General Business Civil Procedure Construction

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Serving contractual notices: wrong method, right result

Contracts usually stipulate for specific requirements that need to be carefully followed in serving contractual notices, failing which serious issues may arise. Two recent cases highlight the courts' approach to notice...more

Fraud and Performance Securities

Performance securities are an everyday feature of construction and engineering projects. It is increasingly common to see calls on performance securities challenged on the basis of "fraud". Two recent cases from the English...more

Construction Defect – Application of the Right to Repair Statute to Material Suppliers

The Right to Repair Statute in California requires a homeowner show a breach of contract or negligence to succeed. Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI, Inc. - California Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate...more

Texas Court of Appeals Holds That Owner’s Change to Contractor’s Means and Methods Resulted in a “Breach,” Instead of a “Change”...

Port of Houston Auth. of Harris Cnty. v. Zachry Constr. Corp., 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 13306 (Tex. App. Houston 14th Dist. Dec. 15, 2016) - This contract dispute dates back to 2004, when the Port of Houston Authority...more

Status quo Returns: the High Court Weighs in on Reference Dates and the NSW Court of Appeal Clears up the Grounds for Challenge

The decisions of the High Court in Southern Han Breakfast Point Pty Ltd (In Liq) v Lewence Construction Pty Ltd [2016] HCA 52 and the New South Wales Court of Appeal in Shade Systems Pty Ltd v Probuild Constructions (Aust)...more

Contractor not liable following tunnel collapse

A recent Scottish case absolved a contractor from liability for the collapse of a tunnel as part of a hydroelectric scheme. This was because the contractor exercised reasonable skill and care, and did not guarantee the...more

Virginia Supreme Court Holds That Subcontractors Did Not Waive Statute of Limitations, With The Result That The General Contractor...

Hensel Phelps Constr. Co. v. Thompson Masonry Contractor, Inc., et. al., No. 151780, 2016 Va. LEXIS 166 (Va. Nov. 3, 2016) - The dispute arose from the construction of a student health and fitness center at Virginia...more

Texas Court of Appeals Holds That the Effect of a Failure to Meet a Specific Contractual Deadline for Arbitration is a Procedural...

Tilson Home Corp. v. Zepeda, No. 14-16-00075-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12022 (Tex. App. Nov. 8, 2016) - The Court of Appeals of Texas has held that an arbitrator—not a trial court—must determine whether a prerequisite to...more

Are Non-Compete Agreements Right for Your Construction Company?

Non-compete agreements, or non-competition agreements, are contracts into which an employer and an employee enter that restricts the work the employee can perform for another company when the employee’s tenure at the employer...more

Significant Government Contract Litigation: A Year in Review

Last year provided a number of important claims and cases that further developed various aspects of litigation regarding the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). The major issues raised in some of the more notable claims include...more

Defence & Indemnity - December 2016: V. SURETY AND BOND ISSUES

Alberta Court of Appeal confirms an obligee/trustee under labour and material payment bond has no legal duty to disclose the existence of such a bond to potential bond claimants until specifically asked about its...more

Federal Court in Pennsylvania Analyzes Which Types of Damage are Barred by Contractual Waiver of Consequential Damages

Jay Jala, LLC v. DDG Construction, Inc., No. 15-3948, 2016 US Dist. LEXIS 150969 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 1, 2016) - Jay Jala, LLC was the owner of a motel construction project in Allentown, Pennsylvania. DDG Construction, Inc....more

Maryland Federal Court Approves Residential Sales Contract Provision Creating a One-Year Period of Limitations

In Daniels v. NVR, Inc., t/a Ryan Homes, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland upheld the validity of a contractual provision in a residential home purchase agreement that reduced the normal period of...more

Illinois Court Addresses Contractual "Pay-If-Paid" Provisions - Appellate Ruling: Strict Standard is Required for Forfeiture of...

The Illinois First District Appellate Court recently addressed the longstanding principle in A.A. Conte Inc. v. Campbell-Lowrie-Lautermilch Corp., 132 Ill. App. 3d 325 (1st Dist. 1985), of barring payments by general...more

Federal Court in Hawaii Holds that an Unlicensed Subcontractor May Pursue Contract Claims Against Contractor Notwithstanding...

U.S. Pipelining LLC v. Johnson Controls, Inc., No. 16-00132 HG-RLP, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150767 (D. Haw. Oct. 31, 2016) - This action arose out of the renovation of a condominium complex on Maui (Project). Johnson...more

New York Case Reminds Us That Some Courts Take Notice Provisions Very Seriously

A New York appellate court issued a decision in 2016 that serves as an important reminder to all tiers of the construction industry: courts take the notice provisions in your construction contracts very seriously. In the...more

Delaware Law Updates – The Court of Chancery Determines $2 Billion Dispute Is One for an Independent Auditor to Decide

In Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. v. Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, C.A. No. 12585-VCL (Del. Ch. Dec. 5, 2016), the Court of Chancery granted a buyer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that the plain...more

Court Finds No Occurrence for Installation of Defective flooring and Explains Coverage for Attorney Fee Awards

In Navigators Specialty Ins. Co. v. Moorefield Const. (No.G050759, filed 12/27/16), a California appeals court held that the knowing installation of flooring over a vapor-emitting slab was not an accident or occurrence,...more

Oregon High Court Clarifies How To Read the Four Corners of a Complaint

On December 8, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision, West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., 360 Or. 650 (2016), clarifying what allegations in a construction defect suit will implicate coverage under...more

Recent NH Supreme Court Opinion Changes the Scope of Liability for the Construction Industry

NH Supreme Court rejects City’s bid to expand nullum tempus - Earlier this week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued a significant opinion holding that cities and towns are not exempt from the State’s statute of...more

Strict Compliance with Performance Bonds

Performance bonds and bank guarantees are commonly used as forms of security under construction and engineering contracts. Calling on a performance bond or bank guarantee requires, in most countries, "strict" compliance with...more

Eighth Circuit Dismisses Interlocutory FCA Appeal for Lack of Jurisdiction

In this April 2016 decision, the Eighth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the appeal of a two-state agency seeking review of a denial of its motion for summary judgment. Below the two-state agency had...more

New Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes

The Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes (PAP) was introduced to encourage disputing parties to exchange information and meet to discuss, and hopefully narrow, the issues before starting court...more

Court rejects contractor’s mechanic’s lien because of ‘intent’

The Illinois Court of Appeals’ recent decision in AUI Construction Group, LLC v. Vaessen highlights the need for careful planning in structuring development agreements, construction contracts, and the use of an easement as...more

Court Grants Default Judgment Confirming Arbitration Award, With A Lesson On Jurisdiction

Choice Hotels filed an application to confirm an arbitration award of over $247,000 for the alleged breach of a franchise agreement by two defendants, which failed to timely commence construction of a hotel. The defendants...more

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