Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/31/1993 01:55 PM Senate JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SENATOR TAYLOR returned SB 73 (LIABILITY OF DESIGN-                           
 CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS) to committee and invited HENRY                    
 SPRINGER, on teleconference in Anchorage, to give testimony.                  
 MR. SPRINGER suggested the committee read the sponsor                         
 statement in the record that covers all of the issues very                    
 well, and he added a couple of suggestions.  He explained                     
 buildings were not built with a prescribed maintenance                        
 schedule, and it is critical to distinguish at what point the                 
 liability by the design and construction professionals                        
 business ends.  After a prolonged period, he explained it was                 
 impossible to assign 100% fault because of the activities                     
 beyond the control of the designers and builders.                             
 Number 124                                                                    
 MR. SPRINGER listed the states that have adopted the State of                 
 Repose.  In speaking for the Associated General Contractors,                  
 MR. SPRINGER said they supported the bill and requested the                   
 committee to consider 8 years instead of 10 years in keeping                  
 Next to testify was DICK CATTANACH, a local contractor in                     
 MR. CATTANACH spoke to the bill as being one of fairness, and                 
 he described the process he goes through in commercial                        
 construction in building for knowledgeable intelligent owners.                
 He reviewed the statute of limitations for the Internal                       
 Revenue Service as 3 years, 5 years for the State of Alaska                   
 for crimes against property, ethics violations in the                         
 Legislature is 5 years, crimes against people in the State of                 
 Alaska is 10 years, and no statute of limitations for murder -                
 or for construction.                                                          
 MR. CATTANACH described the impossible situation of trying to                 
 recreate the paper trail of records and participants and the                  
 difficulty in defending themselves after a period of time -                   
  especially for small Mom and Pop contractors in the State of                 
 Number 187                                                                    
 Last to testify from Anchorage was DOUG GREEN, an architect                   
 representing the Alaska Design Council and the American                       
 Institute of Architects.  He said he would also be testifying                 
 for two other architects, STEPHEN PETERS in Ketchikan and RICH                
 RITTER in Juneau.                                                             
 MR. GREEN said they were all in favor of SB 73 and have been                  
 working with it for quite few years.  He wanted to be sure the                
 committee understood how the Statue of Repose is different                    
 from the Statute of Limitation, and he gave some statistical                  
 information on claims against design professionals.                           
 Number 260                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR welcomed SENATOR LEMAN and explained, at some                  
 point, the bill was going to have to support a cut off number,                
 as suggested by MR. SPRINGER.  He said it must be achieved to                 
 give some finality to the design and construction people, who                 
 are forever purchasing insurance tails and carrying around                    
 quantities of records.  He described the problems incurred by                 
 these professionals in defending themselves from a suit.                      
 SENATOR TAYLOR discussed with SENATOR LEMAN and SENATOR DONLEY                
 the provisions and limitations of the legislation, and SENATOR                
 LEMAN expressed his preference for 6 to 10 years in the                       
 Statute of Repose.                                                            
 Number 308                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY explained why he supported a 20 year proposal,                 
 and SENATOR LEMAN voiced his objections to anything over 10                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects