On June 16, 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed into law House Bill 87, which amends Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes. The amendment takes effect October 1, 2015.
The intent of Chapter 558 is to avoid the commencement of an action by providing a mechanism for the parties to enter into discussions with one another through pre-suit notices of claim. Prior to the amendment, Chapter 558 notices of claim were often ambiguous and were inadequately supported and documented. Further, these notices failed to provide the locations of the alleged defects, and were subject to change. Recipients of the notices were often forced to incur significant expense to determine the specific nature and locations of the claimed construction defects, some of which might not exist or were not in the scope of work of the party who received the notice. These circumstances were not conducive to settlement negotiations. Accordingly, an amendment was proposed to streamline alternative dispute resolution in for construction defect disputes.