We regret to inform you that SB 885, the legislation to protect design professionals from unfair and uninsurable duty to defend obligations, has been pulled by the author and will not have another vote. This means that SB 885 is dead.
SB 885 would have made unenforceable those contracts clauses that require design professionals to pay their client’s defense costs when the design professional is not at fault. These contract clauses are not covered by E&O policies, and are inherently unfair.
We are pleased to tell you that our calls to action generated well over 1,000 contacts between AIA Members and their legislators. Those contacts, along with the contacts made by engineers, structural engineers, and landscape architects helped SB 885 pass the State Senate on a 26-4 vote.
Unfortunately, the opposition (public and private owners, contractors and subcontractors, and construction unions) became much more aggressive and SB 885 did not have the votes to pass the Assembly Judiciary Committee, where it was scheduled to be heard this week. As a result, the author and the sponsor, ACEC California, made the correct decision to pull the bill from the Committee Agenda.
If you are interested, here is the Assembly Judiciary Committee analysis to SB 885:
Even though SB 885 failed this year, plans are being made to continue the effort next year with a new bill in the new Legislature. The issue SB 885 attempted to address is real and not going away on its own.
Please feel free to contact Mark Christian, Hon. AIACC, our Director of Legislative Affairs, if you have any questions. Mark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-642-1708.