Gammage & Burnham is pleased to welcome Benjamin C. Runkle to our firm! A former firefighter/paramedic and police officer, Ben has been practicing law in Arizona for more than a decade and is well-positioned to bring a new perspective to our team of healthcare attorneys. When asked why he most looks forward to joining Gammage & Burnham, he replied that he is “excited to work with the firm’s outstanding lawyers and healthcare practice.”
Ben represents behavioral health providers, physicians, dentists, and other healthcare professionals in a variety of regulatory and enforcement matters, including compliance and litigation. Prior to returning to private practice, Ben advised Arizona’s Medicaid agency, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), and served as an Assistant Attorney General representing the Department of Economic Security (DES), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).
Earlier this year, the Legislature enacted SB1271, which made a number of changes to the Purchaser Dwelling Act (the “PDA”). The PDA governs construction defect litigation involving single-family and multi-family homes. SB1271 went into effect on August 27, 2019.
The legislation arose out of recommendations from the Construction Liability Apportionment Study Committee. This committee was established by the Legislature in 2018 to study how liability for construction defects is apportioned and recommend changes to the law. SB1271 was the committee’s final product.
The new law makes the following changes to the PDA and construction-defect litigation:
Indemnity: One of SB1271’s foremost goals is to apportion liability for construction defects based on each party’s own share of fault for that defect.
Earlier this year, the Legislature enacted a statute making a number of changes to the Purchaser Dwelling Act (the “PDA”). The PDA governs construction defect litigation involving single-family and multi-family homes.
The new legislation becomes effective on August 27, 2019 and requires some changes to form construction and consulting agreements, and may also require changes to how homebuilders and sellers process construction defect claims.
Broadly, the legislation changes the PDA in the following ways:
Expanded Right of Repair: The PDA was initially enacted to give the “seller” an opportunity to repair any alleged construction defects before the homebuyer could file a lawsuit.
Congratulations to Gammage & Burnham client, Arizona Humane Society, on the recommendation of approval for its requested entitlement modifications for its Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion! For nearly 20 years, the Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion has served as the Arizona Humane Society’s home base for providing crucial animal care services—including affordable veterinary services and life-saving adoptions—to the local community.
On June 2, 2019, the City of Phoenix Planner Hearing Officer recommended approval for modifications to the Arizona Humane Society’s special permit zoning. With these approved modifications, the Arizona Humane Society can start to plan for the future growth of the Campus for Compassion.
On June 21st the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Knick v. Scott Township, which materially expanded the ability of private property owners to go to federal court to defend their property rights. The Court overturned a 34-year old decision that required property owners to litigate “takings” claims in state court before they were allowed to sue in federal court. The Knick decision broadly expands projections of private property rights by allowing property owners to bring a takings claim directly in federal court.
The key to Knick is identifying the point in time when a property owner can sue over an alleged taking—(1) as soon as government action causes an alleged “taking” of property; or (2) later, only when it refuses to pay just compensation.
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