Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Colorado SB 15-177 UPDATE: Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee Refers Construction Defect Reform Bill to Full Senate

On March 18th, following a lengthy hearing with testimony and questioning for and against Senate Bill 15-177, the Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee voted 6 to 2 to refer the bill, with new amendments, to the full Senate.

While the main points of the bill remain strongly intact (check here for Senate Bill 177’s particulars), bill sponsors Senators Scheffel and Ulibarri offered four amendments, designed to bring additional compromise and clarity to the bill. The committee ultimately adopted these amendments, described below.

Amendment 16 removed a prior prohibition in the bill that would have prevented attorneys from assisting in the preparation of the notice required to be provided to all homeowners before the commencement of a construction defect claim.  Amendment 19 complemented 16 by providing further clarification regarding the contents and specificities required in said notice, including a disclosure of projected attorneys’ fees, costs, duration, and financial impact of pursuing construction defect claims. Amendment 17 permitted homeowners to approve the pursuit of construction defect claims through written consent.  Lastly, Amendment 18 provided clarification regarding the bill’s requirement that mediators and arbitrators be selected and approved through mutual agreement of the parties.

Senators opposing the bill sought to include several less clear amendments, including one which supported a homeowner’s purported “right” to a jury trial (a belief that actually runs contrary to Colorado’s and the United States’ Constitutions).  Although none of the opponents’ amendments were adopted, significant hurdles still remain for SB 177 on the Senate floor and beyond.  We will continue to monitor the progress and update you accordingly. 

For additional information regarding Colorado construction litigation, please contact David M. McLain at (303) 987-9813 or by e-mail at mclain@hhmrlaw.com.

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The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be construed as providing legal advice on any subject matter.