The Third District Court of Appeal recently addressed the admissibility of expert testimony in a case involving the Florida Building Code (the “Building Code” or the “Code”), including the existence of any legal duty created under the Code, in Fuentes v. Sandel, Inc.[i] The underlying claim involved an unharnessed worker who fell through a skylight… Continue Reading
On July 20, 2015, diplomatic relations were officially restored between the U.S. and Cuba. Since that date, a number of significant political events have taken place. First, the U.S. reopened its embassy in Cuba on August 14, 2015. Next, on January 26, 2016, offices of the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Commerce announced new… Continue Reading
In Brock v. Garner Window & Door Sales, Inc., 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
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
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
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently rendered a decision in Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Elite Homes, Inc. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
We are pleased to report yet another appellate victory in a case George Truitt and Greg Willis of the firm’s Construction Group tried and Scott Cole and George Truitt of the firm’s Appellate Group defended on appeal.
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. and its potential impact on the construction industry. Their article will be appearing in the upcoming edition of The Lawyer Issue, an… Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
The Florida Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in the Maronda Homes case 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