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10.05.2018 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Florida Court of Appeals creates hurdles to assignment of benefits
Last month, the Florida Court of Appeals for the Fourth District weakened assignment-of-benefits claims after it held that an insurer may require all insureds and mortgagees to provide written consent prior to executing an assignment of benefits agreement. In Restoration 1 of Port St. Lucie v. Ark Royal Ins. Co., Liza and John Squitieri’s home...
09.27.2018 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Florida Supreme Court strengthens policyholders’ bad-faith claims
Last week, a divided Florida Supreme Court strengthened policyholders’ bad-faith claims against insurers by overturning an appellate court’s decision, finding that the lower court had misapplied Florida’s well-established bad-faith precedent and had relied on inapplicable federal case law. In Harvey v. GEICO General Insurance Co., James Harvey was involved in an automobile accident that resulted...
09.25.2018 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Recent Oregon Supreme Court Case Involving Medical Negligence May Have Far-Reaching Impact On Discovery In Construction and Design Defect Cases
Last month’s Oregon Supreme Court decision in Ransom v. Radiology Specialists of the Northwest, 363 Or 552 (2018) will likely have far-reaching impacts on how discovery is conducted in construction defect cases in Oregon. Ransom involved a plaintiff’s claim for alleged medical negligence case against two of the plaintiff’s former radiologists for alleged failure to...
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...