[ LETTERS TO THE BUSINESS EDITOR ]
Building homes right would reduce lawsuits
I disagree that an increase in construction defect lawsuits ("Fear of Building," Feb. 25, Star-Bulletin, Page D1
) is due to people being able to sue for anything, implying that the lawsuits aren't valid.
In many states, homeowners in construction defect lawsuits are limited to recovery of actual, proven damages.
There is far too much promotion of the myth of big awards if one just files a lawsuit of any kind. Arbitration clauses in many consumer contracts, including construction, prohibit people from going to court anyway.
As a former owner of a severely defective new home, and now as volunteer-secretary for a consumer organization that has volunteers in many states, I can tell you from personal as well as other experience that homeowners are not a litigious or irrational group that preys on builders for fun. Homeowners typically ask the builder to make repairs first, and it's typical that the builder stonewalls them or makes cosmetic patches on serious problems without actually fixing anything.
In the case of condos or some housing developments, the homeowners association may be the party that does, or doesn't, decide to go after the builder, rather than the individual homeowners. Third-party warranty companies are also sometimes a party, and they have many exclusions, exceptions, and an arbitration clause, usually.
Regardless of who all the parties are, suing is expensive, stressful, and time consuming. Homeowners seldom have the money for it!
Collecting an award if you win is just as hard. Many homeowners find that their builder gets out of obligations by dissolving the company or declaring bankruptcy.
Because of this, lawyers often won't help individual homeowners. Class actions may be more profitable to lawyers, but it's not easy to get a case certified as a class action, either, since each homeowner has to have essentially the same construction defects and same type of damages.
The homeowner always seems to be the one left holding the repair bill for a builder's defects, then they are called sue-happy if they try to use the courts to recover damages.
The law you refer to in the article, that requires homeowners to notify the builder first, is generically known as a "Right to Repair Law." About 30 states have one and they are pushed by the building industry without much, if any, substantiation for its need. That the building industries contribute a great deal of money to political candidates probably has a lot to do with the bills getting passed, don't you think?
I've seen families financially destroyed by bad builders. If there is a pattern of too many lawsuits, it's because there are too many defective new homes. The solution is not to hamstring consumers; it's to build homes right and honor the warranty!
Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings
Mesa counting on misinformation
Thanks for the coverage in Saturday's Honolulu Star-Bulletin ("Pacific Wings takes air war to Mesa's home turf," Feb. 17, Star-Bulletin, Page C1
In addition to misrepresenting the facts about (Essential Air Service) funding, Mesa states that they have seen a lot of small operators come and go during their 25 years in business. However, Pacific Wings has been in continuous operation since 1974; eight years longer than Mesa.
Mesa also (has stated) that Pacific Wings would need a 94 percent load factor to break even in Carlsbad (N.M.) with a nine-seat aircraft. If that is true, how does Mesa break even with a 19-seat aircraft carrying an average of only three people a day, according to (U.S. Department of Transportation) statistics based on numbers provided by Mesa?
As for our aircraft being too small to accommodate demand in (the New Mexico cities of) Carlsbad and Hobbs, we routinely move groups of 18 to 26 people for weddings, conventions, etc., in Hawaii by simultaneously launching multiple aircraft to scale capacity to demand.
Mesa is obviously counting on misinformation and ignorance to win this contract, and I think they may be in for a surprise. I have spent the last two weeks in southeastern New Mexico, and the people here are neither stupid nor gullible. There are a lot of high-tech industries and very educated people here, and they all seem willing to listen without prejudice. By making false statements to the press before they ever set foot in town, Mesa is severely damaging its own credibility in a place that already has a lot of issues with them.
President, Pacific Wings,
Sunday games better for the state overall
I found the (Pro Bowl) study ("Pro Bowl's financial clout slips, study says," Feb. 27, Star-Bulletin, Page C1
) quite interesting. However, one of the key elements that should be taken into consideration is the fact that the game was held on a Saturday this year. Many food and beverage venues, including hotels, lost out on a lot of revenue that they would normally get in the daytime and early evening because of the Saturday game, and so did retailers.
Normally, Saturday is extremely busy at Ala Moana and Waikiki. However, this year it was awkwardly slow. Most of the tourists, including players (and their families), departed on Sunday, whereas, normally they would stay on until Monday and sometimes extend their trips.. This was a short and unusual stay for most of the players that I know and hosted. Sunday night used to be crawling with tourists (and players) and was good for the state.
Sunday games are better for the state overall.
President and CEO,