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Florida Construction Law Update

Category Archives: Construction

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Eleventh Circuit Affirms No Coverage for Cost to Repair Damage Caused by Subcontractor’s Defective Work

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Indemnification, Insurance

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals continues to find favorably for commercial general liability (CGL) carriers on coverage for damage to the completed project caused by the defective work of subcontractors. On July 11, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit decided J.D.B. Construction, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, No. 13-10138 (11th Cir. Jul. 11, 2014) (view the… Continue Reading

Construction Law Success Story: No Liability Arbitration Award for Bridge Contractor in Negligence Case

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Negligence

Cole, Scott, & Kissane P.A.‘s Construction Practice Group is proud to announce a very significant result it recently obtained for a client. Specifically, the firm’s construction law attorneys recently obtained a no liability / zero liability finding in a multi-million dollar arbitration in Ft. Myers on behalf of a bridge contractor in a negligence case.

Construction Law Trial Win: Complete Defense Verdict in Seven Day Jury Trial

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Developers

The Florida law firm of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. is pleased to announce that two of its construction lawyers (George Truitt and Greg Willis) obtained a complete defense verdict in a seven day jury trial in Miami-Dade County. Cole, Scott & Kissane P.A. represented a geotechnical engineer who was sued for professional malpractice by… Continue Reading

Implied Warranty of Fitness and Merchantability: Maronda Homes v. Lakeview Reserve

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Warranty

The Florida Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in the Maronda Homes case[1] and broadened the common law implied warranty of fitness and merchantability, also known as an implied warranty of habitability. Maronda Homes dealt with whether a developer’s common law implied warranty of fitness and merchantability extends to initial purchasers of residential property for… Continue Reading

Construction Law Trial Win: Complete Defense Verdict in Nine-Week Construction Defect Trial

Posted in Construction, Design-Build, Professional Liability

The Florida law firm of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. is pleased to announce that two of its construction lawyers (George Truitt and Dan Levin) obtained a complete defense verdict in a hotly-contested construction defect case after nine weeks of trial. The trial commenced on May 10, 2013, and finished on August 2, 2013.

David Salazar, George Truitt, and Kevin Schumacher Designated as Board Certified Specialists in Construction Law

Posted in Construction

The Florida law firm of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. is pleased to announce that three of its construction law attorneys, David Salazar, George Truitt, and Kevin Schumacher, recently received Board Certification in Construction Law from the Florida Bar. According to the Florida Bar, Board Certification is the highest level of evaluation of competency and… Continue Reading

Contractor Successfully Defends Fee Award – Offers of Judgment: How to oppose prevailing party fees pursuant to §768.79 and Rule 1.442(c)(3)

Posted in Construction, Florida Legislation

Florida law provides a conduit to obtain prevailing party fees where there is no other statutory or contractual basis to seek them.  This tool is generally referred to and recognized as an “Offer of Judgment” and/or “Proposal for Settlement”, as codified in Florida Statute §768.79 and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442(c)(3).  Both Plaintiffs and… Continue Reading

Economic Damages Post-Tiara

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Negligence

As we have previously written about here, the Florida Supreme Court has recently narrowed the scope of the economic loss rule in Tiara Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., 110 So. 3d 399, 407 (Fla. 2013).    In summary, the Court receded from prior rulings to the extent that they have applied the… Continue Reading

Legislative Update: Bills To Alter Florida’s Construction Lien Law Dies In Committee

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Florida Legislation, Lien, Subcontractors

Earlier this month, the Florida Legislature wrapped up its 2013 Regular Session. With its close on May 3, 2013, came the demise of legislation intended to make changes to Florida’s construction lien laws.  The legislation sought to: Revise the mandatory notice provision in contracts between owners and contractors [F.S. § 713.015 (1)]; Revise notice requirements… Continue Reading

Recent Application of “Betterment” Defenses – Getting No More Than You Bargained For

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Delays

It has long been the law in Florida that a Plaintiff alleging faulty design or construction is entitled only to the reasonable cost of bringing the structure back to its “original condition,” plus costs of business interruption and/or loss of use – i.e. “delay damages.”  See e.g. Grossman v. Sea Air Towers, Ltd., 513 So…. Continue Reading

CSK’s Capitol Report – Update on the Design Professional Limitation of Liability Bills

Posted in Architects, Construction, Construction Contracts, Design Professionals, Engineers, Florida Legislation, Professional Liability

As we have previously posted, we have been closely monitoring Senate Bill (“SB”) 286 and House Bill (“HB”) 575, which have moved quickly through their respective committees and chambers with little opposition.  On March 27, 2013, the Senate passed SB 286 by a 37 to 1 vote.  SB 286 was then substituted in place of HB… Continue Reading

Economic Loss Rule – A Narrowed Approach

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Negligence, Subcontractors

The Florida Supreme Court has finally taken the Economic Loss Rule head-on and has attempted to address an issue that has created much litigation.   On March 7, 2013, the Court released its opinion in the case of Tiara Condominium Association, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. , 2013 WL 828003, significantly narrowing the application… Continue Reading

CSK’s Capitol Report – Senate Bill 286; House Bill – 575

Posted in Architects, Construction, Construction Contracts, Design Professionals, Engineers, Florida Legislation, Professional Liability

Florida’s 2013 Legislative session kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday March 5, 2013. This legislative session, CSK’s Construction Law Division is closely following Senate Bill (“SB”) 286 titled Design Professionals and its identical companion bill in the House, House Bill (“HB”) 575.  Both bills were introduced and filed in January of 2013.  The bills intend to alter the… Continue Reading

Liability Releases with Warranty Repairs – A Proactive Defense

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals, Developers, Engineers, Insurance, Subrogation

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal recently issued an important opinion regarding a Developer’s and Contractor’s liability for claims by an Condominium Association’s property insurance carrier for a subrogation claim after the Developer and Contractor entered into a release with the Association pursuant to certain warranty repairs. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the… Continue Reading

Subsidized Housing Programs – Benefits for All

Posted in Construction

While people have competing views as to subsidized housing and who should bear the burden of funding said projects, the benefits to the communities which play host to such communities cannot deny the economic boost to the local economy and employment market. For instance, the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, by all accounts, is… Continue Reading

The “Fiscal Cliff” and the Construction Industry

Posted in Architects, Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals, Engineers, Florida Legislation

After a spirited election season and as we wind down toward the end of the year, the elected officials in Washington D.C. are in the midst of a strong debate regarding the tax increases and budget cuts that will begin in 2013.  Although the impact is largely debatable, discussions about the “fiscal cliff” are rampant… Continue Reading

Insurer’s Total Pollution Exclusion Valid According to U.S. Southern District of Florida Court

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Insurance

Due to the use of Chinese drywall in construction projects, there has been an advent of class action litigation against contractors and suppliers of Chinese drywall for personal injuries and property damage.  Recently, insurers have started the process to deny coverage for the contractors who installed Chinese drywall. Since the mid‐1980s virtually all Commercial General… Continue Reading

Florida’s Broken Lien Law Attorney Fee Statute Desperately in Need of Repair

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Lien

Florida’s Lien Law statute generally provides in Section 713.29 that the prevailing party in a lien foreclosure or bond enforcement action shall be entitled to its reasonable attorney’s fees.  The sense of certainty that appeared on the face of this Statute historically weighed favorably on a party’s evaluation of whether and how to prosecute or… Continue Reading

The Benefits of Written Arbitration Agreements in an Online World

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts

In an increasingly digital and cost-conscious business environment, many companies in the construction industry may desire to provide its terms and conditions for dispute resolution in arbitration to its customer electronically by posting those terms on the Internet, rather than providing a hard copy of same. This practice may also enable businesses to achieve better… Continue Reading

Massive Cost Overruns at World Trade Center Project – Unfortunate Situation for Contractors on a Meaningful Project

Posted in Bids, Change Orders, Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Delays, Subcontractors

Thousands gathered on September 11, 2012 at the World Trade Center site in New York, which marked the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Although the construction of the World Trade Center project is not nearly complete, the construction of the One World Trade Center, a 104-story building, has begun to fill the… Continue Reading

CSK Trial Win

Posted in Architects, Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Design Professionals, Engineers, Insurance, Uncategorized

George Truitt and Daniel Levin recently defended an architect and his firm against a claim by a homeowner relating to the design of the HVAC system in an 8,000 square foot, custom home on the Intracoastal Waterway in Miami, Florida.  The owner claimed that the system was deficiently designed so that it was not able… Continue Reading

A Federal Court Takes Soft Stance on Offensive Language and Conduct on Construction Sites

Posted in Construction, Contractors

Often times, sexual harassment in the workplace involves a male employee making inappropriate comments or gestures to another female employee. However, a construction site is a unique working environment and workers, unfortunately, use foul language and act inappropriately towards each other, as well as bystanders passing by the construction site.  Recently, a male construction worker… Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Districts: Florida Courts Split on the Application of Relation Back To Add Third Party Defendants As Direct Defendants After Expiration of the Statute of Limitations

Posted in Architects, Construction, Contractors, Negligence, Statutes of Limitations, Subcontractors, Uncategorized

The situation is a familiar one. An Owner of a completed construction project notifies the Architect and/or General Contractor of alleged construction deficiencies at a Project. Review by the Architect reveals that the alleged deficiencies, if true, relate to the work of its sub-consultants (or in the case of a General Contractor his subcontractors). The… Continue Reading