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Florida bill would change construction defect claims

Filing a construction defect claim can be complex. Under a new proposed bill in Florida, construction defect claims would change the requirement for filing construction lawsuits that stem from defects. 

The bill would require defect claims be more specific by identifying all locations of alleged defects in the property to allow all parties to clearly locate the potential defects without creating any undue burden. 

The bill would also require that claims must name specific provisions such as building codes or project specifications that "serve as the basis of the claim for each alleged construction defect."

Not providing the required information would result in the claim being dismissed due to lack of evidence.

The proposed bill would also revise monetary sanctions on construction defect claims when the claimant pursues an action that has already been resolved or when the claimant still files a claim even though they knew the alleged defects were due to their own actions or that their claim was not covered by state law.

Some people have said that the proposed law favors builders and would make it more difficult for property owners to file construction defect claims in Florida. However, the stricter requirements to file a claim could mean claims that meet the requirements "will likely stand on firmer grounds."

Property owners and builders should be aware of the proposed bill because if it passes, it could have a substantial impact on construction defect claims in the future. If you are thinking about filing a construction defect claim, working with an attorney can help you understand your specific case and what options are available.

Source: The National Law Review, "Florida Senate Tightens Requirements for Construction Defect Claims," April 6, 2015

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