I have previously addressed the required minimum elements of Arizona construction contracts, which are set forth in A.R.S. § 32-1158(A). When it comes to contracts for the construction of residential in-ground swimming pools and spas, however, those minimum elements are not enough. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-1158.01(A), pool and spa contracts must also include several additional provisions. These additional provisions were recently tweaked by the Arizona Legislature through Senate Bill 1116, which became effective on August 9, 2017.
The proper place to file notice of one’s intent to appeal an administrative decision of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (“ROC”) is the subject of the Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Johnson v. Arizona Registrar of Contractors, 242 Ariz. 409 (App. 2017). Specifically, the Court was tasked with deciding whether it was sufficient for a homeowner seeking to appeal the ROC’s denial of her recovery fund claim to file her notice of appeal with the ROC, rather than the superior court. The Court concluded that the homeowner’s filing was insufficient, holding that the notice must be filed in the superior court pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-904. As a result, the Court ultimately upheld the dismissal of the homeowner’s ROC appeal. The takeaway from Johnson is clear—those appealing an administrative decision of the ROC must file their notices of appeal in superior court.
Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals recently issued a decision addressing contractual indemnification provisions in Amberwood Development, Inc., et al. v. Swann’s Grading, Inc., 2017 WL 712269. Given that Amberwood Development is an unpublished memorandum decision (and not an opinion), it will have no precedential effect on any subsequent Arizona cases. It is, nevertheless, worth reviewing because it touches on two key aspects of indemnification provisions—(1) what acts or omissions are covered; and (2) whose acts or omissions are covered. In Amberwood Development, the court ultimately found that the subcontractor, Swann’s Grading, Inc. (“Swann’s”), was obligated to indemnify the general contractor, Amberwood Development, Inc. (“Amberwood”), for: (1) Swann’s non-negligent actions; and (2) all claims “arising out of or connected to Swann’s work,” regardless of who caused them.
The Arizona Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Double AA Builders, Ltd. v. Preferred Contractors Insurance Company, LLC., No. 1 CA-CV 15-0375, which addresses several key construction-related commercial general liability insurance policy (“CGL”) provisions. The court ultimately held that the subject CGL policy did not provide the general contractor (who was an additional insured) more and/or different coverage than the subcontractor (who was the named insured). As a result, the court found that the General Contractor was not insured for the loss at issue. But in reaching its decision, the court examined the concepts of “additional insureds,” ” your work exclusions,” and “subcontractor exceptions” in connection with CGL policies. For this reason, Double AA Builders is a particularly interesting case.
In an earlier post, I addressed the statutorily-required minimum elements of Arizona construction contracts between contractors and property owners. As a reminder, those minimum elements are set forth in A.R.S. § 32-1158(A). This post will, however, address the other side of that same coin—namely, the relatively few construction contract provisions that are statutorily void and unenforceable in Arizona.
First, A.R.S. § 32-1129.05(A) provides that the following are against Arizona’s public policy and are void and unenforceable: