John Podesta, an insurance coverage attorney in San Francisco, brings us his perspective on why the Form Interrogatories for Construction Defect should be used. John has handled hundreds of coverage cases involving Construction litigation and other complex matters for over twenty years. He is a nationally known speaker on Insurance Coverage issues in Construction and has written several articles on the subject. He is also the author
of the insurance Interrogatory 304.1 of Construction Litigation Form Interrogatories.
It is generally recognized that construction defect cases are some of the most expensive, and complicated, cases being litigated in California. I have personally been involved in cases with more than 75 payors contributing to a settlement, including contractors, insurers, and sureties. I have witnessed them from the beginning of the modern Special Master programs in the 1980’s through the single assignment Special Masters (both mediator and case management/discovery referee) and the dual reference (where the case manager/discovery referee and the mediator are separated) and cases with no outside supervision and the case is handled per the CCP. In all these cases, the same question is asked by the carriers: “How can we get these cases evaluated and resolved quicker and less expensively?” And the related question: “If this is a case that needs to be tried how can we get to that decision point as soon as possible?”