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New retainage law goes into effect November 6

Massachusetts enacted a new retainage law that will require owners, prime contractors and subcontractors to pay retainage according to the law’s terms on a construction contract if... ...more

Fifth Circuit Holding Breathes Life Back Into the Contractual Liability Exclusion

Liability insurance policies typically exclude coverage for obligations arising out of the insured’s “assumption of liability in a contract or agreement.” Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court took a narrow view of this...more

Whether faulty workmanship constitutes an "occurence" continues to be revisited by courts across the country

Is there a shift in the longstanding majority view, including in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, that construction defect claims do not constitute an occurrence when the damage is to the insured’s own work because it...more

Warning: A Builder Who Rejects Assigned Counsel May Jeopardize Insurance Coverage

For many reasons, developers and builders in a construction defect lawsuit want to pick their own counsel to defend them. For instance, they have a good working relationship with the counsel, counsel did well in another case...more

“Your Work” Exclusion Bars Coverage for Tearing Down & Rebuilding Wall

The S.C. Court of Appeals recently applied the “your work” exclusion in a declaratory judgment action arising out of a construction defect suit to find the policy did not provide coverage. In Precision Walls v. Liberty Mutual...more

Changes Made to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law to Protect Holders of Open-End Mortgages and Residential Property Owners

Mechanics’ liens grant contractors and subcontractors an interest in improvements made to real property to secure the payment obligations of owners to contractors, and of contractors to subcontractors. While these liens...more

North Dakota Supreme Court Establishes Defense to “No Damage for Delay” Clause

In June 2014, the North Dakota Supreme Court issued its decision in C&C Plumbing & Heating, LLP v. Williams County et al, No. 20130297. The Court articulated a new defense to the application of a “no damage for delay” clause....more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Construction Defects

Regional Steel Corporation v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 13, 2014) - There has been a split of decisions in California as to whether incorporation of...more

Building Confidence: Consult an Attorney Before Starting the Construction Process

With high-end residential construction again on the rise in Southwest Florida, owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and others should be proactive and mindful of the various statutory requirements and...more

Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Construction Manager At-Risk Responsible for Design Errors / Holds that Spearin Doctrine Does...

The Worcester Superior Court recently issued a potentially landmark decision clarifying the risk that construction managers assume when entering into CM-At Risk contracts. ...more

When Can a CGL Policy Do a Disappearing Act?

In Evanston Insurance Company v North American Capacity Company, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 92682, Evanston Insurance Company sued in U.S. District Court to seek contribution from North American Capacity Insurance Company where both...more

Disclosure By Developer Binds Condo Purchasers

Condominium purchasers often do not read the Disclosure documentation which accompanies their Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The Disclosure documentation is important because it contains information which may have an impact...more

The Alabama Supreme Court Changes Its Mind on Coverage Under CGL Policy

Last September the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion addressing the applicability of the “own work” exclusion to claims against a contractor for defective construction. However, on March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Design Professionals' Duty to Future Residential Purchasers

Design professionals, such as architects and engineers, often seek to avoid liability to third party property purchasers for their negligence by arguing that their role in preparing plans was too remote for a duty to be...more

Architects May Be Sued Directly by Homeowners Association for Design Defects

In a unanimous decision, California’s Supreme Court has ruled that the principal architects for a condominium project may be sued directly by a condominium homeowners association for design defects. The case, decided July 3,...more

Privilege Issues Are Important in Homeowner Association Construction Defect Litigation

Attorneys in Homeowners Association (“HOA”) construction defect cases must meet with the homeowners to provide litigation updates and it can sometimes be difficult to preserve the attorney-client privilege for the...more

Williams Mullen Construction Industry Newsletter - Spring/Summer 2014

In This Issue: - CGL Insurance & Defects - No Sure Thing - Contract Quicksand - The Nuclear Option - Federal Contractors - Excerpt from CGL Insurance & Defects: Does Your Insurance Cover...more

Iowa Court of Appeals Rejects Argument to Impose Implied Warranty upon Land Developers

On April 16, 2014, land developers and sellers breathed a sigh of relief after the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that a purchaser of a residential building lot cannot sue the land developer for perceived deficiencies with the...more

New York and New Jersey Hold Fast to No “Occurrence” for Faulty Workmanship Claims

During the past year, five state supreme courts (Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, North Dakota and West Virginia) have found that faulty workmanship by a construction contractor or subcontractor can be a covered “occurrence.”...more

Construction Defect Disputes and the Abandoned Policyholder: Getting the Carrier to the Table

There is much that can go wrong in any large construction project: improper installations, defective products, errors and omissions made by designers, unexpected site conditions—the list is long. Insurance coverage or a...more

Is Defective Construction an “Occurrence”? More States Are Answering Yes

Last year, we examined the different approaches states have adopted to resolve whether defective construction by itself is an “occurrence” within the meaning of liability insurance policies. See Is Defective Construction...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – Reading Between the Liens

Maine has one of the most powerful mechanics lien laws in the country protecting contractors’ rights to get paid for their work, sometimes to the detriment of owners and mortgage holders. A mechanics lien creates a security...more

N.C. Supreme Court Poised to Decide Value of Long-Term Express Warranties on Construction Projects

Is a twenty-year product or construction warranty really good for twenty years? The North Carolina Supreme Court is poised to hear arguments in the case of Christie v. Hartley Construction, Inc. and the outcome will be...more

Why Your Condominium Corporation May Be Liable For Builder-Developer’s Actions

Most condominium boards assume that their condominium would be constructed properly and meet the minimum standards set out in Ontario’s Building Code. Unfortunately, this is not always the case....more

Duped Subcontractor Can’t Recover From Landowner Payments Owed by General Contractor Under CERCLA

On March 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit resolved a dispute of apparent first impression regarding the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The...more

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