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
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
As Florida’s 2016 Legislative Session approaches, two companion bills have been introduced – Senate Bill (“SB”) 316 and House Bill (“HB”) 297. These bills seek to address the interpretation and application of the statute of repose set forth in § 95.11(3)(c), Florida Statutes. Intended to impose finality on the availability of claims for latent defects, the statute… Continue Reading
After a 30 day trial, Mike Brand and David Salazar secured a complete defense verdict in Monroe County (the Florida Keys). Mike and David represented a general contractor who replaced 6 miles of a water pipeline on the median of the Overseas Highway. Plaintiff allegedly went into the median as part of an emergency maneuver… 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
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
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.
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
The 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.
Judge Jorge E. Cueto, sitting in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County, Florida, recently found the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act, as amended effective October 1, 2003, does not provide a “reasonable alternative remedy to the tort remedy it supplanted.” Padgett v. State of Florida, No. 11-13661-CA-25 (view the Padgett opinion). This ruling declares 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 summary judgment on behalf of a civil engineer in a professional malpractice claim.
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 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
Liens are a useful tool for contractors or subcontractors to obtain payment from the owners of construction projects in the event they are not paid for the work that has been performed. Under Florida Statute § 713.06, if the contractor is not in privity with the owner, the contractor must give notice to the owner… Continue Reading
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
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