Chapter 558 Pre-suit ADR Process Does Not Apply to Construction Defect Claimant Who is Both Owner and Contractor

Specialty Eng’g Consultants, Inc. v. Hovostone Props. Fla., LLC, 968 So. 2d 680 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007)

This construction defect case involved a condominium project.  Defendant argued that the pre-suit alternative dispute resolution requirement in Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes applied to the claimant, who was both the owner and the contractor of the project.  Chapter 558 requires that construction defect “claimants,” as defined therein, participate in a complex pre-suit ADR process, which includes various inspection and cure period requirements.  The definition of “claimant” in Chapter 558 specifically includes property owners, but specifically excludes contractors.  The court held that a construction defect claimant who is both the property owner and the contractor is not a “claimant” as defined in Chapter 558, and therefore the pre-suit ADR requirement did not apply.

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