Guest post by Henderson Franklin’s Construction Chair, J. Matthew Belcastro, Esq.

HB911 is proposed legislation that would substantially revamp Ch. 558, Florida Statutes, by substantially doing away with pre-suit notice requirements and replace those requirements with mandatory non-binding arbitration to take place within 180 days of the lawsuit being filed.

Notably, the new provisions would apply not only to completed projects (like the current version) but also to ongoing projects.

Impact of HB911 on Florida Construction Defect Insurance Claims

For insurance carriers, the legislation would likely end any dispute as to whether the 558 proceedings constitute a suit or civil proceeding for which coverage must be provided because the claimant will simply be able to proceed with filing the lawsuit and invoke coverage from the outset. This, of course, would effectively eliminate the original purpose of Ch. 558 which was to facilitate resolution without the need for filing a lawsuit.

This proposed legislation has not been well received by our statewide construction lawyers legislative subcommittee and we have agree to recommend disapproval. We will keep you advised of any new developments. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at matthew.belcastro@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1205.

About the Author

BelcastroJ. Matthew Belcastro concentrates his practice in the areas of construction litigation, construction contracts, business and real estate litigation.  He also has an active appellate practice. He is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts, as well as in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Matt has been recognized for his work in the field of construction litigation by several publications, including Florida Trend Magazine‘s “Up and Comers” list, Florida Trend Magazine‘s Legal Elite and Florida Super Lawyers® magazine. He is also AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.