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The Construction Advantage – Issue 14

Welcome to the fourteenth edition of The Construction Advantage! In this issue, we bring you cases of economic loss doctrine, binding arbitration, and CGL exclusions. We hope that you enjoy our newsletter, and we welcome any...more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015

California Court Adopts Broad Interpretation of “Occurrence,” Finds Coverage - Why it matters: In a victory for policyholders—and a continuation of the trend of courts adopting a broad reading of the term “occurrence”...more

Florida Appeals Court Holds Contractor and Engineering Firm Entitled to Summary Judgment on Personal Injury Claim Where Owner...

The Florida Department of Transportation (“DOT”) hired Transportation Engineering, Inc. (“TEI”) to design, and D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. (“DAB”) to install, median guardrails along the Florida Turnpike. After the...more

Florida’s Slavin Doctrine: Alive, Well and Expanding?

In a recent opinion, the Fourth District Court of Appeal appears to have expanded the Slavin doctrine in the context of design professional liability. In McIntosh v. Progressive Design and Engineering, Inc. (Jan. 7, 2015),...more

Oregon Court of Appeals Clarifies Application of Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose in Connection with Construction...

In Riverview Condo, Ass’n v. Cypress Ventures, Inc., 266 Ore. App. 574 (Or. Ct. App. 2014), the Oregon Court of Appeals clarified application of the statute of repose and statute of limitations in the context of a suit...more

California Expands the Duty of Professional Consultants

Professional consultants and sub-consultants provide essential services to a Project during its planning, design, construction, and acceptance. In some jurisdictions, they enjoy protections from liability for “economic...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Breadth of Condo Developer's Tort Duties

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to review a decision from Division 5 of the First District with potentially significant implications for developers: Henderson Square Condominium...more

It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: Equitable Estoppel in Construction Defect Claims

More than 20 years ago, the Watergate scandal taught us “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” that does the damage. The ensuing decades have brought a steady stream of individuals and companies that had to learn the truth...more

Ninth Circuit Enforces Waiver of Subrogation Clause in Design/Build Agreement Against Post-Construction Property Insurer

Travelers Indem. Co. v. Crown Corr, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21101 (9th Cir. 2014) - This action arose out of the construction of the University of Phoenix Stadium (the “Stadium”), home of the Arizona Cardinals. ...more

Guardrail Ends – Open and Obvious Court Ends Liability for Contractor and Engineer Based Upon Slavin Doctrine

The Slavin Doctrine has been on the books for more than fifty years and is a favorite defense used by contractors, architects and engineers defending against personal injury and wrongful death claims. Generally, the Slavin...more

New York Court Revisits Architect’s Duty Under Contract and Tort Principles

Issues of privity and whether claims sound in breach of contract or negligence are common in construction defect cases involving architects and New York is no exception. Indeed, New York courts have long wrestled with...more

No CGL Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Under Pennsylvania Law

In State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. McDermott, 2014 WL 5285335 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 15, 2014), a federal court recently held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying construction defect...more

High Court Clarifies Duties To Subsequent Purchasers – Brookfield Multiplex v Owners Corporation

The duty of care owed by a builder to subsequent purchasers of a building has long been a source of contention. In a decision handed down on 8 October 2014, the High Court in Brookfield Multiplex Limited v Owners Corporation...more

High Court Finds No Duty of Care From Builder to Owners Corporation

The High Court has held that a builder of a serviced apartment complex does not owe a duty of care in negligence for financial loss arising from defects in common property to an owner's corporation (Brookfield...more

Contemporaneous Documentation is Not Always a Good Thing

There is no question that documentation is an important part in the resolution of any construction dispute. Particularly contemporaneous documents – documents that are created at the time that events occur. ...more

"Construction Alert" Texas Supreme Court Confirms Owners May Bring Negligence Claim Directly Against Subcontractors

Several cases have held that a homeowner cannot sue a subcontractor for defective work because the homeowner’s contract is with the general contractor and not the subcontractor. Those cases left it to the general contractor...more

Confirmation That the Limitation Period for 'Building Actions' is 10 Years, Not Six

The recent Victorian Court of Appeal decision of Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd [2014] VSCA 165 (Brirek Case) has settled the appropriate time period, at least in Victoria, in which a...more

Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd – more claims against building practitioners?

On 6 August 2014, the Victorian Court of Appeal handed its decision in Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd [2014] VSCA 165. The decision clarified the operation of limitation periods in...more

Architects and Design Professionals Can Be Held Liable for Defects Based On Third Party Claims

A homeowners association, on behalf of its members, sued a condominium developer and various other parties for construction design defects that allegedly made their homes unsafe and uninhabitable for a significant portion of...more

California Supreme Court Expands Architect’s Duty of Care to Future Homeowners

A new decision issued by the California Supreme Court holds that, even in the absence of contractual privity, an architect on a residential building project owes a duty of care to future homeowners to provide design services...more

Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course, Finds Insurance Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims

Companies such as homebuilders, construction companies and contractors face significant financial risk from bodily injury and property damage claims arising from allegedly faulty workmanship or construction defects. Although...more

Principal Architects on Residential Projects Liable for Construction Defects Outside Their Control; Developers and Owners May Pay...

On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the much watched case Beacon Residential Community Assoc. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. The court held that the “principal architect” “owes a duty of care to future...more

California Supreme Court Holds Design Professionals Owe a Duty of Care to Future Homeowners

The California Supreme Court in Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (July 3, 2014), held – based on common law principles – that an architect owes a “duty of care” to future homeowners...more

The California Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of Homeowners In Disputes With California’s Architects

In the case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings and Merrill et. al. (July 3, 2014, S208173) Cal.4th, a condominium homeowners association, sued the developer of the project and the project architect...more

Limitation of Liability Clauses

Many industry form documents and custom construction contracts contain provisions shifting or limiting the respective parties’ risks. One of the more potentially significant risk-limiting provisions seen primarily in...more

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