Storm Eunice Damage in U.K. Could Top £300 Million
February 28, 2022 — Press Association - Bloomberg
Hundreds of thousands of homes are still without power due after Storm Eunice tore through the country, while insurers have indicated the clean-up could cost more than £300 million.
At least four people were killed in the UK and Ireland during one of the worst storms in decades, with a gust of 122mph provisionally recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight, which, if verified, would be the highest ever recorded in England.
Energy Networks Association (ENA) has said nearly 400,000 homes had no electricity on Friday night, with network providers recording 156,000 disrupted customers for UK Power Networks, 120,000 for Scottish & Southern, 112,000 for Western Power, 6,000 for Northern Power and 260 for Electricity North West. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Bloomberg
Application Of Two Construction Contract Provisions: No-Damages-For-Delay And Liquidated Damages
February 14, 2022 — David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates
A recent Florida opinion between a prime contractor and a Florida public body touches upon two important issues: (1) the application of a no-damage-for-delay provision; and (2) the application of a liquidated damages provision. Both provisions find there way into many construction contracts. Unfortunately, the opinion is sparse on facts. Nevertheless, the application of these provisions is worthy of consideration.
In this opinion, Sarasota County v. Southern Underground Industries, Inc., 2022 WL 162977 (Fla. 2d DCA 2022), a county hired a contractor to install sanitary and water piping underneath a waterway. During construction, a nearby homeowner complained that vibration from the drilling caused damage to his home. As a result, the county stopped the contractor’s work to address a potential safety issue, as it was contractually entitled to do. The contractor hired a structural engineer to inspect the house and the engineer issued a report determining that any alleged damage was cosmetic and that there was sufficient monitoring of the vibrations to prevent future damage. The contractor also had an insurance policy to cover any homeowner claim for damage. However, upon receipt of the engineer’s report, the county did not lift its stop work order. Rather, the stop work order remained in place for an additional 71 days. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at email@example.com
The Architecture of Tomorrow Mimics Nature to Cool the Planet
January 31, 2022 — Damian Shepherd - Bloomberg
There’s a new climate push in the building industry: regenerative architecture.
The sector has been trying for years to cut its sizeable carbon footprint, which was responsible for 38% of the world’s energy-related greenhouse gases in 2019. But developers need to go beyond preventing pollution if they want to help avoid catastrophic climate change, according to Sarah Ichioka and Michael Pawlyn, co-authors of a new book titled Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency.
They argue that buildings should be designed in a regenerative way — a process that mimics nature by restoring its own materials and sources of energy. It goes further than sustainable design, which seeks to reduce harm to the environment and use only essential materials.
“More than half of humanity’s total historic greenhouse-gas emissions have occurred since the concept of ‘sustainability’ entered the mainstream,” Ichioka and Pawlyn write. “It is now time to embrace a new regenerative approach to design and development.” Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Damian Shepherd, Bloomberg
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.
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
Contract Disruptions: Navigating Supply Constraints and Labor Shortages
January 24, 2022 — Greg Ross & Tim Lynch - Construction Executive
The biggest worries in today’s economy—supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and the worst inflation in decades—are creating big headaches in the construction industry. What’s worse, large projects underway are often based on contracts hammered out pre-pandemic, before the uncertainties and disruptions that spread around the globe with COVID-19. Construction firms find themselves executing on contracts signed when the potential for delayed timelines and rising costs seemed more remote.
A recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds almost all contractors (93%) say they are experiencing a shortage of an important product such as steel, lumber or copper. A rising number of companies on commercial projects (54%) also cite difficulty finding skilled workers. Grant Thornton clients, among them some of the country’s biggest construction companies, report that sourcing materials and hiring workers is a bigger challenge today—and more expensive—than at any other time in recent decades.
Reprinted courtesy of Greg Ross and Tim Lynch, Construction Executive
, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the full story...
Cal/OSHA-Approved Changes to ETS Will Take Effect May 6, 2022
May 16, 2022 — Matthew C. Lewis & Nicole R. Kardassakis - Payne & Fears
A new, third revised version of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) has been approved by Cal/OSHA, and is expected to go into effect on May 6, 2022. This updated ETS will likely be in effect through Dec. 31, 2022.
The language still needs to be reviewed, finalized, and filed with the Secretary of State by the Office of Administrative Law, but a redline of the proposed changes that Cal/OSHA has approved is available here. Much of the previous ETS (which took effect in January 2022, and we discussed here) will remain in effect. But the new version includes some key changes, including the following:
- Employers will now have similar obligations toward employees who are fully vaccinated and employees who are not fully vaccinated with respect to testing and face coverings. Employers must make COVID-19 testing available at no cost to all symptomatic employees during the employee’s paid time, regardless of the employee’s vaccination status. Employers also must make respirators available to all employees upon request, again regardless of the employee’s vaccination status.
Reprinted courtesy of Matthew C. Lewis, Payne & Fears
and Nicole R. Kardassakis, Payne & Fears
Mr. Lewis may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Kardassakis may be contacted at email@example.com
Read the full story...
Lost Productivity or Inefficiency Claim Can Be Challenging to Prove
May 02, 2022 — David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates
One of the most challenging claims to prove is a lost productivity or inefficiency claim. There is an alluring appeal to these claims because there are oftentimes intriguing facts and high damages. But the allure of the presentation of the claim does not compensate for the actual burden of proof in proving the lost productivity or inefficiency claim, which will require an expert. And they really are challenging to prove.
Don’t take it from me. A recent Federal Claims Court opinion, Nova Group/Tutor-Saliba v. U.S., 2022 WL 815826, (Fed.Cl. 2022), that I also discussed in the preceding article
, exemplifies this point.
To determine lost productivity or inefficiency, the claimant’s expert tried three different methodologies.
First, the expert looked at industry standard lost productivity factors such as those promulgated by the Mechanical Contractor’s Association. However, the claimant was not a mechanical contractor and there is a bunch of subjectivity involved when using these factors. The expert decided not to use such industry standard factors correctly noting they provide value when you are looking at a potential impact prospectively, but once you incur actual damages and have real data, it is not an accurate measure. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org