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Relating to certain construction liability claims concerning public buildings and public works.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated
The bill author's statement of intent provides insightful background about the issue this legislation addresses: "Certain local governmental entities, such as school districts, have been solicited to sue architects, engineers, and contractors for alleged construction defects in buildings before notifying the architects, engineers, and contractors of the alleged defects or offering a chance to inspect or correct them."
HB 1999 would require that a governmental entity, prior to bringing an action asserting a claim of construction defect, to first provide written notice by certified return receipt mail that clearly identifies the specific construction defect on which the claim is based and other relevant information including any modification, maintenance, or repairs that have been made since the structure was originally used.
The bill would require the governmental entity to allow a party to the contract for the design or construction
of the structure, and who is subject to the claim, and any
known subcontractor or supplier who is subject to the claim, a reasonable opportunity to inspect any
construction defect for a period of 30 days after sending the report. The entity must also allow at least 120 days after the inspection to correct any construction defect or related
condition identified in the report; or enter into a separate agreement with the
governmental entity to correct any construction defect or related
condition identified in the report.
Texas Action supports HB 1999 because it advances the principle of limited government by requiring relevant government entities to first notify and allow a person involved with the design or construction of a facility the opportunity to inspect and correct the problem before initiating action in a civil court. This bill will help to prevent the courts being further clogged with unnecessary lawsuits and prevent the unnecessary draining of public and private resources.