This year’s Colorado State Legislative session was cut short. However, in the period of time Colorado’s Legislature was in session, it passed and evaluated important legislation for Colorado homebuilders. This article highlights relevant legislation for Colorado homebuilders.
1. HB 20-1155
This Billcreates new requirements on new homebuilders to offer renewable energy systems to the buyer of a new home. Specifically, the Bill requires homebuilders to offer each of the following:
- A solar panel system, a solar thermal system, or both;
- Prewiring or pre-plumbing for the above solar systems; and,
- A chase or conduit for future installation of such systems.
The Bill further requires Colorado homebuilders to offer homebuyers one of the following:
- An electric vehicle charging system;
- Prewiring for the future installation for such a system; or,
- A plug-in receptacle in a place accessible to a vehicle parking area.
Colorado homebuilders must also offer a homebuyer an electrical heating system.
The Bill passed Colorado’s Legislature is currently awaiting signature of the Governor.
2. HB 20-1290
This Bill sets forth additional requirements that an insurance carrier must prove in order to successfully plead a failure-to-cooperate defense in an action concerning an insurance policy providing first-party benefits or coverage. The conditions that must be present are the following.
- The insurer submitted a written request to the insured for the requested information;
- The information requested was necessary for litigation and was not available to the insurer without the assistance of the insured;
- The insured was provided 60 days to respond;
- The written request was for information a reasonable person would determine the insurer needed to adjust the claim filed by the insured or to prevent fraud; and
- The insurer gave the insured an opportunity to cure within 60 days and provided notice to the insured within 60 days, describing, with particularity, the alleged failure to cooperate.
Additionally, the Bill does not relieve the insurer of its duty to investigate and any language in a policy that conflicts with this Bill is void.
The Bill passed the Colorado Legislature and is awaiting signature of the Governor.
3. HB 20-1348
This Bill proposed expanding employer liability for the tortious actions of its employees. The Bill was in response to a 2017 Colorado Supreme Court decision which held that when an employer admits liability for the actions of its employee, the plaintiff cannot assert additional claims against the employer arising out of the same incident. The Bill intended to reverse the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision and allow a plaintiff, bringing a civil tort claim, to bring additional claims against an employer arising out of the same incident as the one involving an employee.
The consequence of the Bill would have been to prevent an employer from avoiding liability for negligent acts by admitting an employee was in the course and scope of employment when the tortious act was committed.
Fortunately, for employers, the Bill failed to pass to the Colorado Legislature.
For additional information regarding any of the above Bills or about construction defect litigation in Colorado, generally, you can reach Jean Meyer by telephone at (303) 987-9815 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.