Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell

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With the 2019 Colorado legislative session well underway, the construction industry is waiting with bated breath to see what the Democrat controlled legislature might do with respect to construction defect legislation.  In recent years, having a split legislature has prevented any attempts to roll back positive changes in the law, either from the legislature or Colorado courts, that have been hailed by the construction community. This year, odds are good that we will see at…
By: Frank Ingham On December 18, 2018, Federal Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak recommended in a written opinion that the Motion of Defendant Weyerhaeuser Company (“Weyerhaeuser”) to Dismiss Amended Complaint Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) be denied. Barry v. Weyerhaeuser Company, 2018WL6589786 (D. Colo. 2018). As such, we believe District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello will accept this recommendation and the lawsuit will proceed. At interest in this lawsuit are TJI joists designed, manufactured, and sold…
In excess of 30 states have enacted tort reform legislation requiring property owners to notify construction professionals of the presence of alleged construction defects prior to the commencement of a lawsuit. These statutes also often permit construction professionals to make an offer of repair within a statutorily defined period of time after receipt of a notice of claim letter. Undoubtedly, the notice-of-claim process has played a meaningful part in bringing construction professionals and claimants to…
On July 12, 2018, the Colorado Court of Appeals announced its decision in Lopez v. City of Grand Junction, 2018 WL 3384674 (Colo. App. 2018). The Court considered whether immunity is waived under Colorado’s Governmental Immunity Act (“CGIA”), pursuant to section C.R.S. § 24-10-106(1)(f), in situations where the public entity hired an independent contractor to perform the work. The Court held that if the public entity would have been liable under the CGIA for the…
I am happy to have been asked to serve as an Executive Council member and instructor at this year’s CLM Claims College – School of Construction, to be held at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 through Saturday, September 8, 2018. Overview of the 2018 School of Construction Construction claims present  myriad complexities in claim handling. Construction defect lawsuits are often multi-party cases with cross claims and third-party claims…
On March 6, 2018, Judge Edward Moss of Adams County issued a noteworthy, if bizarre, order concluding that construction excavators and earthmovers are uniquely subject to a three year statute of limitations. By way of background, in Colorado, per C.R.S. § 13-80-104, those furnishing the design, planning, supervision, inspection, construction, or observation of construction of any improvement to real property (“Construction Professionals”) are subject to the two year statute of limitations as set forth in…
I am honored to have been invited to speak at the Mortgage Bankers Association Condominium Lending Workshop 2018.  I will be participating as a panelist on the Condo Defect Panel: The CO Perspective, along with Nate Santillanes, CRIS, Director – Risk Management, CoBiz Insurance and moderated by Katie Fritch, Bank Officer – UW Support Manager, Flagstar Bank. Come learn what’s new in condo lending. Back by Popular Demand… MBA’s Condominium Lending Workshop is back!  We…
I recently had the opportunity to write an article for Colorado Builder Magazine, a snippet of which appears here. Since the 1990’s, construction defect litigation has focused on condominiums and townhomes. By representing homeowner associations instead of individual owners, plaintiffs’ attorneys can more easily aggregate claims, thereby increasing exponentially the claimed damages. *     *     * In a new twist, the Latitude at Vista Ridge Homeowners Association in Erie filed a construction defect…
In a case that squarely confronts the juxtaposition of an insurer’s duty to defend or indemnify its insured for construction related defects, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado recently granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on both matters against a construction subrogee, in Ass’n Ins. Co. v. Carbondale Glen Lot E-8, LLC, No. 15-cv-02025-RPM, 2016 WL 9735743, at *1 (D. Colo. Oct. 10. 2017). Mountainview Construction Services, LLC (“MCS”) served…