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    Home Builders & Remo Assn of Fairfield Co
    Local # 0780
    433 Meadow St
    Fairfield, CT 06824

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    Salem, CT 06420

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    110 Brook St
    Torrington, CT 06790

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    Building Consultant News and Information
    For Fairfield Connecticut


    Your Work Exclusion Applies to Damage to Tradesman's Property, Not Damage to Other Property

    Insurers Get “Floored” by Court of Appeals Regarding the Presumptive Measure of Damages in Consent Judgments

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    FAIRFIELD CONNECTICUT BUILDING CONSULTANT
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    Leveraging from more than 7,000 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Fairfield, Connecticut Building Consultant Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Fairfield's most acknowledged construction practice groups, CGL carriers, builders, owners, and public agencies. Drawing from a diverse pool of construction and design professionals, BHA is able to simultaneously analyze complex claims from the perspective of design, engineering, cost, or standard of care.

    Building Consultant News & Info
    Fairfield, Connecticut

    New York State Legislature Passes Legislation Expanding Wrongful Death Litigation

    July 18, 2022 —
    In early June, New York State Legislature passed legislation, often referred to as “The Grieving Families Act” (A.6770/S.74-A), which expands New York’s Wrongful Death Statute. This legislation is pending approval from Governor Kathy Hochul and has the ability to drastically impact wrongful death litigation by expanding how parties can bring an action, as well as expanding on recoverable compensation. Pursuant to the existing statute (EPTL §5-4.1), the statute of limitations requires commencement of an action within two years after the decedent’s death. The proposed Grieving Families Act expands the statute of limitations for a wrongful death action to three years and six months after the decedent’s death. Further, under the existing statute (EPTL §11-3.3), recovery in a wrongful death action is restricted to distributees (the intended beneficiaries under the will). The proposed legislation expands the parties permitted to bring a wrongful death action, replacing the term distributees with surviving close family members. These may include, but are not limited to, spouse or domestic partner, issue, parents, grandparents, step-parents, and siblings, leaving it to the finder of fact to determine which persons are close family members of the decedent based upon the specific circumstances relating to the person’s relationship with decedent. It remains to be seen what the burden of proof will be for the surviving close family members, as well as what process will be instituted with respect to the finder of fact. Presumably, the finder of fact will be a Judge. Reprinted courtesy of Lisa M. Rolle, Traub Lieberman and Justyn Verzillo, Traub Lieberman Ms. Rolle may be contacted at lrolle@tlsslaw.com Mr. Verzillo may be contacted at jverzillo@tlsslaw.com Read the full story...

    Massachusetts Business Court Addresses Defense Cost Allocation and Non-Cumulation Provisions in Long-Tail Context

    March 06, 2022 —
    A business court in Massachusetts has weighed in on two key issues affecting allocation of insurance coverage for long-tail liabilities in Massachusetts. Specifically, in Crosby Valve LLC et al. v. OneBeacon America Insurance Company, et al.,[1] involving asbestos bodily injury claims, Judge Kenneth Salinger of the Suffolk County Business Litigation Session addressed:
    • whether defense costs in long-tail cases were subject to the same pro rata allocation scheme the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) adopted to govern successively triggered insurers' indemnity obligations in Boston Gas Company v. Century Indemnity Company;[2] and
    • whether “non-cumulation” provisions, like those addressed by the New York Court of Appeals in Matter of Viking Pump,[3] were consistent with this pro rata allocation methodology.
    As to the first issue — i.e., allocation of defense costs — Judge Salinger declined to follow Boston Gas, and found the SJC’s holding in that case was limited to an insurers’ indemnity obligations. The SJC in Boston Gas had focused on the language of the policy insuring agreement, saying “[t]his policy applies to ... property damage ... which occurs anywhere during the policy period.” The SJC had also pointed to the policy definition of “occurrence” as “an accident, including injurious exposure to conditions, which results, during the policy period, in property damage neither expected nor intended from the standpoint of the insured.”[4] Reprinted courtesy of Eric B. Hermanson, White and Williams LLP and Austin D. Moody, White and Williams Mr. Hermanson may be contacted at hermansone@whiteandwilliams.com Mr. Moody may be contacted at moodya@whiteandwilliams.com Read the full story...

    Congratulations to BWB&O’s Los Angeles Office on Another Successful MSJ!

    July 11, 2022 —
    Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara, LLP is proud to announce Partner Daniel Crespo and Associate Stefon Jackson successfully argued and won a Motion for Summary Judgment (“MSJ”) for our client, a property owner of an apartment complex. Plaintiff was involved in a physical altercation with one of the tenants at an apartment complex owned by our client. Plaintiff alleged that our client had notice of a propensity for violence claiming that there were prior instances of contentious interactions between this particular tenant and Plaintiff. As a result, Plaintiff alleged that our client had a duty to prevent further interactions between Plaintiff and the tenant presuming that an act of physical violence was reasonably foreseeable. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Dolores Montoya, Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    Amazon Urged to Review Emergency Plans in Wake of Deadly Tornado

    June 20, 2022 —
    Amazon.com Inc. should better prepare workers for extreme weather events, according to federal regulators who investigated a deadly tornado strike on a company warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. The storm ripped through the facility in December, killing six workers and injuring several others, prompting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to launch a probe. At the time, Amazon said the facility complied with all construction regulations and that proper safety procedures were followed when the tornado struck. But several workers told Bloomberg that training for such events was minimal and mostly entailed pointing out emergency exits and assembly points. An OSHA report released on Tuesday echoed those concerns. The agency said a bullhorn that was supposed to be used to tell workers to take cover was locked up in a cage and inaccessible. In interviews with investigators, some employees couldn’t recall ever participating in emergency drills and said they mistakenly took shelter in a bathroom on the south side of the building rather than in designated restrooms on the north side. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Spencer Soper, Bloomberg

    Florida Condo Collapse Victims Reach $1 Billion Settlement

    May 23, 2022 —
    Victims of the South Florida condominium collapse that killed 98 people last year reached settlements totaling almost $1 billion with defendants including the developer of an adjacent luxury tower, engineers and a law firm for the condo association. The massive deal was cobbled together through multiple agreements before a state court hearing Wednesday in Miami, according to Harley S. Tropin, one of the lead plaintiffs’ lawyers who had sued on behalf of survivors and victims’ families. He said he disclosed the settlements in court. “We are pleased to have resolved this case with the defendants to get what we think is a very fair recovery to help end the litigation and allow the victims to attain some means of attempting to move forward from this horrific tragedy,” Tropin said in an emailed statement. The 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed June 24, triggering multiple lawsuits and prompting state and federal probes. A focus was the development of the Renzo Piano-designed Eighty Seven Park high-rise next door to the Champlain Towers. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Erik Larson, Bloomberg

    Parties to an Agreement to Arbitrate May be Compelled to Arbitrate with Non-Parties

    February 28, 2022 —
    In a recent case decided by Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals, David Terry Investments, LLC – PRC v. Headwaters Development Group LLC,[1] the court held that parties to an arbitration agreement can be compelled to arbitrate related claims with non-parties to the agreement based on the doctrine of equitable estoppel. The case involved six joint venture agreements to develop three separate properties in Spokane, two joint venture agreements per property. One entity, David Terry Investments, LLC – PRC (“DTI”), owned by David Terry, was a partner in each of the six joint venture agreements. DTI joint ventured with S.G. Spady Consulting (“SGSC”) and with Headwaters Development Group LLC (“HDG”) separately for each of the three properties. HDG owned the three properties, and SGSC was to provide construction management advice. Steve Spady was the principal of both HDG and SGSC. Stoneridge was a licensed general contractor, the principal of which was also Steve Spady. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Paul R. Cressman Jr., Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC
    Mr. Cressman may be contacted at paul.cressman@acslawyers.com

    Include Contract Clauses for Protection Against Ever-Evolving Construction Challenges

    May 30, 2022 —
    The first quarter of 2022 provided a valuable glimpse into some of the major issues the construction industry can expect to continue impacting jobsites for the rest of the year. Early in the pandemic, construction was not immune from the shut-downs that swept across market sectors. Workers were staying home to shield themselves and their families from the COVID-19 virus (and variants). This caused delays with construction projects and failures to meet negotiated benchmarks or deadlines. Contractors were left to wonder whether they remained obligated to perform under their contracts, or whether COVID-19 allowed them to invoke force majeure clauses. Over the past two years, there has been much debate about whether force majeure clauses encompass COVID-19 risks. Traditionally, force majeure is only invoked for significant weather events or natural disasters. Unsurprisingly, outcomes of legal actions regarding COVID-19 and force majeure varied by state and by contract. It didn’t take long for contractors to seek a more predictable and certain solution. Reprinted courtesy of Michael Henry & Kevin J. Riexinger, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Mr. Riexinger may be contacted at kriexinger@gllawgroup.com Mr. Henry may be contacted at MbHenry@tcco.com Read the full story...

    New Jersey Supreme Court Holding Impacts Allocation of Damages in Cases Involving Successive Tortfeasors

    March 28, 2022 —
    Newark, N.J. (March 21, 2022) - Late in 2021, the Supreme Court of New Jersey addressed the issue of allocating damages in personal injury cases in which the plaintiff asserts claims against successive tortfeasors, such as medical malpractice in the treatment of a slip and fall injury caused by negligence. The decision in Glassman v. Friedel, 249 N.J. 199 (2021) overruled and replaced the long-held principles established in Ciluffo v. Middlesex General Hospital, 146 N.J. Super. 478 (App. Div. 1977) regarding successive liability. Ciluffo held that, when an initial tortfeasor settles before trial, the non-settling defendants in a successive tort were entitled to a pro tanto credit for the settlement amount against any damages assessed against them. The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division in 2020, and the Supreme Court of New Jersey last year, abandoned that framework for one more consistent with statutory contribution law in the Garden State. In Glassman v. Friedel, 465 N.J. Super. 436 (App. Div. 2020), the Appellate Division held that the application of the principles in Ciluffo in a negligence case has no support in modern jurisprudence, thus limiting its application. It rejected the holding in Ciluffo in light of the state legislature’s enactment of the Comparative Negligence Act, which requires juries to apportion damages between successive events and apportion fault among the parties responsible for each event. The appellate division went on to hold that a non-settling, successive tortfeasor may present proofs at trial as to the negligence of the settling tortfeasor, and that the burden of proof as to the initial tortfeasor’s negligence being the proximate cause of the second causative event indeed lies on the non-settling defendant. In sum, the appellate division in Glassman established steps the jury can use to determine successive tortfeasor liability, but largely treated it as one, attenuated incident. Reprinted courtesy of Thomas Regan, Lewis Brisbois and Karley Kamaris, Lewis Brisbois Mr. Regan may be contacted at Thomas.Regan@lewisbrisbois.com Ms. Kamaris may be contacted at Karley.Kamaris@lewisbrisbois.com Read the full story...