Home Buyer Waivers of Tort Liability:

In my column for today's Rocky Mountain News, I critique a newspaper article which reported on the continuing controversy in Colorado over homeowner waiver of tort liability regarding the purchase of newly-constructed homes. Colorado buyers can still sue to enforce the home builder's warranty.

How about some comments from readers with expertise in real estate or torts? What do you think of tort liability caps for home-buyer lawsuits? (Colorado has them.) Should the legislature, or the courts, prohibit the enforcement of tort liability waivers in home sale contracts? (That's the current proposal in the Colorado legislature.) Do you have evidence for or against the home builder lobby's claim that tort liability is driving up home prices? Have you, or your clients, or someone you know, ever succeeded or attempted in striking language from standard-form real estate contracts? (I've done so on mortgage contracts, although that's not exactly the same.)

In your comments, please try to avoid simply making theoretical statements, such as "no government should interfere with any freely-negotiated contract." It's not that these theoretical statements are necessarily wrong, but I don't think they will advance the real-estate-specific discussion.