Header graphic for print
Florida Construction Law Update

Category Archives: Contractors

Subscribe to Contractors RSS Feed

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

Notices to Owner Under Florida’s Lien Statute

Posted in Construction Contracts, Contractors, Lien, Subcontractors

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Slavin Doctrine is Alive and Well – Ask CSK’s Clients!

Posted in Architects, Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals, Engineers, Professional Liability, Subcontractors

Cole, Scott and Kissane (“CSK”) recently won two very significant personal injury cases arising from construction projects on behalf of design professionals based on the Slavin Doctrine.  The Slavin doctrine prevents an injured Plaintiff from holding a contractor liable for injuries caused by a patent, or obvious, defect in construction after control of the property… Continue Reading

Appellate Rights for Arbitration Litigants

Posted in Architects, Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Design Professionals, Developers, Engineers, Subcontractors

            As those in the industry are aware, the standard AIA documents – as well many of the other form contracts in construction – include arbitration provisions, the result of which is that many construction matters are litigated in arbitration fora. While arbitration is theoretically not as expensive a means of dispute resolution as the… Continue Reading

Bid Shopping Still in Vogue, Ask the Subcontractor

Posted in Architects, Bids, Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Subcontractors

            The crude reality for most construction subcontractors is that after expending much time, effort and resources in preparing the lowest bid for a general contractor that is, itself, bidding a construction project, the general contractor will take the lowest subcontractor bid and go bid shopping after it is awarded the contract. A subcontractor’s conditional… Continue Reading

S.O.L on Claims Against Subcontractors for Latent Defects

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Statutes of Limitations

The case of Joel and Marcia Hochberg v. Thomas Carter Painting, Inc., 36 Fla.L. Weekly D1200f, addresses the point of time at which the statute of limitations begins to run in latent defects cases.  In 2000, homeowners, Joel and Marcia Hochberg, hired a general contractor to construct a new home for them, and the general contractor… Continue Reading

The Dark Side of Building Green

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals

Building green is the practice of reducing the negative effects construction has on the environment by increasing the efficiency with which buildings use and consume resources (energy, water, and materials). In addition to reducing the impact the building has on the environment, green building is also intended to reduce the project’s impact on human health… Continue Reading

Contractor’s Home Office Overhead Likely Unrecoverable

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Delays, Subcontractors

When public construction projects are delayed by the government, contractors are often unable to bid on additional jobs and perform other work during the delay period. As a result, contractors often seek damages from the government for extended home office overhead during this delay, commonly referred to as Eichleay damages. However, courts have continually limited contractors’ ability to recover these costs by imposing burdensome requirements, which… Continue Reading

Difficulties a Contractor Faces When Dealing with Change Work

Posted in Architects, Change Orders, Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Design Professionals, Professional Liability, Subcontractors

The Magazine of University of Florida’s School of Building Construction recently published an article written by David Salazar. The article is a primer on the difficulties a contractor faces when dealing with change order work. Additionally, the article sets forth the inevitable problems a contractor encounters and provides some risk management tips that can help… Continue Reading

A Florida Federal Trial Court Suggests That Contribution Between Comparatively At-Fault Parties Is Obsolete

Posted in Architects, Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals, Developers, Engineers, Indemnification, Professional Liability, Subcontractors, Subrogation

Is the cause of action for Contribution still a viable claim? A recent federal court suggested that Contribution between comparatively at-fault parties is no longer a viable claim in light of the availability of comparative fault defenses to liability. In Mendez-Garcia v. Galaxie Corp., 8:10-CV-788-T-24 EAJ, 2011 WL 5358658 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 3, 2011), the… Continue Reading

Sixty Years of Potential Liability? – Long Term Contracts and Florida’s Statute of Repose

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals, Design-Build, Professional Liability, Public-Private Partnerships

Design-Build Operation and Maintenance Concession Agreements through public-private partnerships are becoming more common for major infrastructure improvement projects. Florida courts have recently ruled that design professionals and contractors participating in the design-build portion of those types of projects may be exposed to several decades of exposure to liability after their respective services and work have… Continue Reading