California bill would require construction companies to disclose defects & settlements

Two Northern California state lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would require construction companies to disclose building defects like the one that could have contributed to Berkeley's deadly balcony collapse.

All construction companies in the state would be required under SB465 to disclose any felony convictions, civil suits, fraud, negligence, incompetence and settlements to state regulators over defects in their construction projects.

The authors of the SB465, viz. Democratic Sens. Jerry Hill of San Mateo and Loni Hancock of Oakland, said licenses of careless contractors should be revoked.

Introducing the bill, Hill said, "Contractors who do shoddy work that imperils life should have their licenses revoked."

The Berkeley balcony collapse last month left six people dead and seven others injured. The victims had gathered for a birthday party.

City officials concluded that the balcony collapsed because its wooden support beams were badly rotted by water damage. However, they could not determine how the damage occurred. An investigation into the collapse is pending.

In a separate construction defect-related incident, a man in Folsom lost his life earlier this month when a staircase scheduled for repairs collapsed in his apartment building.

Segue Construction Inc., the company that constructed the Berkeley apartment, has paid nearly $27 million to settle lawsuits related to balcony failures in the past three years.

Northern California