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.
> Have you received any response from any of the members of the California
> 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)pacbell.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 10:46 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Aase ruling
> I did the only thing I could think of.
> 1. A letter of concern to various members of the California
> "I am writing to express my concern about the recent Cal. Supreme
> decision in the Aase case regarding construction defects. The court
> ruled that builders could ignore every provision of the building
> and suffer no repair cost until there is an actual injury. This is
> worst possible public policy. California's structural engineers
> been at the forefront of efforts to make our construction more
> earthquake resistant. This ruling is a major setback for safe
> The court's decision is one of the stupidest pieces of reasoning I
> 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
> except to wait for an earthquake to wreck the home and/or kill
> Construction quality is poor already and this will make it worse.
> The Chief Justice's dissent calls on the legislature to take action
> 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
> must wait until someone is electrocuted to get money to fix it. The
> logic is applied to seismic safety problems, the court sees no
> until an earthquake wrecks your house. This ruling is the work of
> jurists with too many books and no common sense. It is doubtful
> 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.