Governor Rick Scott recently signed a new House Bill 87 which modifies some of the requirements of, Florida Statutes, Chapter 558 related to construction defects. The changes will take effect October 1, 2015. The original intent of Chapter 558, enacted in 2003, was to require compliance with a mandatory pre-suit process before claims for construction defects could be brought in court. As your Tampa construction lawyers we’ve put together some of the modifications that contractors should be aware of.
1. Section 558.002
Section 558.002 deals with the completion of a building improvement and will now include issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy.
2. Section 558.001
Section 558.001 revisions will now allow language that the pre-suit opportunity to cure the process is known as confidential settlement negotiations.
3. Section 558.004(1)(b)
Section 558.004(1)(B) concerns notice of claims. Going forward, construction defect claimants will now have to identify the specific location of each alleged construction defect, as well as the specific sections of the building code, project plans, drawings, specifications, or any other documentation that can serve as the basis of the claim for the alleged defect. The notice of the claim will now need to identify the preceding information adequately to enable the responding party to locate the alleged defect without unjust strain.
4. Section 558.002(15)
House Bill 87 also amended Section 558.004(15) to add certain documents to the list of documents that need to be exchanged upon receipt of a written request. The updated list now includes maintenance records and other documents related to the discovery, investigation, causation, and extent of the defect alleged, as well as resulting damages. However, as previously, a party may still assert a claim of privilege recognized under Florida law.
For additional House Bill 87 modifications to Florida Statutes Chapter 558, please consult with your experienced Tampa construction attorney.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.