Call us: 305.350.5300

Florida Construction Law News

24OCT 2016

Federal Court Ruling Bolsters the “Your Work” Exclusion in Standard CGL Policies

by Daniel E. Levin, Esq.

In Evanston Insurance Company v. Dimucci Development Corportion of Ponce Inlet, Inc., the United states District Court for the Middle District of Florida further clarified the standard CGL policy exclusion (L) – the “Your Work” exclusion, one of the several business risk exclusions in a standard CGL policy which insurers and insureds are most likely Read More…

02OCT 2016

Stealthy Arbitration Clauses In(Deed)

by Jennifer E. Lulgjuraj, Esq.

Subcontractors beware — the “boilerplate” arbitration clauses in those standard-form subcontracts used by large scale homebuilders may be broader, and ultimately more costly, than you realize. It is not unusual for a builder to require a homebuyer to arbitrate construction defect claims. Likewise, it is not unusual for a builder to include within its standard-form Read More…

16SEP 2016

Whether There is a Duty to Defend an Indemnity Claim Against an Employer That Arises Out of an Employee’s Injury

by Daniel R. Duello

Most, if not all, commercial general liability policies contain a workers’ compensation exclusion, which have been widely interpreted to exclude claims made by employees directly against their employers.[i] However, that exclusion can be avoided in certain circumstances where a party that was liable for the employee’s injuries seeks indemnity back against the employer, as outlined in a recent South Florida case.[ii]

Read More…
04SEP 2016

CSK Attorney Clay Whittaker Earns Board Certification in Construction Law

by David S. Harrigan, Esq.

Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. (“CSK”) is pleased to announce that Attorney Clay Whittaker has been recognized by the Florida Bar as a Board Certified Specialist in Construction Law. According to the Florida Bar, Board Certification is the highest level of evaluation of competency and experience within an area of law, as well as professionalism and Read More…

17AUG 2016

Eleventh Circuit Considers Whether the Chapter 558 Process Is a “Suit”

by Matan A. Scheier, Esq.

Recently, in Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed an issue of first impression.[1] In Altman, the Eleventh Circuit evaluated whether an insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify an insured who receives a Notice of Claim pursuant to Chapter 558, Florida Statutes (“Notice of Claim”). The Southern District of Florida previously ruled that a Notice of Claim did not constitute a suit, and thus, does not trigger a duty to defend and indemnify. The insured then appealed that ruling to the Eleventh Circuit, which ruled that the terms “suit” and “civil proceeding,” as found in the subject Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policies, may be ambiguous as used in the policies.[2] Due to important public policy considerations, the Eleventh Circuit certified the following question to the Florida Supreme Court: “Is the notice and repair process set forth in Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes a ‘suit’ within the meaning of the GCL policies issued by C&F to ACI?”[3]

Read More…
03AUG 2016

Florida Appellate Court Limits Prejudgment Interest Claims

by Rochelle B. Chiocca, Esq.

The First District Court of Appeal recently addressed the standard to apply in calculating prejudgment interest. In Arizona Chemical Company, LLC. v. Mohawk Industries, Inc., 41 Fla. L. Weekly D1662 (Fla. 1st DCA July 18, 2016), the First District found that the trial court erred in awarding prejudgment interest for periods earlier than the dates the Plaintiff “suffered the pecuniary losses for which the jury awarded damages.”

Read More…
14JUL 2016

What are the Potential Damages when a House is a Lemon?

by Haldon L. Greenberg, Esq.

It seems that lemons are front page news these days.   Beyonce just released a chart-topping[1] album all about what to do when life hands you lemons. In today’s vernacular, we use the term “Lemon” to describe a person or thing that is unsatisfactory, disappointing, or feeble.[2] In Florida, there is a “Lemon Law” that provides a way for consumers to receive a replacement or full refund for vehicles found to have defects which may affect the vehicle’s safety, value or use.

Read More…
01JUL 2016

Florida Appellate Court Holds Four-Year Statute of Limitations Applicable Irrespective of Contractor Licensure

by Clay H. Whittaker, Esq.

In Brock v. Garner Window & Door Sales, Inc.,[1] 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 Read More…

15JUN 2016

Striking Building Code “Experts”

by John A. Chiocca, Esq.

  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.[1]   The underlying claim involved an unharnessed worker who fell through a Read More…

01JUN 2016

Cuba: Construction Boom Potential for U.S. Construction Companies and Equipment Manufacturers?

by Sanjo S. Shatley, Esq.

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 Read More…