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Florida Construction Law Update

CSK Attorneys Published in The Lawyer Issue

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Construction Licensing, Contractors, Indemnification, Negligence

David Salazar and Craig Distel recently published an article titled “Goodnight Contractors – Sanislo v. Give the Kids” analyzing the Florida Supreme Court’s February 12, 2015 decision in Sanislo v. Give the Kids the World, Inc.[1] and its potential impact on the construction industry. Their article will be appearing in the upcoming edition of The Lawyer Issue, an international publication providing updates to the legal and business community throughout the world.  The Sanislo opinion resolved a conflict regarding the enforceability of exculpatory agreements between the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth District Courts of Appeal and determined that the terms “negligence” or “negligent acts” are not necessary to have an enforceable exculpatory provision. To read more about the Sanislo decision and its potential impact on the construction industry, please follow this link: http://www.lawyerissue.com/good-night-contractors-sanislo-v-give-the-kids/.

[1] No. SC12-2409 (Fla. Feb. 12, 2015) (note: the final opinion has not been released for publication in the permanent law reports and until release, it is subject to revision or withdrawal).

Eleventh Circuit Pulls the Trigger on Injury-In-Fact

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Coverage, Duty to Defend, Indemnification, Insurance

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed Florida as an injury-in-fact trigger state in Carithers v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., Case No. 14-11639 (11th Cir. April 7, 2015).  However, the Court did not end the manifestation versus injury-in-fact debate, choosing instead not to address the appropriate trigger where it is “difficult (or impossible) to determine when the property was damaged.”

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Recent Revisions to Dewatering and Stormwater Generic Permits

Posted in Contractors, Engineers, Permits

The flow of construction stormwater legislation and rulemaking from Washington D.C. and Tallahassee has been steady in recent years.  With another construction boom underway in many parts of the state, stakeholders must remain vigilant of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (“FDEP”) regulations governing construction dewatering and stormwater runoff promulgated in February of 2015.

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Recent Case Law to Help Navigate Dual Employment in a Construction Setting

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Insurance, Subcontractors

Recently, the First DCA addressed the issue of dual employment as it relates to a contractor and subcontractor. See Roof Painting by Hartzell, Inc./Summit Holdings Claim Center v. Andres Hernandez, Colors Construction, Inc., and Guarantee Insurance Company, 2015 WL 641199, (Fla. 1st DCA 2015).

Dual employment occurs when a single employee is under a contract of hire with two separate employers. See Interstate Industrial Park v. Afterdeck Restaurant, 478 So. 2d 852, 854 (Fla. 1st 1985). Under the separate control of each employer, the employee performs services for each employer that are largely unrelated to the services it performs for the other.  Under the dual employment doctrine, two employers may be liable for workers’ compensation separately or jointly depending on severability of the employee’s activity at the time of injury. When the employee’s activities are separable and can be clearly identified with one employer or the other, the particular employer whose work was being done at the time of injury will be held exclusively liable.

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CSK’s Legislative Update – House Bill 501

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Florida Legislation, Statutes of Limitations, Uncategorized

In addition to HB 87 / SB 418, CSK also continues to monitor the progress of House Bill (“HB”) 501, entitled “Limitation of Actions,”  as it makes its run through the 2015 session of the Florida legislature.  The objective of HB 501 is to alter the current state of Florida law regarding the time within which claims may be brought for a latent defect in the design, planning, or construction of an improvement to real property. Simply put, enactment of the proposed Bill will decrease the statute of repose on construction-related claims in Florida from 10 years to 7 years.

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CSK’s Legislative Update – House Bill 87/Senate Bill 418

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Florida Legislation

Florida’s 2015 Legislative session kicks off on Tuesday March 3, 2015. This Legislative session CSK’s Construction Law Division is closely tracking the following bills:

• House Bill (“HB”) 87 titled Construction Defect Claims and a similar bill, Senate Bill (“SB”) 418; and
• HB 501 titled Limitations of Actions.

These bills, if passed, will impact the industry. This post focuses on HB 87 and SB 418.  A separate post will be dedicated to HB 501.

HB 87 and SB 418 propose to make drastic changes to Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, Florida’s “Notice and Opportunity to Cure.”  Continue Reading

CSK APPELLATE CONSTRUCTION WIN

Posted in Construction, Design Professionals, Engineers, Traffic

We are pleased to announce another significant appellate victory for Cole, Scott, & Kissane P.A.’s Appellate Practice Group.  Scott Cole, Esq. and George Truitt, Esq. obtained an affirmance of a complete defense verdict in favor a traffic engineer in a wrongful death case arising from a tragic motor vehicle accident at a signalized intersection that resulted in the death of a motorist.

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11th Circuit Finds No Coverage for Shipbuilder under Marine Engineering Firm’s A&E Policy

Posted in Architects, Coverage, Design Professionals, Engineers, Insurance, Professional Liability

On December 24, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit published an opinion finding no coverage for a shipbuilder under a marine engineering firm’s Architect’s and Engineer’s professional liability insurance policy.  Atlantic Marine Florida, LLC, et al. v. Evanston Ins. Co., et al., No. 13-11342 (to view the opinion please click here).

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Construction Law Success Story: Judgment Denying Lien Foreclosure Claim

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Lien

The Florida law firm of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. recently obtained a judgment following an October 2014 bench trial in Miami, Florida, completely denying the Plaintiff’s construction lien foreclosure claim.

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Engineering Malpractice Defense Verdict for Coastal Engineering Firm

Posted in Construction Contracts, Contractors, General

Example of DredgingThe Florida law firm of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. proudly announces another defense verdict in a construction case in which it defended Florida’s premier Coastal, Waterfront, and Dredging Engineering firm. View the Engineering Malpractice Trial Verdict. Continue Reading