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08.30.2018 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Effectiveness of Suit Limitations in Community Associations’ Governing Documents
Construction defects plague many buildings in Florida, leading to lawsuits against developers and contractors. Seasoned developers have tried placing limits on their liability in a variety of ways, including inserting provisions in associations’ governing documents to limit associations’ and owners’ ability to bring a lawsuit against the developer. While developers have been creative in coming...
06.19.2019 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Decoding (Mind-Numbing) Software Agreements: Part 2
In the previous blog update (Part 1), I promised to continue decoding densely worded End User License Agreements (EULA). As discussed in the prior blog, the EULA is the agreement containing the terms the user of a software program agrees to abide by in using the software. In this blog, I address security. First, an...
08.23.2018 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
A201-2017: A Brief Summary of the Differences a Decade Makes
As anyone who is taking the time to read this blog probably knows, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) construction contract forms are omnipresent. Which means you also probably know that in April 2017 the AIA released an update to its A201 general conditions form, last updated in 2007. While many of the changes were...
06.05.2018 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Gov. Signs Bill Easing Licensing Requirements for Rural Contractors
On April 3, 2018, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law HB 4144, which eases licensing requirements for construction contractors, especially those in rural areas. Under the new Construction Contractors Board rules, an individual with at least eight years of experience in the construction industry may apply for a new residential contractor’s license without having...
05.15.2018 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Oregon Pressures Small Towns to Self-Perform Building Inspections
Property owners and contractors alike dread at least one phase of the building process more than others: permitting. For many, obtaining a building permit or getting a set of building plans approved by the local building department can seem more like a trip to the dentist than a step toward a new house or commercial...
04.11.2018 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Adjusters may be personally liable under Washington law
The Washington Court of Appeals recently held that the obligation to act in “good faith” applies to the adjuster working for an insurer, not just the insurer that employed the adjuster. This rule not only permits insureds to go directly after the person at the insurance company responsible for denying a claim in bad faith,...
04.23.2018 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
In Washington, insurers can’t “unring the bell” after wrongful denial of coverage
For the second time in two months, a federal court in Washington state has rejected an insurer’s attempt to avoid the consequences of its wrongful failure to defend its insured by effectively changing its mind and later—in this case much later—offering a defense. In Rushforth Construction Co. v. Wesco Ins. Co., plaintiff Rushforth was a...
04.23.2018 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Identifying the Pitfalls and Landmines in Construction Contracts
A contractor often enters into a contract negotiation or bid process where there is little to no ability to negotiate the terms of the contract. It is for all practical purposes a “take it or leave it” deal.  Sometimes, this is a result of the owner’s or prime contractor’s unwillingness to negotiate. Sometimes, this is...
02.20.2018 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
In Washington, an insurer cannot refuse to defend, change its mind, and still expect to control the defense or avoid bad faith
A recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington again demonstrates the decidedly pro-policyholder nature of insurance-coverage law in the state of Washington. Like so many coverage cases, 2FL Enterprises, LLC v. Houston Specialty Insurance Co., arose from underlying construction-defect litigation. The insured, 2FL Enterprises, first notified its insurer, Houston...
12.29.2017 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Traps await the unwary in claims-made insurance policies
Under typical Commercial General Liability policies, which are triggered by an “occurrence” during the policy period, an insured can safely wait until being served with a complaint to notify the insurer about the litigation. But policies written on a “claims made” basis, such as many Errors and Omissions policies or Employment Practices Liability policies, raise...