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    Cowarts, Alabama

    Alabama Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: Although there is case law precedent for right to repair, Title 6 Article 13A states action must be commenced within 2 years after cause and not more than 13 years after completion of construction.

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    Home Builders Association of Dothan & Wiregrass Area
    Local # 0132
    PO Box 9791
    Dothan, AL 36304
    Cowarts Alabama Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Enterprise Home Builders Association
    Local # 0133
    PO Box 310861
    Enterprise, AL 36331
    Cowarts Alabama Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    South Alabama Home Builders Association
    Local # 0102
    PO Box 190
    Greenville, AL 36037
    Cowarts Alabama Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Metro Mobile Inc
    Local # 0156
    1613 University Blvd S
    Mobile, AL 36609

    Cowarts Alabama Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Baldwin County Home Builders Association
    Local # 0184
    916 PLantation Blvd
    Fairhope, AL 36532

    Cowarts Alabama Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of Alabama
    Local # 0100
    PO Box 241305
    Montgomery, AL 36124

    Cowarts Alabama Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Greater Montgomery Home Builders Association
    Local # 0164
    6336 Woodmere Blvd
    Montgomery, AL 36117

    Cowarts Alabama Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
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    Leveraging from more than 7,000 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Cowarts, Alabama Construction Expert Witness Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Cowarts' 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.

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    Cowarts, Alabama

    The Ups and Downs of Elevator Maintenance Contractor's Policy Limits

    October 03, 2022 —
    The December 2021 First Department decision in Nouveau Elevator Indus. v. New York Marine & General Ins. Co. is pushing some buttons in the elevator industry, given the significant implications it may have on the adequacy of policy limits for elevator service companies operating in New York state. The Court held in Nouveau that monthly elevator maintenance work performed under an ongoing service agreement is considered “completed operations” for purposes of applying policy limits. Specifically, the Court found that the per location policy limits are not implicated here, and instead held that the products-completed operations aggregate limit applies to completed work, which expressly includes “that part of the work done at a job site [that] has been put to its intended use.” Facts of the Case Nouveau provides elevator maintenance and service in the greater New York city region. Its work is done in multiple buildings and locations throughout the city. Nouveau purchased six commercial general liability (CGL) policies from New York Marine for consecutive one-year periods. Each of the CGL policies provides a liability limit of $1 million, with an aggregate limit of $2 million, per accident or occurrence. Reprinted courtesy of Richard W. Brown, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. and Sarah J. Markham, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. Mr. Brown may be contacted at Ms. Markham may be contacted at Read the full story...

    The G2G Mid-Year Roundup (2022)

    July 03, 2022 —
    Our mid-year roundup highlights the top-read Gravel2Gavel posts from 2022 so far. Our authors provided deep industry insights and summarized hot topics that addressed various legal implications and disruptions that affected the market, ranging from topics like investing in real estate metaverse to the clean hydrogen transition. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Pillsbury's Construction & Real Estate Law Team

    When Customers Don’t Pay: What Can a Construction Business Do

    June 06, 2022 —
    Late payments are not unusual in construction. From general contractors to subs and material suppliers, every construction project participant has dealt with delayed payments as part of business. However, there’s the issue of clients who refuse to pay. Not late--just no payment. For businesses big and small, a client who refuses to pay can make a significant impact financially and operationally. Many construction transactions are made on trust, and when a client doesn’t pay, some contractors and suppliers may make poor decisions. Yet, to get out of a project going sideways--with payment in hand or lessons learned--you need to be smart and proceed with your business interest in mind. Why is the customer not paying? This is where it begins. You must first identify the reasons why a customer refuses to pay. Were they unsatisfied with the quality of work? Do they feel that what was delivered was not aligned with what’s contractually obligated? Do they feel like the work was rushed or the materials used inferior? Was the job finished later than agreed? All these are possibilities that need to be investigated. If the customer has not volunteered any of this information, it’s best to personally visit the project or set a meeting with the customer to discuss issues in person. If the problems the customer has raised are valid, plan how to resolve them right away. Suppose, after the discussion, you’ve determined that the customer demands things beyond what’s contractually obligated, and you cannot resolve them without incurring unreasonable time and costs. In that case, you might have a delinquent customer in your hands. Let the customer know your decision. If you’ve decided to proceed and fix the issues they’ve raised, send the invoice for the unpaid work immediately upon commencing the remedial work. Of course, there is no guarantee that addressing their concerns will result in swift payment, so exercise your best judgment. If you think you’ve exhausted all the cordial means to get them to pay as the contract requires, you might need to consider your legal options. A legal option to recover payments: Filing a mechanics lien State laws protect construction providers like contractors and material suppliers from non-payment through lien laws. Mechanics liens work by placing a hold on the property where the work or materials were provided as a security in case of non-payment. Mechanics liens can result in a sale of the property where the lien is attached, and the proceeds will be used to pay unpaid vendors. When a client fails to pay after a good-faith pursuit to resolve the payment issue, filing a mechanics lien becomes the smartest next move. However, note that to file a mechanics lien, you must have fulfilled the requirements of lien laws specific to the state where the project is located. For many states, the main requirement is sending a preliminary or pre-lien notice to secure your right to file liens. It’s only good business practice to file preliminary notices for every project you work on. It’s not an indication of distrust in the client’s ability to pay–and that is mentioned in the wording of many statutory statements included in preliminary notices. It’s just industry standard to file prelim notices. Filing a mechanics lien includes a period where the client still has the opportunity to pay arrears before the lien is enforced. Suppose the client fails to pay in this period. You are now allowed to enforce the mechanics lien through a lawsuit. This is a complex process, but it presents itself as the last resort to recover payments. As long as all your documents are in check, you’ve filed the necessary notices in the time and manner required by law, and you’ve fulfilled your contractual obligations to the client, a ruling in your favor is the likely outcome. Promoting timely payments It’s in your best interest to promote timely payments from your customers. While construction contracts are primarily reliant on trust, there are many things you can do to encourage and facilitate timely payments from your clients. Here are some ideas:
    • Use detailed contracts and progress billing
    • Vet clients through background research, credit history, references, and public financial records
    • Send regular on-time invoices
    • Ensure your invoices are aligned with the formats used by your client’s payables department
    • Provide multiple payment methods
    • File the necessary preliminary notices throughout the project
    In the case of construction payments, the adage prevention is better than cure applies. There are many reasons why payments get delayed or skipped, some malicious, some not. It’s in your best interest to ensure that you are doing everything from your end to promote timely payments and that you’re fully protected by rights granted to construction businesses by law. About the Author: Patrick Hogan is the CEO of, where they build software that helps contractors and material suppliers with lien management and payment compliance. The biggest names in construction use Handle on a daily basis to save time and money while improving efficiency.

    U.S. District Court of Colorado Interprets Insurance Policy’s Faulty Workmanship Exclusion and Exception for Ensuing Damage

    August 15, 2022 —
    Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado interpreted a faulty workmanship exclusion in a property insurance policy in The Lodge at Mountain Village Owner Association v. Eighteen Certain Underwriters of Lloyd’s of London, 22 U.S Dist. Ct LEXIS 48883*, decided on March 18, 2022. The Court held that the faulty workmanship exclusion at issue extended to preclude coverage for later ensuing damage that arose from the faulty workmanship, even though the damage was weather related, because faulty workmanship was the primary cause of the ensuing damage. The claims in The Lodge at Mountain Village arose from maintenance work performed on log siding at three multi-unit condominium buildings in Telluride. The maintenance work to the log siding included staining, finishing, and chinking repairs to joints between the logs. About a year after completion of the work, The Lodge at Mountain Village Owners Association (“The Lodge”) notified the maintenance contractor that logs were extremely weathered and that its work was defective. The Lodge retained an expert who prepared a report stating that the log finish and underlying wood was deteriorating because of the contractor’s work and that some areas were not properly protected from exposure to snow, rain, and brine from ice-melting salt. The Lodge pursued and settled its claims against the contractor. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Carin Ramirez, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
    Ms. Ramirez may be contacted at

    Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans for Contractors: Lessons From the Past

    November 28, 2022 —
    There is no shortage of natural disasters to illustrate the importance of being prepared. Wildfires, hurricanes, winter storms and floods can hit a construction job site hard. Appropriate property-casualty insurance and surety bonds are necessary protections for a contractor and project owner. But the addition of well-thought-out continuity and disaster recovery plans will better position the contractor to deal with whatever Mother Nature brings. Consider Hurricane Katrina, the costliest hurricane to hit the United States. Pummeling Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi in August 2005, the storm led to 1,833 fatalities and an estimated $108 billion in damages. Levees meant to protect New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain did not hold, flooding 80% of the city. Utilities including power, water and sanitary sewers were severely damaged. Homes were destroyed. Roadways were closed. Communications systems were down. Contractors who had good business continuity and disaster recovery plans fared better than those who did not. Reprinted courtesy of Rich Sghiatti, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the full story...

    OSHA Announces Expansion of “Severe Violator Enforcement Program”

    November 15, 2022 —
    (October 28, 2022) - Employers beware! The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is significantly expanding its “Severe Violator Enforcement Program” (SVEP). Employers that are placed into the program by OSHA will be significantly scrutinized, with the potential for very damaging information about their failure to maintain a safe workplace being made public for customers, partners, and vendors to see. As the name suggests, the program is meant to identify, classify, and then stringently monitor employees deemed to be “severe violators” of the OSH Act. According to the OSHA website alert, to be deemed a “severe violator”, the agency must find that the employer has demonstrated “indifference” to the regulations by committing “willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate” violations. Reprinted courtesy of Kip J. Adams, Lewis Brisbois and Steven G. Gatley, Lewis Brisbois Mr. Adams may be contacted at Mr. Gatley may be contacted at Read the full story...

    Wildfire Insurance Coverage Series, Part 6: Ensuring Availability of Insurance and State Regulations

    August 03, 2022 —
    Because of the potential exposure associated with wildfires, many insurers have attempted to withdraw from the property coverage market in various states. In this post in the Blog’s Wildfire Insurance Coverage Series, we discuss the challenges businesses and individuals face in obtaining wildfire insurance coverage, and the regulatory scheme that is intended to help them secure adequate coverage. Given the increasing exposures associated with climate change, numerous insurers have sought to withdraw from the wildfire-related coverage market or increase rates to a level where they are effectively unavailable. States have been resistant to their doing so. As one commentator reports, “[e]ven where insurers have tried to withdraw policies or raise rates to reduce climate-related liabilities, state regulators have forced them to provide affordable coverage anyway, simply subsidizing the cost of underwriting such a risk policy or, in some cases, offering it themselves.” At least 30 states have developed regulation, referred to as “Fair Access to Insurance Requirements” (FAIR), to ensure the continued availability of insurance. The FAIR plan provides a channel to insurance for property owners who would be stuck without any reasonable access to insurance without state intervention. Reprinted courtesy of Scott P. DeVries, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Yosef Itkin, Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. DeVries may be contacted at Mr. Itkin may be contacted at Read the full story...

    Infrastructure Money Comes With Labor Law Strings Attached

    July 25, 2022 —
    The federal government has committed to spending $1 trillion under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on nationwide construction, alteration and repair projects. Billions of dollars have already been deployed on projects to improve highways, bridges, airports, electrical infrastructure and drinking water distribution, and the government is poised to spend the remaining funds on a massive infrastructure build-out over the next five years. While federal government contracts may provide a lucrative and reliable stream of revenue for construction companies, contractors must be prepared to comply with special requirements, particularly under the labor and employment laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). 1. The Davis Bacon Act Requires Payment of Prevailing Wages and Fringe Benefits The Davis Bacon Act (DBA) applies to most federally funded and federally assisted projects for construction, alteration or repair work. This law requires all contractors and subcontractors on a covered project to pay all “laborers or mechanics” the wages and fringe benefits that “prevail” in the locality where the work is being performed. The USDOL determines what the prevailing wages and fringe benefits are for each trade and publishes them in wage determinations that should be issued to all contractors on the project. Reprinted courtesy of Cheryl Behymer, Patrick M. Dalin & Collin Cook, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the full story...