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RE: Aase ruling

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Good letter Chuck, but calling the court's decision "one of the stupidest
pieces of reasoning" may not get that legislator on your side. If you don't
mind me toning that line down, I'll publish it on the HomeSafe forum and
request others send copies of it with their signature to their local

> -----Original Message-----
> From: chuckuc [mailto:chuckuc(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 10:46 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: Aase ruling
> Dennis-
> I did the only thing I could think of.
> 1. A letter of concern to various members of the California legislature.
> "I am writing to express my concern about the recent Cal. Supreme Court
> decision in the Aase case regarding construction defects.  The court
> ruled that builders could ignore every provision of the building code
> and suffer no repair cost until there is an actual injury.  This is the
> worst possible public policy.  California?s structural engineers have
> been at the forefront of efforts to make our construction more
> earthquake resistant.  This ruling is a major setback for safe
> construction.
> The court?s decision is one of the stupidest pieces of reasoning I have
> ever seen.  It incents developers to hire the cheapest, most
> unprincipled builders who simply gamble on not getting caught by the
> building inspector.  For the subsequent homeowner there is no recourse
> except to wait for an earthquake to wreck the home and/or kill someone.
> Construction quality is poor already and this will make it worse.
> The Chief Justice?s dissent calls on the legislature to take action to
> protect California?s residents.  Please do so ASAP."
> Chuck Utzman, P.E.
> 2. A letter to the editor of the Journal of Light Construction (they
> carried a recent summary piece on Aase.)
> "The example you cited in your piece is a perfect example of why the
> Aase decision is aasinine. An electrical subcontractor is now invited to
> build an electrical death-trap and the homeowner or General Contractor
> must wait until someone is electrocuted to get money to fix it. The same
> logic is applied to seismic safety problems, the court sees no problem
> until an earthquake wrecks your house.  This ruling is the work of
> jurists with too many books and no common sense.  It is doubtful that
> the problem will be rectified by the California legislature until a
> sufficient number of people are killed to get their attention."
> Chuck Utzman, P.E., G.C.