Consumer Attorney Thomas E. Miller Available as Media Commentator On Supreme Court Decision Limiting Homeowners to Sue for Negligence
Agrees With Chief Justice and Urges Consumer Protection Immediately
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomas E. Miller, Newport Beach construction defect attorney and the author of "Handling Construction Defect Claims -- Western States," declares that the California Supreme Court Decision Monday, which said that homeowners can no longer sue builders for negligence in California unless construction defects have caused property damage or personal injury, is anti-consumer. Pure economic damage includes the amount and costs to repair items, such as lack of firewalls, improper shear walls, faulty electrical wiring and the like, that will now not be recoverable by homeowners unless a fire, earthquake or other catastrophic event occurred causing the building to suffer significant physical damage or the occupants to sustain serious injury or even death. Consumer Groups will be forced to propose counter legislation as soon as possible. "Homeowners associations have a duty to keep the homeowners in the associations safe and repair discovered defects. When there are no safeguards from the court, associations will be forced to incur costs for repairing known defects on their own or be liable for harm caused to homeowners or visitors of the association," Miller said. Miller is in agreement with the dissenters in the case. "When buildings are not built to code, a red flag should go up. For instance, if a firewall is not built to code, damage from earthquake or fire may not be imminent, but may cause harm in a later time if a fire or earthquake occurs," Miller said. Justice George said the court should have adopted a rule to allow homeowners compensation for repairs of life-threatening defects. "A court could ensure that the money was spent to repair the property," George argued. In addition Justice Mosk, in a dissent, said that he regretted that the court failed to create even a "minimal safeguard" for homeowners. "I am disappointed the court took such a shorthanded view of a systematic problem in the building industry. This will open up the gates for companies to build homes using shoddy workmanship, since they believe that they are protected from laws that require they adhere to building codes and industry standards. We stand firm as consumer attorneys that homeowners must be protected. I will lobby hard to ensure that appropriate legislation is proposed to counteract the Supreme Court Decision," Miller said. Since 1981, the Miller Law Firm has collected more than $350 million in construction defect awards on behalf of California homeowners associations. The Miller Law Firm can be reached at ConstructionDefects.com
SOURCE The Miller Law Firm
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