding coverage for EIFS-related damage. However, EIFS exclusions have not always been so clearly set forth in some policies, causing insurance coverage litigation. Recently, a Greenwood Village couple, Mark and Susan Mock, lost this fight. Built in 1994, the Mocks’ home was constructed with an EIFS system. The Mocks carried a homeowner’s insurance policy through Allstate, which covered “sudden and accidental loss” to property, but excluded coverage for “planning, construction or maintenance” issues. Such “planning, construction or maintenance” exclusions included “faulty, inadequate or defective designs.” A few months after a hailstorm, the Mocks discovered moisture-related damage to their home’s EIFS system. They reported the damage to Allstate, but Allstate would not cover it, reasoning that the damage to the EIFS system was excluded as a design and/or construction failure, and thus not covered as a “sudden and accidental” loss. The experts who evaluated the damage concluded it was the result of inherent flaws in the EIFS systems common in the 1994 timeframe, which involved long term moisture intrusion behind the cladding and no means for the water to escape. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Benjamin Volpe, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
    Mr. Volpe may be contacted at

    Charles Carter v. Pulte Home Corporation

    October 12, 2020 —
    In Carter v. Pulte Home Corp., __Cal.App.5th__(July 23, 2020), the California Court of Appeal affirmed the entry of judgment in favor of subcontractors in connection with a Complaint for Intervention based on equitable subrogation filed by Travelers Property Casualty Company of America (“Travelers”) seeking to recover defense costs incurred in defending Pulte Home Corporation (“Pulte”) in an underlying construction defect lawsuit. The parties’ dispute arose out of Travelers’ defense of Pulte as an additional insured under policies issued to four subcontractors involved in the underlying construction defect lawsuit. Several subcontractors involved in the underlying construction defect lawsuit refused to defend Pulte based on the indemnity clauses in their subcontracts. Such clauses promised to indemnify Pulte as follows: “all liability, claims, judgments, suits, or demands for damages to persons or property arising out of, resulting from, or relating to Contractor’s performance of work under the Agreement (“Claims”) unless such Claims have been specifically determined by the trier of fact to be the sole negligence of Pulte. . . .” Pulte eventually settled the construction defect lawsuit and its claims against all of the subcontractors. Travelers ultimately paid $320,491.82 for Pulte’s defense and recovered $164,400 from some of the subcontractors. Travelers’ intervention in the underlying lawsuit was intended to recover the remaining $156,091.82 from the subcontractors that refused to indemnify Pulte for the defense of the construction defect lawsuit. In the underlying trial, Travelers argued that the subcontractors were obligated to pay defense costs on a joint and several basis (minus what Travelers had already recovered). The trial court did not agree and held that Travelers was not entitled to equitable subrogation for the remaining defense costs. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Michael Velladao, Lewis Brisbois
    Mr. Velladao may be contacted at