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March 2019

Construction Law Update

First Quarter 2019

Gordon & Rees' Construction Group is pleased to publish the latest issue of our Construction Law Update, a quarterly take on trends of interest to design professionals, contractors, and developers throughout the country.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE
  1. Certificates of Review in Colorado Construction Defect Litigation

  2. Condominium Conversions Defect Actions Under California Law: Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Defect Case

  3. Illinois Supreme Court Limits Reach of Implied Warranty Claims Against Contractors

  4. Gordon & Rees Construction Attorneys Making Headlines

  5. Gordon & Rees Construction Law Blog

  6. About Gordon & Rees' Construction Group

I. Certificates of Review in Colorado Construction Defect Litigation
     
By Daniel E. Evans and Kaitlin M. Marsh-Blake
   

The requirement to file a certificate of review early in a lawsuit is often imposed for the purpose of preventing frivolous professional malpractice actions and avoiding unnecessary time and cost in defending such claims. These statutory obligations vary between states and are often dependent on the type of professional named as a defendant. The certificate of review requirement, sometimes called an affidavit of merit, is often seen in the healthcare context, and does not always extend to other areas of professional negligence. For example, in Missouri, a certificate of review is required in any medical malpractice action, but not in actions against other licensed professionals. In Kansas, instead of an affidavit of merit, any party to the action may request a professional malpractice screening panel review the matter and determine if there was a departure from the standard of care. Construction defect cases often involve licensed engineers, architects, and surveyors. In Colorado, these individuals are state-licensed professionals and are subject to a certificate of review.

To read a full, expanded version of this article, click here.

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II. Condominium Conversions Defect Actions Under California Law: Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Defect Case
     
  By Brendan P. Bradley
   

Condominium conversions may present developers and contractors with both additional defenses and potential liability pitfalls when a defect action is subsequently alleged by an HOA. On the plus side for the converter, unlike new residential construction projects, California Civil Code Section 896, which is commonly referred to as “SB 800,” or the “Right to Repair Act,” does not apply. This means that violation of the performance standards for construction components contained in SB 800 is not an independent basis for recovery in a suit brought by the HOA.

To read a full, expanded version of this article, click here.

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III. Illinois Supreme Court Limits Reach of Implied Warranty Claims Against Contractors
     
  By Thomas G. Cronin
   

In a recent decision, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a purchaser of a newly constructed home could not assert a claim for breach of the implied warranty of habitability against a subcontractor where the subcontractor had no contractual relationship with the purchaser. Sienna Court Condo. Ass’n v. Champion Aluminum Corp., 2018 IL 122022, ¶ 1. The decision overruled Minton v. The Richards Group of Chicago, which held that a purchaser who “has no recourse to the builder-vendor and has sustained loss due to the faulty and latent defect in their new home caused by the subcontractor” could assert a claim of a breach of the warranty of habitability against the subcontractor. 116 Ill. App. 3d 852, 855 (1983).

To read a full, expanded version of this article, click here.

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IV. Gordon & Rees Construction Attorneys Making Headlines

San Francisco Senior Counsel Catherine Delorey will be moderating a CLE webinar panel titled, "3-D Printing: The Impact in Construction Today and into the Future," on April 11, 2019 for the ABA Forum on Construction Law. To register, click here.

Phoenix Partner John Condrey and Associate Kira Barrett will be presenting on April 16, 2019 at the Arizona Airport Association (AzAA) Spring Conference on “Failure to Comply: Aviation Legal Topics.” AzAA is a group composed of contractors, construction professionals and airport personnel who work at Airports in various capacities.

Charleston partners Vic Rawl and Hal Frampton presented a CLE titled, "The Nuclear Option and Class Actions," at the South Carolina Bar Annual Meeting on January 19, 2019. The presentation focused on class actions in the construction arena.

Los Angeles partner Brenda Radmacher authored "Balcony Bill" article published in the December 20 issue of the Construction Defect Journal. Her article, "SB 721 - California Multi-Family Buildings New Require Inspections of "EEEs," shed light on the new requirements for building owners associated with decks and balconies and the impact on the construction industry and those in the multi-family development field.

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V. Gordon & Rees Construction Law Blog

The Gordon & Rees Construction Law Blog continues to post new content addressing topical issues affecting the construction industry throughout the country. From analysis of new court decisions, discussions of timely legislation, and commentary on real-world, project-specific issues, Gordon & Rees’ Construction Law Blog provides insight on the issues that affect the construction industry now.

We invite you to visit the blog at www.grconstructionlawblog.com and see for yourself what we are up to. If you like what you see, do not hesitate to subscribe under the “Stay Connected” tab on the right side of the blog. There you can choose how you would like to be informed of new content (Twitter, LinkedIn, email, etc.). If you have any questions about the blog or would like to discuss further any of its content, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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VI. About Gordon & Rees' Construction Group

Gordon & Rees' Construction Group consists of more than 130 lawyers in offices nationwide. The firm continues to expand, opening a Williamsburg office in 2019 and five offices in 2018 which included Detroit, Louisville, Missoula, Nashville, and New Orleans.

Gordon & Rees’ construction attorneys focus their practice on the comprehensive range of legal service required by all participants in the construction industry – architects, engineers, design professionals, design joint ventures, owners, developers, property managers, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, product manufacturers, lenders, investors, state agencies, municipalities, and other affiliated consultants and service providers.

We serve clients who design, develop, or build all types of structures, including commercial buildings, single and multifamily residential projects, industrial facilities, universities, hospitals, museums, observatories, amusement parks, hotels, shopping centers, high-rise urban complexes, jails, airports, bridges, dams, and power plants. We also have been involved in projects for tunnels, freeways, light rail, railway stations, marinas, telecom systems, and earth-retention systems. Our experience includes private, public, and P3 construction projects.

If you have questions about this issue of the Construction Law Update or our nationwide construction practice, click here to visit our practice group page or contact partner Tom Cronin.

Thomas G. Cronin
Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani
1 North Franklin
Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 980-6770
tcronin@grsm.com

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