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Florida Construction Law Update

Category Archives: Design Professionals

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Design Professional Limitation of Liability Law Approved by Governor

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

The Design Professional Limitation of Liability Act, that we have been following and discussing here and here, outlined in the version of SB 286 that ultimately passed both the Senate and House has been approved by Governor Scott.  Governor Scott signed the act on April 25th.  The act creates § 558.0035, Florida Statute, and will… 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

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

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

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

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

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

Insulating Design Professional from Individual Liability

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Design Professionals, Professional Liability

Since the mid 1980s, the design professional community relied upon Florida Power & Light Company v. Mid-Valley, Inc., 763 F. 2d 1316 (11th cir. 1985) as an accurate statement of Florida law allowing individual design professionals to limit their liability for professional negligence by contract. The design professional world was turned on its head with… 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

An Alleged Breach of a Promise to Deliver a Completed Condominium Is Measured From the Date of Filing A Surveyor’s Certificate of Substantial Completion, Not the Certificate of Occupancy

Posted in Condominiums, Construction, Construction Contracts, Design Professionals, Developers

Developers must take precaution when making promises regarding completion of construction, especially in light of new Florida case law holding that a claim against a developer for breach of promise to deliver a completed condominium is measured from the date of filing a surveyor’s certificate of substantial completion and not the certificate of occupancy. In Tranquil Harbour Dev., LLC v. BBT, LLC, 79 So. 3d 84… 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

Independent Engineering Firms Hired To Evaluate A Design-Build Contractor’s Work Had No Special Duty Toward That Design-Build Contractor

Posted in Construction, Design Professionals, Design-Build, Engineers, Professional Liability

A Florida federal court recently issued a favorable decision for design professionals holding that design professionals do not automatically owe a duty or obligation towards design build contractors. In Recreational Design & Const. Inc. v. Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., 10-CV-21549, 2011 WL 5117163 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 20, 2011), a design-build contractor sued independent engineering firms… Continue Reading

Competitive Bidding Statute Potentially Violated By Offer of Design Professional To Pay a $60,000 Commission on a Real Estate Brokerage Contract

Posted in Bids, Construction, Design Professionals, Professional Liability

A Florida federal court recently construed Florida’s competitive bidding statute to include an offer by a design professional to pay real estate commissions. Design professionals must be aware that various incentives offered in connection with professional services may expose the design professional to liability under the competitive bidding statute. In Community Maritime Park Associates, Inc. v. Mar. Park Dev…. 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