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Bill to help homeowners recoup costs to get public hearing in Woodbury

The Minnesota House Civil Justice Committee, chaired by Rep. Joe Mullery, will hold a hearing in Woodbury Feb. 9 to consider House File 211, a bill that would help homeowners recoup costs as a result of building claims.

The hearing will take place at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of Woodbury City Hall, 8301 Valley Creek Road.

The bill, authored by Rep. Marsha Swails (DFL-Woodbury), comes in part in response to the high number of homes in Woodbury and the east metro affected by mold caused by construction deficiencies.

Currently, a homeowner who wins a judgment against a builder may not recover his or her attorney fees. The legislation proposed by Swails would allow a prevailing homeowner to collect reasonable attorney fees and other out-of-pocket costs after winning a judgment against a builder on a warranty claim.

"Builders have insurance companies that protect them against claims, but there aren't the same kinds of protections for homeowners," said Swails. "This legislation is simply an attempt to level the playing field for homeowners faced with thousands of dollars in costs to repair their homes."

Public testimony will be taken, and Swails encourages residents dealing with construction claims to attend the hearing.