Malka & Kravitz, P.A. - Your Construction Law Firm
South Florida Construction Attorneys
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January 2013 Archives

Unlicensed Contractors Take Another Hit

We have written many times before about the dangers, costs, and penalties associated with unlicensed contracting in Florida. "In order to protect the public and to prod contractors into obtaining the required licensing, the Legislature has, as a matter of state policy, greatly disadvantaged the contractor who chooses not to obtain the legally required license." Earth Trades, Inc. v. T & G Corp., 38 Fla. L. Weekly S35 (Fla. 2013). The Florida Legislature has gone to great lengths to protect the public from the dangers of unlicensed contracting. Enacting laws placing both civil and criminal penalties on those participating in such activities. Throughout recent years, Florida Courts have continued to move toward a harsher line towards the contractors engaging in such activities.  Read On . . .

Are Individual Design Professionals More Liable Than Their Employers?

In Witt v. La Gorce Country Club, Inc., 2010 WL 2292104 (Fla. 3d DCA June 9, 2010), La Gorce Country Club, Inc. ("Owner") had a project for an irrigation system for its golf course. Owner had discussions with ITT Industries, Inc. ("Contractor") regarding the project. Contractor introduced Owner to Gerhardt M. Witt ("Consultant"), a professional geologist licensed by the State of Florida. Consultant had his own firm, Gerhardt M. Witt and Associates, Inc. ("Consulting Firm"). Owner entered into a design-build agreement with Contractor and into various contracts with Consulting Firm for consulting services and project coordination. The agreements between Owner and Consulting Firm contained a provision that was intended to limit the liability of Consultant Firm and its subconsultants in the event of professional malpractice. The irrigation system was constructed and ultimately failed. Owner brought suit against Contractor, Consultant and Consulting Firm. One of the causes of action against Consultant and Consulting Firm was for professional malpractice.  Read On . . .

DO YOU KNOW YOUR CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT - Part I

Time and time again we meet with clients who are involved in a dispute with another party because one side thought they had agreed to one thing and the other party thought they had agreed to something else. These types of disputes can often be avoided by having a well-drafted construction contract. We often find that when a construction contract is not prepared or reviewed by an experienced construction attorney, the contract may be unclear or totally silent on very important issues. Sometimes, a single omission (either a clause not read or misunderstood) can result in a major financial loss. This article is part of a series of articles which are designed to identify several key clauses that every party to a construction contract should carefully review and understand prior to entering into a contract.  Read On . . .

LOW HANGING FRUIT - ELIMINATE LOW COST RISKS, ESPECIALLY WHERE THE BENEFITS ARE GREAT

Whether to put forth effort to reduce or eliminate unnecessary risks may be evaluated on a cost-benefit basis. In the context of insurance, the costs of reducing or eliminating issues that might interfere with your right to coverage are sometimes very low, while benefit of doing so is quite high. For example, in a previous article of ours which can be found here, we discussed the importance of timely informing an insurer of a claim. While the law is fairly liberal in protecting insureds in that area, the cost of timely informing the insurer of a claim is low, yet the failure to do so can be costly. In this article, we discuss the rigmarole (cost) an insured went through over the timing of submitting a proof of loss to his insurer.  Read On ...

Bad Preliminary Notices Can Doom You From The Start

Making certain to properly prepare your Notice to Owner or Notice to Contractor can be the difference between getting paid, and learning an expensive lesson. All too often, contractors seek to save a little bit of money and have their preliminary notices done on the cheap. Either preparing those themselves, or utilizing unreliable services to do so. More than ever, we are seeing claims lost as a result of such frugalness.

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