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Third Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act suit, citing contract ambiguity

Ambiguous contract terms are ordinarily a liability for government contractors, opening the possibility of misunderstandings, expensive disputes, and, potentially, unpaid additional work. However, contract ambiguity recently...more

Appellate Federal Court Overturns District Court Ruling; Federal Government Contractor Must Disclose Internal Investigation...

In our current Williams Mullen Construction Industry News, the article titled “Federal Contractors” discussed a ruling on March 6, 2014 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordering a federal government...more

No Lawsuit for You! When Subcontractors Cannot Sue the General Contractor

Can a subcontractor sue a general contractor over a work site accident? A recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court loudly and clearly said, "NO." Why not? The court ruled in Patton v. Worthington Associations, Inc....more

Men at Work: California Public Works Projects and Prevailing Wage Laws

California’s prevailing wage law, set forth in the California Labor Code, provides that each worker employed by contractors or subcontractors on a public works project must be paid not less than the general prevailing wage...more

Missouri Supreme Court Abandons Exclusive Causation Requirement for Worker’s Compensation Retaliatory Discharge Claims

In Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., -- S.W.3d -- , (Mo. 2014), No. SC93132, 2014 WL 1464574, the Missouri Supreme Court threw out its long-held interpretation of section 287.780, RSMo requiring a plaintiff in a worker’s...more

Workers' Compensation Alert: Predetermination/Misclassification in the Construction Industry

In Nate Holyoke Builders, Inc. et al. v. WCB AIU, WCB App. Div. No. 14-11 (April 24, 2014), the employer appealed a decision imposing a $30,000 penalty for misclassification of nine employees as independent contractors. The...more

11th Circuit Affirms No Indemnity for a Subcontractor's Deceased Employee Under Employee Exclusion Contained in General...

On April 24, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued an opinion affirming summary judgment deny a claim by the estate of a subcontractor's employee against a general contractor's commercial...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Unanimously Holds That Union Workers Are Not Subcontractors for Purposes of Pa. Mechanics' Lien Law

On April 17, 2014, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision eagerly awaited by owners, developers, contractors and others involved in the construction industry....more

Did you know? Recent changes in the law that may impact your construction projects in the Southeast.

Forum Selection Clause - The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that forum selection clauses should be upheld in most circumstances. Have you used a forum selection clause in your contracts which would maximize the...more

Illinois High Court Affirms Viability of Construction Industry Classification Law

The Illinois Supreme Court recently rejected a constitutional challenge by a roofing contractor who alleged the Illinois Employee Classification Act (ECA) violates procedural due process rights and is impermissibly vague. The...more

Utah Supreme Court "Repudiates" the Federal Multi-Employer Worksite Doctrine

In an unapologetic rejection of a decades-old legal fiction hatched by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") and embraced by Utah Division of Occupational Safety and Health ("UOSH"), on January...more

Sixth Circuit Holds General Contractor Can Be Liable in Discrimination Suit Brought by Sub-Contractor's Employees

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a district court's ruling granting summary judgment to a general contractor on the question of whether it could be held liable to its sub-contractor's employees as a joint...more

Oregon “Economic-Realities Test” Case is a Mixed Bag for Employers

In Cejas Commercial Interiors Inc. v. Torres-Lizama, the Oregon Court of Appeals recently held that an employee working for a construction subcontractor was not an employee of the general contractor for purposes of Oregon...more

Construction E-Note - December 19, 2013

In this Issue: - Alabama's New Sales Tax Exemption Procedure for Contractors and Subcontractors Beginning On January 1, 2014 - OSHA Combustible Dust Standard on the Horizon – What Every Industry Should Know -...more

On Second Thought, Wage Ordinance Does Not Expand Federal Court's Jurisdiction

Miami-Dade County's prevailing wage ordinance, which sets minimum wages on publicly funded construction projects, does not authorize plaintiffs to litigate prevailing wage claims in court under the auspices of the Fair Labor...more

Argument Report: Are Statutory Penalties Under the Employee Classification Act Constitutional?

Bartlow v. Costigan involves a constitutional challenge: can the Department of Labor return administrative fines against construction contractors under the Employee Classification Act without mandatory evidentiary hearings?...more

Contractors Beware: Raising The Stakes In Davis-Bacon Compliance

A recent decision by a Pennsylvania district court lends support for a growing trend of filing claims under the Federal False Claims Act based on allegations that contractors on federally funded construction projects...more

Burr Alert: Ground Control, LLC v. Capsco Industries, Inc., et. al.: Opening The Door To Claims By Unlicensed Contractors In...

The Mississippi Supreme Court, in a case of first impression, recently addressed claims for nonpayment by contractors performing work in the state in violation of Miss. Code Ann. Section 31-3-15, which requires contractors...more

You Say “Tomato,” I Say “Tomahto” – Not All Deadlines Are Created Equally – At Least Under the Miller Act

Deadlines. Being a litigator I take deadlines serious. Cases can be won or lost by failing to meet deadlines. But when is a failure to meet a deadline an absolute bar to making a claim and when might it...more

Second Circuit Reaffirms That Private Prevailing Wage Claims Are Barred By Davis-Bacon Act

Carrion v. Agfa Construction, Inc., Nos. 11-5098, 11-5334 (2d. Cir. June 13, 2013): On appeal from an order by District Judge Brian M. Cogan in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the...more

Employee Wrongfully Terminated for Refusing to Engage in Criminal Copyright Infringement

Adam Young worked for an architecture firm, Nortex Foundation Designs Inc. in Fort Worth Texas as a drafter. He was hired in 2001 and designed foundation plans based on copyrighted architectural designs that Nortex provided...more

Class Arbitrations Under Attack—But Survive

Originally published in the Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers Volume 7, Number 1, in Winter of 2013. There are certain indisputable benets of commercial arbitration: knowledgeable trier of fact,...more

Tenth Circuit Affirms Refusal To Certify Sex Discrimination Class

Hilti, Inc. sells power equipment for use in construction sites. A quick trip through its website reveals tools most people wouldn’t have in their home workshops, such as 1100-watt demolition hammers, gas-powered fasteners,...more

Indemnity Agreement's Scope Included Contractual Liabilities To Third Parties

A court of appeals recently held that an indemnity agreement between an operator and a contractor placed the burden on the contractor to indemnify the operator for the operator's third-party indemnity obligations that arose...more

Engler v. Gulf Interstate Eng’g, Inc.: Employer Liability for Contractor Employees Working Away from Home

In today’s increasingly mobile construction industry, contractors are frequently involved in projects away from their home office. It is not uncommon for a construction company to send employees to another area and provide...more

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