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Re: Aase ruling

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Dear Sharon:

     Those concerned about the ramifications of this case should keep in mind
that the court limited its ruling to negligence claims and I believe said it
does not apply to a claim based on contract or warranty.

     This may mean that those responsible for design defects (negligence) fare
better than those promising good construction. I believe that a full study of
this case, in the context of professional liability and construction warranty
(what typical contractors are held to) will impact builders more than designers.

Steven A.

sharonb(--nospam--at) wrote:

> Have you received any response from any of the members of the California
> legislature?
> Sharon Robertson Bonds, PE
> Salerno/Livingston Architects
> 363 Fifth Avenue, Third Floor
> San Diego, California  92101
> (619) 234-7471
>         -----Original Message-----
>         From:   chuckuc [SMTP: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.