Canada to Ban Foreigners From Buying Homes as Prices Soar
April 25, 2022 — Brian Platt & Ari Altstedter - Bloomberg
Canada will ban most foreigners from buying homes for two years and provide billions of dollars to spur construction activity in an attempt to cool off a surging real-estate market.
The measures will be contained in Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s budget on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter, asking not to be named because the matter is private.
The move signals that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is becoming more assertive about taming one of the developed world’s most expensive housing markets -- and that the government is growing more concerned about the political backlash to inflation and the rising cost of housing.
Reprinted courtesy of Brian Platt, Bloomberg
and Ari Altstedter, Bloomberg Read the full story...
Disappearing Data: Avoid Losing Electronic Information to Avoid Losing the Case
February 01, 2022 — Daniel C. Wennogle & Jennifer Knight Lang - Construction Executive
It happens: A contractor on a delayed project ends up in litigation over liquidated damages, but the key communications regarding delays and approvals were sent and received by the project manager on a mobile device using text messages and personal email accounts. Unfortunately, the project manager left the company a year ago on bad terms and has changed phones. The information that would serve to mitigate the contractor’s liability has disappeared. With better awareness and policies for capturing and managing electronic information, this is avoidable.
Proactive and effective management of electronically stored information on construction projects can not only reduce costs and discovery disputes should litigation arise but can also provide critical evidence in reducing liability exposure in such disputes. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (as well as most state rules, which often mirror federal rules), provide for sanctions if a party fails to preserve electronically stored information (ESI) that should have been preserved in anticipation of litigation but is lost due to the failure to take reasonable steps to preserve it.
Even in arbitration, where discovery and disclosure obligations are often more limited than in the court setting, preservation of ESI can help strengthen claims and defenses, avoiding accusations of spoliation that can derail a case. Arbitrators can also fashion appropriate sanctions for destruction of relevant evidence, not to mention the impact that apparent spoliation can have on a party’s credibility.
Reprinted courtesy of Daniel C. Wennogle & Jennifer Knight Lang, Construction Executive
, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.
Ms. Lang may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Fifth Circuit Confirms: Insurer Must Defend Despite Your Work/Your Product Exclusion
February 14, 2022 — Nathan A. Cazier & Scott S. Thomas - Payne & Fears
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently confirmed that liability insurers have a duty to defend their insureds in construction defect cases when the underlying complaint alleges damage to property beyond the product and work of the insured – even if the complaint merely implies that the insured seeks such damage, without explicitly alleging so. Siplast, Incorporated v. Employers Mutual Casualty Company, No. 20-11076, 2022 WL 99303 (5th Cir. Jan. 11, 2022).
The Archdiocese of New York replaced the roof over Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, using a roofing membrane manufactured by Siplast, Inc. (“Siplast”). After a rainstorm a few years later, school officials reported water damage to the ceiling tiles throughout the school, and repair attempts only made the leaking worse. Siplast disputed that the leaks were its fault and refused to replace the roof, so the Archdiocese sued.
Reprinted courtesy of Nathan A. Cazier, Payne & Fears
and Scott S. Thomas, Payne & Fears
Mr. Cazier may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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PSA: Virginia Repeals Its Permanent COVID-19 Safety Standard
May 10, 2022 — Christopher G. Hill - Construction Law Musings
In January of 2021, Virginia was one of the first states to adopt a permanent workplace safety standard setting out employer requirements for COVID safety. Later that same year, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry updated the standard to make it less confusing and more easily complied with.
Now, as of March 21, 2022, DOLI has repealed that permanent standard in response to the changes in COVID guidance and other new information. Instead of a permanent standard, DOLI provides “Guidance for Employers to Mitigate the Risk of COVID-19 to Employees.” This guidance, along with the advice of counsel, should help you in moving forward during the next phase of the COVID pandemic. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
Mr. Hill may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
California Supreme Court Declines Request to Expand Exceptions to Privette Doctrine for Known Hazards
January 17, 2022 — Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog
First things first. Happy New Year! Hope you had a good one.
To start things off in the new year we’ve got an employment-related case for you – Gonzalez v. Mathis, 12 Cal.5th 29 (2021) – a California Supreme Court case involving the Privette Doctrine. For those not familiar with the Privette Doctrine, the Privette Doctrine is named after the case Privette v. Superior Court, 5 Cal.4th 689 (1993), which held that project owners and higher-tiered contractors are not liable for workplace injuries sustained by employees of lower-tiered contractors. Since then, courts have carved out a few exceptions to the Privette Doctrine including the “retained control exception” (also known as the Hooker exception – that’s the name of the case not the occupation of the injured worker) whereby a “hirer,” that is, the higher-tiered party who hired the lower-tiered party whose employee is injured, can be held liable if the hirer: (1) retains control over any part of the lower-tiered party’s work; and (2) negligently exercises that control in a manner that affirmatively contributes to the worker’s injury.
Another exception is the “concealed hazard exception” (also known as the Kinsman exception) whereby a hirer can be held liable if: (1) the hirer knew, or should have known, of a concealed hazard on the property that the lower-tiered contractor did not know of and could not have reasonably discovered; and (2) the hirer railed to warn the lower-tiered contractor of that hazard. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Garret Murai, Nomos LLP
Mr. Murai may be contacted at email@example.com
Alaska Civil Engineers Give the State's Infrastructure a "C-" Grade
February 28, 2022 — American Society of Civil Engineers
JUNEAU, Alaska — The Alaska Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) today released preliminary findings from the 2021 Report Card for Alaska's Infrastructure, with the full report slated to be released in coming weeks. Alaska civil engineers gave 12 categories of infrastructure an overall grade of a 'C-' meaning the state's infrastructure is in mediocre condition and requires attention. Alaska has consistently maintained its transportation infrastructure, solid waste and energy sectors despite omnipresent environmental threats, seismic events, permafrost and shore erosion. However, some sectors such as drinking water, wastewater, and Alaska's marine highways have fallen behind due to a lack of funding to keep up with current and future needs. Civil engineers graded aviation (C), bridges (B-), dams (C), drinking water (D), energy (C-), marine highways (D), ports and harbors (D+), rail (C), roads (C), solid waste (C), transit (B-) and wastewater (D).
"Our systems and state agencies have demonstrated commendable resilience in the face of seismic events and other natural disasters," said David Gamez, co-chair, 2021 Report Card for Alaska's Infrastructure. "Unfortunately, we face many other threats, ranging from shore erosion to permafrost, major temperature fluctuations and avalanches. We must keep our foot on the gas to address current and future challenges to prevent power outages, road closures, suspended drinking water services, and many more vital services."
To view the report card and all 12 categories, visit https://infrastructurereportcard.org/state-item/alaska/.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.
Fatal Boston Garage Demolition Leaves Long Road to Recovery
April 04, 2022 — Scott Van Voorhis - Engineering News-Record
Massachusetts' officials are bracing for a lengthy recovery process following the March 26 fatal collapse during demolition of a section of a hulking Brutalist-era parking garage in Boston. JDC Demolition was razing the Government Center structure to make way for a 410,000-sq-ft life-sciences complex, when a multistory portion near the top failed, killing 51-year-old operating engineer Peter Monsini.
Reprinted courtesy of Scott Van Voorhis, Engineering News-Record
ENR may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the full story...
Five Actions Construction and Energy Risk Managers Can Take to Avoid the Catastrophic Consequences of a Cyber Attack
June 27, 2022 — Eve-Lynn Gisonni - Saxe Doernberger & Vita
With the ever-increasing usage of technology in the construction and energy industries, risks to business operations have also increased. Property developers and construction contractors rely on electronic data and communications more than ever to streamline projects, ensure efficient and timely supply chain delivery, and facilitate immediate communications between parties. However, with this dependence upon technology comes the heightened risk of cyber criminals frustrating construction operations and driving up costs.
Similarly, as the energy sector has grown more dependent upon online networks for deliverables, vulnerabilities have become more pronounced in trades dependent upon electrical grids. When an entire electricity network must be taken offline in defense of a cyber-attack, this impacts countless industries such as hospitals and health care operations, manufacturers and suppliers, and local and interstate traffic systems. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Eve-Lynn Gisonni, Saxe Doernberger & Vita
Mr. Gisonni may be contacted at EGisonni@sdvlaw.com