Archive for March 2015

Nevada Attempts to Curtail Frivolous Construction Defect Lawsuits

March 2, 2015

Earlier this week Republican governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada signed legislation that revised the statutory protections that Nevada affords to homeowners for construction defects.  The new legislation modifies a 1995 law that many critics argued created more ills than it cured.  That 1995 law required, among other things, that the losing side pay the prevailing side’s legal costs.  That law was enacted based on widespread complaints about shoddy construction in a rapidly expanding residential construction market in Nevada.  Unfortunately, experience under that law evidently sparked more and lengthier lawsuits and increased litigation costs rather than streamlining and paring down the claims.  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Nevada’s new law, effective immediately, eliminates the provision for shifting attorneys’ fees, requires homeowners to provide detailed descriptions of the defects and also mandates that claims go through a warranty process so builders have a chance to fix the defects out of court.  Not surprisingly, advocates for homeowners believe this is a win for the building industry that harms innocent homeowners by creating barriers to full compensation for damages.  Other states including Arizona, Florida, Colorado and Washington are also considering legislation to reign in construction defect litigation. A full text of the article in the February 26 Wall Street Journal can be found at http://www.wsj.com/articles/nevada-other-states-target-construction-defect-lawsuits-1424912880.

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