Sunday, June 5, 2011 | 4:34 p.m.
CARSON CITY – Assemblyman Steven Brooks says he was the victim of latent constructional defects in his home and he had to fight the issue in court.
“We can’t take away the rights of citizens,” said Brooks, D-Las Vegas, before the Assembly approved Assembly Bill 401, which extends the time limit for those with home construction defects to file legal action.
But Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, complained that trial attorneys are suing before a contractor or subcontractor has an opportunity to make repairs.
He said subcontractors are pulled into suits in cases in which they shouldn't be, resulting in higher insurance rates.
“Trial attorneys have made hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade” on construction defect suits, he said.
Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, said the bill was about “keeping the consumer whole.”
The measure, which goes to the Senate, provides that reasonable attorney fees may be awarded even if a contractor makes satisfactory repairs.
The vote was 26-16, with Republicans in opposition.