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    Fairfield, Connecticut

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    Home Builders & Remo Assn of Fairfield Co
    Local # 0780
    433 Meadow St
    Fairfield, CT 06824

    Fairfield Connecticut Expert Witness Engineer 10/ 10

    Builders Association of Eastern Connecticut
    Local # 0740
    20 Hartford Rd Suite 18
    Salem, CT 06420

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    Home Builders Association of New Haven Co
    Local # 0720
    2189 Silas Deane Highway
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

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    Home Builders Association of Hartford Cty Inc
    Local # 0755
    2189 Silas Deane Hwy
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

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    Home Builders Association of NW Connecticut
    Local # 0710
    110 Brook St
    Torrington, CT 06790

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    Home Builders Association of Connecticut (State)
    Local # 0700
    3 Regency Dr Ste 204
    Bloomfield, CT 06002

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    Around the State

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    FAIRFIELD CONNECTICUT EXPERT WITNESS ENGINEER
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    The Fairfield, Connecticut Expert Witness Engineer Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 7,000 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Fairfield's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Expert Witness Engineer News & Info
    Fairfield, Connecticut

    Fifth Circuit Holds Insurer Owes Duty to Defend Latent Condition Claim That Caused Fire Damage to Property Years After Construction Work

    October 05, 2020 —
    Most general liability policies only provide coverage for “property damage” that occurs during the policy period. Thus, when analyzing coverage for a construction defect claim, it is important to ascertain the date on which damage occurred. Of course, the plaintiffs’ bar crafts pleadings to be purposefully vague as to the date (or period) of damage to property. A recent Fifth Circuit decision applying Texas law addresses this coverage issue in the context of allegations of a condition created by an insured during the policy period that caused damage after the policy expired. In Gonzalez v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 969 F.3d 554 (5th Cir. 2020), Gilbert Gonzales (the insured) was a siding contractor. In 2013, the underlying plaintiff hired Gonzales to install new siding on his house. In 2016, the underlying plaintiff’s house was damaged in a fire. The underlying plaintiff sued Gilbert in Texas state court alleging that when Gonzalez installed the siding in 2013, he hammered nails through electrical wiring and created a dangerous condition that caused a fire three years later in 2016. At the time Gilbert performed construction work, he was insured by Mid-Continent Casualty Company. Mid-Continent disclaimed coverage to Gonzales on the basis that the complaint unequivocally alleged that property was damaged in 2016 and there were no allegations that property damage occurred prior to 2016 or was continuing in nature. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Jeremy S. Macklin, Traub Lieberman
    Mr. Macklin may be contacted at jmacklin@tlsslaw.com

    Washington Trial Court Narrows Definition of First Party Claimant, Clarifies Available Causes of Action in Commercial Property Loss Context

    January 04, 2021 —
    The law in the State of Washington, albeit clear on issues regarding first party claimants, was recently challenged in the matter of Eye Associates Northwest, P.C. v. Sedgwick et. al. However, despite this challenge of first impression, the court limited the application of the term “first party claimant” (a term of art akin to “insured”) based upon the wording of a loss payee clause, as well as taking into consideration and harmonizing the wording of the leases, other provisions in the policy regarding tenant improvements, and the simple fact that Eye Associates was not named in the policy whatsoever. In Eye Associates, the plaintiff leased office space in a high-rise medical office building, insured by three separate insurance companies. A water loss caused damage to the plaintiff’s leased space, and the plaintiff brought suit against the owner of the building, its insurers, the property manager, a third-party administrator (TPA), and two individual adjusters assigned to inspect and adjust the water loss claim. Reprinted courtesy of Kathleen A. Nelson, Lewis Brisbois and Jonathan R. Missen, Lewis Brisbois Ms. Nelson may be contacted at Kathleen.Nelson@lewisbrisbois.com Mr. Missen may be contacted at Jonathan.Missen@lewisbrisbois.com Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Hawaii Federal District Rejects Another Construction Defect Claim

    November 30, 2020 —
    The Federal District Court, District of Hawaii, continued it long line of cases finding no coverage for claims of faulty workmanship. Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Summary Judgment RMB Enters., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200468 (D. Haw. Oct. 28, 2020). Property owners entered a construction contract with RMB Enterprises to develop and construct residential structures and a pond. The pond walls enclosed residential spaces, providing structural foundations for the walls of the building. After completion of the project, the pond leaked into its pump room. RMB performed remedial work by injecting epoxy into cracks. Later, water from the pondleaked into the interior of a residence near a staircase. Water also leaked into the master bedroom area causing musty odor, mood growth, and increased humidity. The owners sued RMB asserting breach of contract, breach of warranty, misrepresentation, and negligence claims. Nautilus denied coverage. The policy provided that faulty workmanship did not constitute an "occurrence." But when faulty workmanship caused property damage to property other than "your work," then such property damage would be considered caused by an occurrence. 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 te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Contractor Sentenced to Seven Years for Embezzling $3 Million

    July 20, 2020 —
    Michael Medeiros was not a good guy. Ok, on a scale of 1 to 10, maybe not a 9 or 10 (when you’re including guys like Charles Manson), but a solid 6 or 7 at least. The next case, People v. Medeiros, Case No. A155648, 1st District Court of Appeals (March 26, 2020), is less important for its legal holding than as a reminder that while most legal disputes on construction projects end up with one party owing the other party money, sometimes, when a party’s conduct has been really bad, it can end in a loss of liberty (i.e., jail time) as well. People v. Medeiros Medeiros was a painting contractor operating under the name Professional Painting Company, Inc. In the early 1990s, Medeiros met Susan Lambert, who served as the property manager for a homeowners’ association, Woodlake Association, in Hayward, California. Lambert was an alcoholic. Following a series of surgeries in 2005 and 2007 she became addicted to opiates as well. She also had a gambling problem. As a result, Lambert regularly found herself in financial difficulty. And this is where Lambert and Medeiros found that they shared common ground. At some point, Medeiros confided to Lambert that he was having cash flow and tax problems. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com

    Insured’s Bad Faith Insurance Claim Evaporates Before its Eyes

    August 03, 2020 —
    Sometimes it’s right there before your eyes. Then, poof, it’s gone. This was the experience of one insured, who brought a bad faith insurance denial claim against his insurer thinking that the facts were in his favor, only to discover they were not. The 501 E .51st Street Case The Water Main Break and AGI’s Report The owner of a 10-unit apartment building built in 1963, 501 East 51st Street, Long Beach-10 LLC (just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?), filed a bad faith action against its insurer Kookmin Best Insurance Co., Ltd., after it denied 501 East’s insurance tender following a water main break that caused the building’s foundation to subside. The water main break occurred sometimes between December 31, 2015 and January 2, 2016 next to the southwest side of the building. 501 East tendered its insurance claim to Kookmin on March 8, 2016, and in April 2016, presented a report prepared by American Geotechnical, Inc. (“AGI”) concerning damage to the building. According to the report prepared by AGI, AGI conducted a “limited geotechnical investigation” to “evaluate site conditions relating to the reported building distress following a waterline breach near the south end of the building.” The scope of AGI’s investigation was limited to “observation, photo documentation of the site conditions, [and[ floor-level survey of the interior of the first level units.” AGI’s investigation did not involve any subsurface investigation or soil testing. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com

    First-Party Statutory Bad Faith – 60 Days to Cure Means 60 Days to Cure

    October 19, 2020 —
    In a first party bad-faith lawsuit, such as a bad faith claim against an insured’s property insurer, there are three requirements that must be met before the bad faith lawsuit is filed: “‘(1) determination of the insurer’s liability for coverage; (2) determination of the extent of the insured’s damages; and (3) the required notice must be filed under section 624.155(3)(a).’” Fortune v. First Protective Ins. Co., 45 Fla. L. Weekly D2092a (Fla. 2d DCA 2020) (citation omitted). The third requirement is for the insured to file a Civil Remedy Notice (known as a “CRN”) as a condition precedent to filing a statutory bad faith lawsuit giving the insurer 60 days’ notice of the bad faith violation and to cure the violation, i.e., pay the claim if the violation is payment. A very common bad faith payment violation is the assertion that the insurer did NOT attempt “in good faith to settle claims when, under the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly towards its insured and with due regard for his or her interests.” Fla. Stat. s. 624.155(1)(b)(1). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com

    Landmark Contractor Licensing Case Limits Disgorgement Remedy in California

    November 09, 2020 —
    Contractors performing work in California are required to be licensed by the California State License Board (“CSLB”). Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §7065. Except for sole proprietors, contractors are typically licensed through “qualifiers,” i.e., officers or employees who take a licensing exam and meet other requirements to become licensed on behalf of the contractor’s company. Contractors who perform work in California without being properly licensed are subject to a world of hurt, including civil and criminal penalties (see, e.g., Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 7028, 7028.6, 7028.7, 7117, and Cal. Labor Code §§ 1020-1022), and the inability to maintain a lawsuit to recover compensation for their work. Cal. Bus & Prof. Code § 7031(a); Hydra Tech Systems Ltd. v. Oasis Water Park, 52 Cal.3rd 988 (1991). But arguably the worst ramification of not being property licensed is that established in Business & Professions Code Section 7031(b), which provides that any person who uses the services of an unlicensed contractor may bring an action for the return of all compensation paid for the performance of the work, commonly known as “disgorgement.” This remedy is particularly harsh (often described as “draconian”) because it makes no allowance for the fact that an unlicensed contractor will likely have already paid out the bulk of its compensation to its subcontractors, suppliers and vendors, but nevertheless can be ordered to disgorge all compensation. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Candace Matson, Sheppard Mullin
    Ms. Matson may be contacted at cmatson@sheppardmullin.com

    Massachusetts Clarifies When the Statute of Repose is Triggered For a Multi-Phase or Multi-Building Project

    December 07, 2020 —
    Lennar Hingham Holdings, LLC (“Lennar”) built a twenty-eight-building, 150-unit condominium project containing twenty-four discrete phases over a seven-year span. The condominium association subsequently brought an action against Lennar and others alleging design and construction defects to four main components of the common elements: “decks and columns,” “roofing/flashing,” “exterior walls/flashing/building envelope,” and “irrigation system.” In response, the defendants argued that the plaintiff’s claims with respect to six of the twenty- eight buildings were barred by Massachusetts’s six-year statute of repose, G. L. c. 206 § 2B. The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts previously held that all twenty-eight of the condominium’s buildings should be treated as a single improvement for purposes of application of the statute of repose. Subsequently, the court certified the following question to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Where the factual record supports the conclusion that a builder or developer was engaged in the continuous construction of a single condominium development comprising multiple buildings or phases, when does the six-year period for an action of tort relating to the construction of the condominium’s common or limited common elements start running? Reprinted courtesy of Jeffrey J. Vita, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. and Anna M. Perry, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. Mr. Vita may be contacted at JVita@sdvlaw.com Ms. Perry may be contacted at APerry@sdvlaw.com Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of