Dispute Resolution Provision in Subcontract that Says Owner, Architect or Engineer’s Decision Is Final
March 29, 2021 — David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates
In subcontracts, it is not uncommon to see a provision that says something to the effect:
Should any dispute arise between the parties respecting the true construction or interpretation of the Plans, Specifications and/or the Contract Requirements, the decision of the Owner or the Owner’s designated representative as set forth in the General Contract shall be final.
This is a provision in a subcontract dealing with dispute resolution, typically when there is a dispute as to whether the subcontractor is performing extra-contractual or base contract work regarding an “interpretation of the Plans, Specifications, and/or the Contract Requirements.” It is not uncommon for there to be a dispute as to whether certain work is within the subcontractor’s scope of work or outside the subcontractor’s scope of work and subject to a change order. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at email@example.com
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Strikes a Deathblow to Substantial Factor Causation in Most Cases; Is Asbestos Litigation Next?
March 22, 2021 — Christian J. Singewald, Rochelle Gumapac & Timothy J. Keough - White and Williams LLP
In Doull v. Foster, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) addressed the proper causation standard in a medical malpractice case. In reaching this issue, the SJC reached far beyond the medical malpractice case before it. The SJC concluded that the substantial factor test for causation, which had been regularly employed in the Commonwealth for decades, was “unnecessarily confusing.” In doing so, the SJC effectively ended the use of the substantial factor test in all negligence cases going forward, except in toxic tort litigation. However, the SJC openly questioned its usefulness in toxic tort litigation and all but welcomed a direct challenge to its use there.
Reprinted courtesy of Christian J. Singewald, White and Williams LLP
, Rochelle Gumapac, White and Williams LLP
and Timothy J. Keough, White and Williams LLP
Mr. Singewald may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Gumapac may be contacted at email@example.com
Mr. Keough may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of
Amada Family Limited Partnership v. Pomeroy: Colorado Court of Appeals Expressly Affirms the Continuing Viability of the Common-Law After-Acquired Title Doctrine and Expressly Recognizes Utility Easements by Necessity
June 28, 2021 — Luke Mecklenburg - Snell & Wilmer Real Estate Litigation Blog
On May 27, 2021, a division of the Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Amada Family Limited Partnership v. Pomeroy, 2021 COA 73. In that case, the court decided two significant issues that apparently had never been expressly ruled on by a Colorado appellate court before: (1) that Colorado’s common-law after-acquired title doctrine was not abrogated by adoption of the after-acquired interest statute; and (2) that utility easements may be implied by necessity.
As is often the case in matters involving access and implied property rights, the facts and history underlying Amada are complicated, but the case’s two most significant rulings are not. Instead, the basic legal principles established (or confirmed) in Amada appear to be broadly applicable, and real property practitioners should take note of these significant developments (or clarifications) in the law.
Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Luke Mecklenburg, Snell & Wilmer
Mr. Mecklenburg may be contacted at email@example.com
Cross-Motions for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings for COVID-19 Claim Denied
May 24, 2021 — Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii
The court denied both parties' motions for partial judgment on the pleadings seeking clarification of the policy's contamination exclusion. Thor Equities, LLC v. Factory Mut. Ins. Co., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62967 (S.D. N.Y. March 31, 2021).
Thor was a commercial landlord, renting properties across the country to hundreds of tenants, for use in a variety of businesses, including office space, retail stores, restaurants, and bars. When state governments began shutting down businesses and issuing stay-at-home orders in March 2020, many of Thor's tenants had to close shop and sought abatements or other accommodations. Thor alleged it suffered significant business interruption as a result of the pandemic. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not All Design-Build Projects are Created Equal
June 28, 2021 — Nicole Markowitz & Richard Robinson - Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
As the need for faster and more efficient construction increases, design-build agreements are growing in popularity. Design-build projects may account for 44% of nonresidential building in the United States this year. However, contractors who venture into a “design builder” role may unexpectedly become liable for design errors/omissions that are not covered by their insurance policies. In turn, they may expose themselves to liability and insurance risks that are neither insured nor managed.
In this article, we’ll discuss how the contractor who becomes a design-builder, or performs design-related work through subcontractors, faces potentially unmanaged risk. We will also explore indemnity, warranty, and insurance traps by paying attention to contract language in both traditional design-build and design-assist scenarios.
Reprinted courtesy of Nicole Markowitz, Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
and Richard Robinson, Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
Ms. Markowitz may be contacted at email@example.com
Mr. Robinson may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of
Workers Compensation Insurance: Dangers of the Audit Process
April 12, 2021 — Jason M. Gropper - Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP
If your business obtains workers compensation insurance, it is important you take steps to protect the business and yourself from excessive premiums to the insurance company as a result of misclassification of workers.
After applying for and being accepted by an insurance company for workers compensation insurance, your business will receive a Workers Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance Policy. It is important that you or an advisor reviews this document. Generally, this document will explain what the insurance company can do, steps it can take to determine the premium, and the responsibilities of your business.
The document will also provide the estimated premium. A premium is the amount you will pay for the coverage provided by the insurance company. The premium is determined by many factors, including the classification of each employee. It is important that when your company applies for insurance, the correct classifications are provided. If those are not provided, or provided in error, the insurance company will assign classifications and the associated rates, based on its assumptions and conclusions. The insurance company will assess the payroll and multiply it by an established rate based on the revised classification. The rates are different for the distinct work being done by each employee, with higher-risk jobs receiving a higher rate. For instance, a roofer or framer will have a higher rate than clerical staff. The rate is generally higher for those with riskier jobs. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Jason M. Gropper, Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP
Mr. Gropper may be contacted at Gropper@ahclaw.com
Key Legal Considerations for Modular Construction Contracts
April 19, 2021 — Frederick E. Hedberg - Construction Executive
Modular construction is literally on the rise. It is rapidly displacing traditional stick-built construction for new commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Over the past decade, an increasing number of health care, education facilities and apartment buildings have been built using modular construction. As the need for housing, and especially affordable housing, has grown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, modular construction is becoming increasingly popular.
Recently, the Canadian government, through the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation, launched a “Rapid Housing Initiative,” a $1 billion program utilizing only modular construction to rapidly construct affordable housing for its citizens. Similarly, the city of Toronto (which last year approved a plan to build 250 modular homes in response to homelessness) plans to build 1,000 modular homes by 2030. The pandemic also has resulted in an urgent demand for modules for medical facilities and schools. Modular construction allows contractors to build “leaner” and “greener” buildings while increasing quality control and improving site safety and potentially saving valuable time and money.
Reprinted courtesy of Frederick E. Hedberg, Construction Executive
, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of
Mr. Hedberg may be contacted at email@example.com
Florida Death Toll Rises by Three, Reaching 27 as Search Resumes
July 05, 2021 — The Associated Press (Adriana Gomez Licon & Bobby Caina Calvan) - Bloomberg
Surfside, Fla. (AP) -- Rescuers searched through fresh rubble Monday after the last of the collapsed Florida condo building was demolished, which allowed crews into previously inaccessible places, including bedrooms where people were believed to be sleeping at the time of the disaster, officials said.
But they faced a new challenge from thunderstorms that hit the area as Tropical Storm Elsa approached the state.
Four more victims were discovered in the new pile, Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told family members, raising the death toll to 28 people. Another 117 people remain unaccounted for.
The demolition late Sunday was crucial to the search-and-rescue effort, officials said, and raised the prospect that crews could increase both the pace of their work and the number of searchers at the site, although the chance of finding survivors 12 days after the June 24 collapse has diminished. Read the court decisionRead the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of The Associated Press, Bloomberg