The state of Nevada is currently proposing construction defect law changes which clearly favor the builder and not the homeowner or customer.
This proposed amendment to Nevada’s defect law bears watching because should this pass, will it then set a precedence for other states?
Nevada contractors are claiming that the current defect law is putting them out of business and sending their insurance premiums sky high not to mention keeping construction litigation attorneys and trial lawyers in business.
While these issues aren’t new, support for the issues in the current Nevada legislature may give the defect law changes some traction.
Builders are trying not only to change the definition of a construction defect but also the term limits under which claims could be filed.
Most notable in the proposed amendment would be eliminating the right of the homeowner or customer to recover attorney’s fees as damages.
Litigation is expensive so the inability of a consumer to recover attorney’s fees would certainly have an impact on a consumer’s decision to file a construction defect claim.
Currently a construction defect, in the state of Nevada, is defined as “a defect in the design, construction, manufacture, repair or landscaping of a new residence, of an alteration of or addition to an existing residence, or of an appurtenance and includes, without limitation, the design, construction, manufacture, repair or landscaping of a new residence, of an alteration of or addition to an existing residence, or of an appurtenance“.
Defect Law Changes Proposed
The proposed amendment would add language similar to “which presents an unreasonable risk of injury to a person or property”. Adding “unreasonable risk of injury” as a proposed defect law change would eliminate the basis for more than a few customer claims to the favor of the builder.
This proposed amendment would also revise the construction claim statutes in the state of Nevada as follows:
- Reduces the known deficiency statute from 10 years to 3 years
- Reduces the latent deficiency statute from 8 years to 4 years
- Reduces the patent deficiency statute from 6 years to 3 years
- The bill also proposes that the revised statutes be applied, in some instances, retroactively
Needless to say there are quite a few homeowners as well as homeowner’s associations that are opposing the new proposed defect law changes in Nevada’s S.B. 161 amendment. Homeowners are often left with no other alternative to address poor workmanship, design and engineering issues than to sue because they can’t get contractors to fix the problems.
Often construction defect issues will not present themselves until after a constructor’s industry standard warranty has lapsed. A state’s construction defect laws provide homeowner’s the resource and the protection to make good on the quality products, workmanship and design they had a right to expect and paid for in the first place.
Although no action was taken on these defect law changes in the most recent session, it still bears watching.
Filed under: Defects