Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California Chapter Announces New President/CEO
January 24, 2022 — Associated Builders and Contractors, Northern California Chapter
(January 19, 2022 – Livermore, CA) Associated Builders and Contractors, Northern California Chapter (ABC NorCal) Board of Directors launched an exhaustive, nationwide CEO search, and recently selected Deborah Maus as the next President/CEO. Deborah is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) with 25+ years of strategic and operational leadership. Prior to accepting the position, Deborah served as the chief executive officer of Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of California.
Mark Kirkes, President of MK Electric & Design Inc—and 2022 ABC NorCal Chair— said, "We believe Deborah will focus on strengthening organizational structure to meet new and expanding program needs, guide policy development and strategic innovations, bring increased value to members and continue to be the leading voice of the merit shop in Northern California. Her demonstrated knowledge of the industry and her support of all who desire to succeed in the construction industry made her an ideal choice to advance ABC's mission in Northern California."
Former ABC NorCal President/CEO Michele Daugherty is transitioning to the ABC Central Florida Chapter as President/CEO, continuing her 16+ years of service in ABC. ABC 2021 Chair, Josh Ward noted, "Michele has been working for ABC since 2006 and we are happy to see that she is staying in the ABC family—continuing to fight for the Merit Shop. The Executive Committee expresses its sincere appreciation for Michele and her remarkable services to the organization. Her enthusiasm and leadership will be deeply missed and difficult to replicate. However, we believe we have found the right person in Deborah Maus."
About ABC Northern California Chapter
ABC Northern California Chapter (ABC NorCal) is a trade association founded on the merit shop philosophy and dedicated to serving construction professionals from Fresno to the Oregon border. Our mission: To promote free enterprise by advancing the merit shop philosophy in the construction industry through education, advocacy and business services. To learn more visit www.abcnorcal.org
The Impact of the IIJA and Amended Buy American Act on the Construction Industry
May 23, 2022 — Chad Theriot & Stan Milan - ConsensusDocs
Contractors working on federally funded construction projects need to be aware of the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and amendments to the Buy American Act (BAA) which have expanded the requirement that contractors use domestic goods and materials on their projects. Failure to consider these requirements could have far-reaching impacts.
Overview of Domestic-Procurement Laws and Regulations
A number of domestic-preference laws exist today, which generally require that certain goods purchased with federal funds must be produced primarily in the United States. Projects affected include Department of Transportation (DOT)-funded highways, public transportation, airports, aviation, and rail, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded water infrastructure initiatives, among others.
Reprinted courtesy of Chad Theriot, Jones Walker
(ConsensusDocs) and Stan Millan, Jones Walker
Mr. Theriot may be contacted at email@example.com
Mr. Millan may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Read the full story...
Green Investigations Are Here: U.S. Department of Justice Turns Towards Environmental Enforcement Actions, Deprioritizes Compliance Assistance
January 10, 2022 — Karen C. Bennett, R. Morgan Salisbury, Sean P. Shecter & Rose Quam-Wickham - Lewis Brisbois
Washington, D.C. (January 4, 2022) - Two high-ranking Department of Justice (DOJ) officials announced that the Biden Administration is prioritizing environmental regulatory enforcement over compliance assistance. Todd Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), and Deborah Harris of the DOJ’s Environmental Crimes Section, indicated in mid-December 2021 that companies and individuals should expect more “vigorous enforcement,” with an emphasis on criminal enforcement. This new policy is in contrast to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)'s previous emphasis on compliance and pollution mitigation instead of enforcement actions under the prior administration.
DOJ’s new policy of promoting enforcement actions is consistent with the Biden Administration’s overall efforts to prioritize environmental justice. In April 2021, as explained in a previous Lewis Brisbois Client Alert, OECA released two memoranda directing enforcement teams to consider a variety of tools to resolve enforcement actions, including increased inspections, restitution, and reparation for victims of environmental crimes and overstepping state regulators where necessary.
Reprinted courtesy of Karen C. Bennett, Lewis Brisbois
, R. Morgan Salisbury, Lewis Brisbois
, Sean P. Shecter, Lewis Brisbois
and Rose Quam-Wickham, Lewis Brisbois
Ms. Bennett may be contacted at Karen.Bennett@lewisbrisbois.com
Mr. Salisbury may be contacted at Morgan.Salisbury@lewisbrisbois.com
Mr. Shecter may be contacted at Sean.Shecter@lewisbrisbois.com
Ms. Quam-Wickham may be contacted at Rose.QuamWickham@lewisbrisbois.com Read the full story...
Too Late for The Blame Game: Massachusetts Court Holds That the Statute of Repose Barred a Product Manufacturer from Seeking Contribution from a Product Installer
March 21, 2022 — Gus Sara - The Subrogation Strategist
In State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Wangs Alliance Corp., No. 21-cv-10389-AK, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26712, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (District Court) considered whether a product manufacturer was barred by the Commonwealth’s six-year statute of repose for improvements to real property from joining the installer of the product as a third-party defendant. The court denied the defendant’s motion for leave to file a third-party complaint to join the installer, finding that the installer completed its work more than six years prior to the motion being filed. This case reminds us that Massachusetts’ six-year statute of repose for improvement to real property also bars a defendant’s contribution claims against third parties.
The Wangs Alliance case involves a subrogation action filed by State Farm Fire & Casualty Insurance (Insurer) against Wangs Alliance Corp. (Wangs), a manufacturer of rope lighting. Insurer insured the homeowners, who experienced a fire in their home in 2018. The home was originally built in 2002 by Wellen Construction (Wellen). As part of the original construction, Wellen installed rope lighting manufactured by Wangs in the house. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Gus Sara, White and Williams
Mr. Sara may be contacted at email@example.com
Project Labor Agreements Will Now Be Required for Large-Scale Federal Construction Projects
February 14, 2022 — Lori Ann Lange, Aaron C. Schlesinger & Lauren Rayner Davis - Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
On February 4, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects (EO), which will require the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale federal construction projects with a total estimated cost of $35 million or more unless a senior official within the agency grants an exception. Agencies also may require the use of PLAs on projects that are less than $35 million.
While the EO is effective immediately, it will only apply to solicitations issued on or after the effective date of final regulations issued by the FAR Council. The FAR Council has 120 days to propose regulations implementing the EO. Often there is a significant period of time between the publication of proposed regulations, evaluation of public comments, and publication of final regulations.
Reprinted courtesy of Lori Ann Lange, Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
, Aaron C. Schlesinger, Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
and Lauren Rayner Davis, Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
Ms. Lange may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Schlesinger may be contacted at email@example.com
Ms. Davis may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Read the full story...
Statute of Limitations and Bad Faith Claims: Factors to Consider
May 16, 2022 — Anastasiya Collins - Saxe Doernberger & Vita
How much time do our clients have to bring a bad faith action against an insurer? Although we are not frequently asked this question, it is one that we constantly analyze before asserting a bad faith claim.
To answer this question, we look to the statute of limitations, which is a law passed by a state legislative body that sets the maximum amount of time for a party to bring a claim based upon a particular cause of action. For policyholders, knowing which statute of limitations applies to their bad faith claim is critical because it indicates whether it is possible to initiate legal proceedings. In addition, it determines the amount in damages available in case of a successful resolution.
Statute of Limitations in Breach of Contract vs. Tort Claims
One key determinant of a statute of limitations for bad faith is whether the claim is brought as a tort or a breach of contract action. The consequence of framing bad faith as a tort is that a policyholder is not just limited to contract damages. The policyholder can also receive recourse for emotional distress, pain, suffering, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and other damages that the court may consider appropriate. Unfortunately, however, not every jurisdiction allows plaintiffs to bring bad faith actions as tort claims. While, for example, courts in California, Colorado, and Connecticut allow bad faith claims sounding in tort, courts in jurisdictions such as Tennessee do not. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Anastasiya Collins, Saxe Doernberger & Vita
Ms. Collins may be contacted at ACollins@sdvlaw.com
Just Because You Allege There Was an Oral Contract Doesn’t Mean You’re Off the Hook for Attorneys’ Fees if you Lose
March 28, 2022 — Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog
There’s certain things in life you shouldn’t mix. Like drinking and driving. Bleach and ammonia. Triple dog dares and frozen poles. And angry lawyers and litigation.
In Spahn v. Richards, Case No. A159495 (November 30, 2021), angry lawyer Jeffrey Spahn sued general contractor Dan Richards claiming that Richards orally agreed to build Spahn’s million dollar plus house for $515,000. Not only did Spahn not recover anything from Richards, he ended up owing Richards $239,171 in attorney’s fees and costs, after he denied a request for admission asking that he admit that there was no oral contract.
The Spahn Case
In 2017, Spahn filed suit against Richards for breach of oral contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and promissory estoppel. According to Spahn, he met Richards in June 2015 and the two reached an agreement whereby Richards agreed to demolish Spahn’s house for $12,500 and build a new one for $515,000. Further according to Spahn, Richards agreed to this “fixed price” “oral contract” in June 2015, and then, on July 1, 2015, Richards “confirmed and agreed that he would perform the construction project” for $515,000 and would complete construction by May 2016. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
Mr. Murai may be contacted at email@example.com
Potential Coverage Issues Implicated by the Champlain Towers Collapse
March 21, 2022 — Theresa A. Guertin & Holly A. Rice - Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
In June 24, 2021, the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida collapsed, killing nearly 100 individuals (the “Collapse”). As experts uncover more information regarding the cause of the Collapse, those individuals who have filed lawsuits as well as the potentially culpable defendants are looking to insurers for coverage of their bodily injury and property damage claims.
Contractors, engineers, and other professionals are or anticipate being sued for their roles in the Collapse. Those professionals have professional liability policies and/or director and officer liability policies. Likewise, the condominium association’s commercial general liability (CGL) policies and its business property policy may have a duty to defend and/or indemnify their insureds as well. Finally, individual unit owners/renters may look to their homeowners’ insurance, auto insurance, health insurance, and/or life insurance policies for coverage.1
The potential breadth of insurance coverage issues raised by the Collapse is beyond the scope of this article. The article will consider some concerns that could impact insurance coverage under a standard CGL policy in the case of a building collapse.
Reprinted courtesy of Theresa A. Guertin, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
and Holly A. Rice, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
Ms. Guertin may be contacted at TGuertin@sdvlaw.com
Ms. Rice may be contacted at HRice@sdvlaw.com Read the full story...