4th Annual Midwest Construction Defect & Dispute Conference Agenda Announced

Jeff Childs | Construction Defect & Dispute Conference | January 31, 2019

The 4th Annual Midwest Construction Defect & Dispute Conference will be one that should intrigue legal and insurance professionals across the country. Set in the center of our nation in Chicago, IL and will be held at the highly recognized Loyola University Chicago.

Top professionals and experts from across the country will be presenters and in attendance. The cost of $297 will include a continental breakfast, lunch, a post conference networking reception. Attendees will be able to earn up to 6.5 CLE/CE credits through a number of interesting and anticipated topics.

Here is a look at our presenters and course descriptions:

Grant Austin is President of American Valuation in Florida. He will be speaking on Forget Stigma Damage for Your Next Construction Defect Case: Switch to “Impaired Marketability”.

This course addresses the typical roles and valuation methods of real property appraisers in construction defects litigation plus the addition of new analytical methods that will strengthen the construction litigator’s case. While appraisers are regularly retained to provide opinions on the damage or impairment to a property, their timely retention can also assist with an evaluation of many other critical elements in the construction litigator’s case. The author discusses each potential real property value impact of a construction defect (cost to remediate, delay damages, diminution in market value, marketability, stigma) and the available valuation methods. Experienced construction litigators will find new valuation methods that may prove to be valuable tools in their practice.

Les Robertson, a founding partner of Robertson & Associates in San Diego and Dermot Leech with Allianz Insurance Company in Chicago will cover Reservation of Rights in Property Damage/Construction Defect Claims.

Insurers frequently issue Reservation of Rights letters to their insureds who tender construction defect/property damage claims. Claims such as these seem to overlap and impinge on many portions of a typical CGL insurance policy. A tender of these claims commonly results in a long, verbose, overly inclusive Reservation of Rights letter. However, as can be seen from recent court rulings from around the country the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach is being questioned. In addition, the American Law Institute has recently issued a Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance which provides additional guidance for proper use of Reservation of Rights letters.

This topic will be addressed from the perspective of outside coverage counsel, claims professional, appointed defense counsel and policyholder counsel.

Reservation of Rights letters require a carrier to fairly inform its insured(s) as to why or on what basis it will be reserving its rights. From a carrier perspective a properly written reservation of rights letter will prevent waiver of coverage defenses, preserve the carrier’s right to control the defense and settlement of the tendered claim and finally to preserve the right to intervene to protect its own interests.

James Wideikis and Andrew Witik are highly regarded Chicago insurance coverage and construction defect attorneys. Their topic will be Litigating Complex Construction Defect Case When Your Client No Longer Exists.

What do you do?  How do you defend your client?  Key litigation decisions and Implementation of Defense Strategy.  First and foremost, who exactly is your designated corporate representative? These questions will be answered through real life case experience.

Alex Niederman is a Complex Claim Specialist, Casualty Claims at Ironshore Insurance, where he supervises and handles professional liability and casualty claims, with a focus on architect and engineer (A&E), design-build (DCPL), and construction defect claims. Design-Build Trends: Big Projects, Big Insurance Claims.

Design-build is becoming an increasingly utilized project delivery method.  The system continues to grow in popularity because when a single entity is contracted to provide both design and construction services on a project, the result is a streamlined delivery to the project owner, with benefits in the form of cost and time efficiency.  However, as design-build continues to become more common and prolific in the construction world, so are insurance claims arising from such projects.

This presentation will address the types of insurance policies available to design-builders, including practice-based and project-specific policies, as well as unique endorsements to those policies.  We will also discuss the typical disputes that arise on design-build projects, and how such disputes can lead to allegations against the design-builder and an ensuing insurance claim.  Then we will present a detailed overview of the design-build claims process – when and how such matters are reported to insurance carriers, the information that carriers require in order to analyze coverage on design-build claims, a carrier’s coverage analysis process, and how such claims are handled at the adjuster level.  We will also discuss recent coverage and claims trends in the design-build world.

Robert Franco is a Chicago litigator and Eugene Peterson is a construction defect expert witness and Xactimate expert who will be covering a Construction Defect Resolution Template. 

With their many years of experience they will guide you through the litigation of construction non-conformance claims. They will break down the process through understanding the trolling process, claim triage and issue identification, experts, leadership, litigation, document discovery, depositions, and trial. You will have some key takeaways to help you in your next construction defect case.

The final course will be an insightful panel of three Circuit Court of Cook County judges: Judge Jean Golden, Judge Brigid Mary McGrath, and Judge Lynn M. Egan where they will lead a unique discussion on a judges view of Complex Construction Defect Litigation – What Does It Look Like.  

They will cover aspects involving – owner/developer, architect, gc, subs, and condo associations. Frequent issues that arise could include legal issues, coverage issues, risk transfer/contractual indemnity and settlement, arbitration and mediation. Finally they will cover case management with its discovery issues, experts, dispositive motions and key trial issues – jury instruction, witnesses and exhibits. This should prove to be an excellent discussion.

The conference will then end with a networking reception where attendees and presenters will be able to mingle, ask questions, enjoy food and drink, etc.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference. Mark your calendar and get registered today!

Leave a Reply