Monday, February 26, 2018

Sneaky buggers

My two cents
Today's news brings us the story of deceit and skulduggery. Seems Assemblyman Jim Frazier (a democrat representing the area of Oakley) is proposing a bill (AB 2353) in the California Assembly that would cut the limitation of actions for construction defect claims from 10 years to 5 years.

See, there's this building called the Millennium Tower which is located in San Francisco. It is a 58-story luxury residential building (i.e. condos) and it is sinking. Not only has it sunk 17 inches since its completion in 2008, but it's now leaning 14 inches towards a nearby skyscraper. The kicker is that the leaning and sinking weren't realized until year 7 (which, under Politician Frazier's bill, would have precluded any lawsuits against the developers).

So, how might this apply to Joe Consumer (you know, people not living in the Millennium Tower)?  Say you bought a new home in California.  Let's say that 5 years and 1 day after you bought your house, you noticed a crack in the side of your house.  Upon closer inspection, you find that your house is settling because the developer failed to property grade the land under which your house is sitting resulting in your house starting to sink - causing cracks to appear in your house.

You remember that 5 years and 1 day after you bought your house part? Well, under Politician Frazier's bill, you would be precluded from suing the developer(s). Yep, you would be stuck with having to pay for repairs to your house even though they were all the developers fault. Sound fair to you?

Then we come to the crux of the discussion.  See, the bill is being "sponsored" by an unnamed "nonprofit" group.  A member of another "nonprofit" group, Robert Abodaca (vice-president and co-founder of California Community Builders AND the guy who "asked" Politician Frazier to submit the bill to the Assembly), noted that:
Homeownership is one of the best ways of closing the wealth gap for people of color.  Changing the statute of limitations is going to substantially reduce the insurance premiums for developers who choose to build condominiums for sale, rather than apartments for rent.
I'm not a person of color (unless you count sunburn as a color).  But whenever I see someone bring race into a discussion that has NOTHING to do with race, I get skeptical real fast (and you should, too).

What this all sounds like is a couple of "nonprofits" looking to build a bunch of shoddy, low-income housing/condos, sell them real fast to a bunch of unsuspecting minority groups (hence the "people of color" quip) and then step back when they start falling apart.  Of course, they would be protected by Politician Frazier who was bought off to submit a bill to protect his special interest "nonprofits" buddies.

OK, I realize this isn't so much a post about law and legal research (well, except the part about the limitation of actions).  But, when I'm reading stuff and I see obvious slants against people or when self-righteous/hypocritical politicians (and that covers democrats, republicans and independents) try to push a bill that favoring a bunch of rich, fat cats,...well, I've gotta throw my hat in the ring and spew my two cents.

So, there you have it.  My two cents.