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Is homebuilder’s contractual construction-defect pre-litigation procedure unenforceable due to its variance from statutory procedure, and unenforceable when used with subsequent home purchasers?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In The McCaffrey Group, Inc. v. Superior Court (filed 3/24/14) F066080, the trial court denied homebuilder McCaffrey’s “Motion to Compel ADR” brought in an action filed by real parties in interest who were the owners of 24 homes built by McCaffrey which allegedly contained construction defects. McCaffrey petitioned for writ of mandate to enforce provisions […]

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“Completed and accepted” doctrine absolves architect of liability for college theatre stairway fall.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Neiman v. Leo A. Daly Company, (filed October 30, 2012) B234537, plaintiff fell on stairs at the theater of Santa Monica Community College. She claimed she sustained injuries due to poor lighting and improper marked stairs at the main stage. She sued defendant, the architect who designed the theater and observed its construction. Defendant […]

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General contractor not liable for workplace injury claim of employee of subcontractor premised on negligent coordination of various subs

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Brannan v. Lathrop Construction Associates, Inc. (filed May 21, 2012, certified for publication June 12, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 7743, plaintiff was working for a masonry subcontractor at a school site when he slipped on wet scaffolding and injured his back. He sued defendant, the general contractor, on the theory that defendant negligently sequenced and […]

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Contractor Licensing Law revisited: triable issue whether contracting entity and licensed entity are one and the same

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Since the California Legislature amended Business & Professions Code section 7031, subdivision (e), to narrow the doctrine of substantial compliance with contractor licensing requirements, a contractor attempting to recover for construction work performed may no longer avoid the harshness of the bar against recovery by claiming lack of licensure was merely a matter of form. […]

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Factual issue of hirer’s negligent exercise of retained control in form of affirmative contribution renders reversal of grant of summary judgment

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Tverberg v. Fillner Construction Inc. (filed January 26, 2012) 2012 DJDAR, general contractor Fillner (defendant) was expanding the fuel pump area of a gas station. Two items of work involved the construction of a canopy and the erection of concrete posts to prevent vehicles from colliding with the fuel dispensers. Plaintiff Tverberg was the […]

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Contractor, licensed as individual, may recover for work performed even though he used varied business name

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Before any reader gets too excited with this caption, be aware that the California Business & Professions Code section 7031, subdivision (a) bar of compensation for contract work done by anyone other than a person or entity stated in a state-registered license is unaffected by the recent case discussed below. As I wrote in Opp […]

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Home Construction Defect Case Prelitigation Procedure Under California Civil Code Section 914 Backfires on Homebuilder Drafting Its Own Contract Provision

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In 2002, hoping to reduce construction litigation and the impact on housing costs, the California Legislature enacted Civil Code sections 895-945.5 that included a nonadversarial prelitigation procedure requiring home purchasers, who believe their home may be defective, to give the builder notice of the claimed defects and an opportunity to investigate and repair the defects […]

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Remodeling Construction Work Not Under California Statutory Exception for “Household Domestic Service” Concerning Employment Safety Requirements

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Cortez v. Abich ( filed January 24, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 1257, plaintiff was seriously injured while employed by an unlicensed contractor performing roof demolition, when he fell through a seemingly intact portion of the roof of homeowner defendants’ property while he was clearing debris from the portion of the roof already demolished. Defendants moved […]

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