House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst is giving back to one of her party’s biggest donors: the trial lawyers lobby. According to the Denver Business Journal, she has drawn a line in the sand over bipartisan construction defects reform legislation, saying that unless the right to sue builders remains intact she’s going to kill the bill.
Taking a case to court doesn’t make anything quicker or less costly for homeowner and builders locked in a construction defects dispute, but it certainly helps line the pockets of the trial lawyers who get rich off such cases. The whole point of Sens. Mark Scheffel’s (R-Parker) and Jessie Ulibarri’s (D-Commerce City) legislation, Senate Bill 177, is to have both parties resolve the matter in mediation or arbitration. This saves time and money. It is also expected to jump start the non-existent affordable condominium market.
The only problem with Senate Bill 177 is that it cuts into trial lawyers’ billable hours, so of course, Hullinghorst cannot let it stand. God forbid we strive to live in a less litigious society.
With Hullinghort’s ultimatum now on the table, the fate of the legislation is unclear. And that’s a shame because this could have been one of the brightest spots of bipartisanship all session.