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Florida Construction Law Update

Category Archives: Construction

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Florida Appellate Court Holds Four-Year Statute of Limitations Applicable Irrespective of Contractor Licensure

Posted in Construction, Construction Licensing, Contractors, Florida Legislation, Statute of Repose, Statutes of Limitations, Subcontractors

In Brock v. Garner Window & Door Sales, Inc.,[1] Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected a novel attempt to circumvent Florida’s well-established four-year statute of limitations for all actions founded on the construction of an improvement to real property.  Plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract as a result of water intrusion damage… Continue Reading

Complex Business Litigation Court Upholds Design Professional’s Duty Defense under AR Moyer, Post-Tiara

Posted in Condominiums, Construction, Design Professionals, Engineers, Negligence, Professional Liability

David Salazar, Esq., a partner in Cole, Scott & Kissane’s (“CSK’s”) Construction Group, recently filed and argued a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (the “Motion”) on behalf of a threshold inspector in a complex, multi-party construction lawsuit. The general contractor on the project sued CSK’s client for, among other things, professional negligence. The claimed… Continue Reading

CSK Construction Group Prevails in Another Jury Trial

Posted in Code Enforcement, Condominiums, Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors

Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. (“CSK”), is pleased to announce another significant win after a three and one-half week jury trial in Key West, Florida, where George Truitt, Esq., and Daniel Levin, Esq., defended a general contractor (the “Contractor”) in a suit filed by a condominium association (the “Association”). In 2007 and 2008, the Contractor… Continue Reading

Federal Court Recently Finds No Coverage Under “Your Work” Exclusion

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Insurance, Subcontractors

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently rendered a decision in Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Elite Homes, Inc.[1] addressing the duty to defend when a “your work” exclusion exists in Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy. In Elite Homes, Joseph and Emily Crozier sued Elite Homes, Inc. (“Elite”) in state court… Continue Reading

Risks to Consider When Entering into a Coblentz Agreement

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Insurance

When entering into a consent judgment that purports to assign rights under an insurance policy, both the assignee and insurer should be cautious of various issues that could preclude coverage. Some of these issues include whether the insured was an additional insured under the policy, whether the judgment is for damage/loss covered under the policy,… Continue Reading

Don’t Plead Your Pass-Through CD Claims Out of Coverage

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

Failing to plead damage to other property, even in the face of record evidence supporting damage to other property, can result in a ruling that there is no duty to defend. In Florida, a commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurer’s duty to defend its insured is determined by examining whether the allegations in the complaint against… Continue Reading

Attorney’s Fees Constitute Covered “Court Costs”

Posted in Construction, Coverage, General, Indemnification, Insurance

In Mid-Continent Casualty Company v. James T. Treace, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D60c (Fla. 5th DCA Dec. 31, 2015), Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal recently held that attorney’s fees awarded to a Plaintiff in a construction defect action against an insured contractor were covered under a supplementary payment provision in a commercial general liability… Continue Reading

Amendments to Chapter 558 Become Effective on October 1, 2015

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals, Developers, Florida Legislation, Subrogation, Uncategorized

On June 16, 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed into law House Bill 87, which amends Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes.  The amendment takes effect October 1, 2015. The intent of Chapter 558 is to avoid the commencement of an action by providing a mechanism for the parties to enter into discussions with one another… Continue Reading

Construction Law Update: Date of Final Payment Integral in Evaluating Applicability of the Statute of Repose

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Design Professionals, Statute of Repose, Statutes of Limitations, Uncategorized

The Fifth District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida recently issued an opinion in Cypress Fairway Condominium Association, Inc. v. Bergeron Construction Co., Inc., No. 5D13-4102, 2015 WL 2129473 (Fla. 5th DCA May 8, 2015), directly addressing the issue of when a construction contract is complete for purposes of determining if a lawsuit… Continue Reading

Chapter 558: What Suits You May Not Suit Your Insurer – Florida Federal Court Determines that a Chapter 558 Notice of Claim Does Not Require Defense or Indemnity

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

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently issued an opinion in Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., No. 13-80831-CIV, 2015 WL 3539755 (S.D. Fla. June 4, 2015), addressing an issue of first impression.  In Altman, the Court evaluated whether an insurer has a duty to defend… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… 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… Continue Reading

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