Construction Civil Remedies

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Attorneys Fees Under California’s Prompt Payment Statutes. Contractor’s “Win” Fails the Sniff Test

This past month, the California Court of Appeals for the Third District, in  James L. Harris Painting & Decorating, Inc. v. West Bay Builders, Inc., Case No. C072169 (August 27, 2015), handed down a decision in a construction...more

California Court of Appeal affirms vitality of California’s Right to Repair Act (SB 800) against construction defect claims

The California Court of Appeal, Fifth District, issued a published opinion last week holding that California’s Right to Repair Act (Act, commonly known in the homebuilding industry as SB 800, applies to all claims by...more

Performing Work with a Suspended CSLB License Costs Big: Subcontractor Faces $18,000,000 Disgorgement

In what could lead to a draconian result, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District held that a contractor who performs work without a valid license can be required to disgorge all payments received, even if the...more

Court Throws Wet Blanket On Prime Contractor's Attorneys' Fees Request In Prompt Payment Case

In James L. Harris Painting & Decorating, Inc. v. West Bay Builders, Inc., et al. (No. C072169, filed 8/27/15), the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District upheld the trial court's discretion to not award...more

AAA Issues Revised Rules for Arbitration in Construction Industry Disputes

The American Arbitration Association recently updated its Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures, effective July 1, 2015. There are six new rules, some of which are borrowed from litigation...more

Clean Water Rule Halted in Arizona and 12 Other States

On August 27, the day before it was set to become final, a federal district court in North Dakota halted implementation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of The...more

Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act Does Not Apply to Public Projects

Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (“CASPA”) is a powerful tool for contractors and subcontractors to ensure that they receive prompt payment for their work and may entitle them to expansive remedies,...more

McMillin Albany, LLC v. Superior Court Rejects Reasoning and Outcome of Liberty Mutual on SB800

In McMillin Albany, LLC v. Superior Court (available here), the Fifth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal held that SB800 (Civil Code sections 895 through 945.5, the “Right to Repair Act”) is the only remedy...more

California Court of Appeals Holds Liability Insurer May Obtain Equitable Subrogation Against its Insured’s Contractual Indemnitor...

In Valley Crest Landscape, Inc. v. Mission Pools of Escondido, Inc., 238 Cal.App.4th 468 (2015), the California Court of Appeals held that an insurer could successfully recover on a claim for equitable subrogation against the...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That Insured May Settle Tort Claim Without Insurer Consent Under “Fair and Reasonable” Standard

In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. American Nuclear Insurers, a divided Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, deciding an issue of first impression under Pennsylvania law, recently held that when an insurer defends its insured subject to a...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Erosion in Texas—Because Endorsements Are Transformative

In Amerisure Mut. Ins. Co. v. Arch Specialty Ins Co., No. 14-20239 (5th Cir. April 21, 2015), a case that applied Texas law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that the word “expenses,” as used in a...more

“If You See Something, Say Something” Applies to Construction Contract Bidding

In Otis Elevator Co. v. W.G.Yates & Sons Construction Co., 589 Fed. Appx. 953; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20214 (11th Cir. 2014), a subcontractor installed a series of escalators for an airport expansion project and sued the...more

Contractor’s Repeated Material Breach Excuses Subcontractor From Further Performance

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York in U.W. Marx, Inc. v. Koko Contracting, Inc. affirmed judgment in favor of a subcontractor, holding that the general contractor’s failure to make three successive...more

Contractor Barred from Using the “Total Cost” or “Modified Total Cost” Approach to Establish Delay Claim

In a recent ruling, Hill York Service Corporation v. Critchfield Mechanical, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida held that a contractor may not establish damages for delay under either the...more

If You Can't Say Anything Nice: Criticizing Contractors Can Be Costly

Construction projects can turn acrimonious — and bad feelings often survive dispute resolution. But think twice before voicing thoughts or opinions about a fellow project participant. A false statement about another’s...more

AAA Revises Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) has revised its Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures (Rules), effective July 1, 2015. Although some changes are relatively modest, others expand the...more

Arbitrator and Mediator. Member of AAA National Panel of Construction Arbitrators

AAA issued revised Construction Industry Arbitration Rules which took effect July 1, 2015. There are significant changes in the new rules which are intended to make the arbitration process more efficient and cost-effective. ...more

Top Ten Construction Clauses: Pay-if-Paid and Pay-when-Paid Clauses

Pay-if-paid clauses provide that a general contractor is not required to pay subcontractors unless and until it receives payment from the owner. The ConsensusDocs Standard Agreement 655 provides the following example: Receipt...more

Fourth District Holds Losing CEQA Plaintiff’s Mooted Appeal Was Not “Catalyst” To City’s Revocation Of Project Entitlements After...

In an opinion filed June 8, and ordered published on July 6, 2015, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment denying a CEQA plaintiff’s motion for attorneys’ fees under CCP § 1021.5,...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Award of Counsel Fees to “Successful Claimant” in Coverage Dispute is Not Contingent Upon Award of...

On May 7, 2015, in Occhifinto v. Olivo Constr. Co., LLC, 2015 N.J. LEXIS 508 (2015), the Supreme Court of New Jersey considered whether a party who prevailed against an insurer in a declaratory judgment coverage but did not...more

Construction Licensing – Substantial Compliance – Settlements and Suspension of License

Pacific Caisson & Shoring, Inc. v. Bernards Bros. Inc. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (May 18, 2015) - Business and Professions Code Section 7031 precludes a contractor from maintaining any action...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Applicability of Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act

Last week, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision which has important consequences for all members of the construction industry involved with public works projects. In Clipper Pipe & Service, Inc. v. The Ohio...more

Nevada Legislature Passes Reform on General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Subcontractor Labor Benefits

The 2015 Nevada Legislature appears to have brought common sense reform to one of the state’s most controversial statutes – NRS 608.150 – which made “original contractors” liable to its subcontractor employees (or labor...more

AZ Court of Appeals Broadly Interprets Persons Entitled to Compensation From Arizona Residential Contractors’ Recovery Fund

It’s not just for homeowners anymore – Arizona Court of Appeals decides a resident of property owned by his trust may still receive compensation from the Arizona Residential Contractors’ Recovery Fund. A recent Arizona...more

The Federal and Nevada False Claims Acts

Contractors are no strangers to the courts of justice. Litigation between contractors and owners frequently occurs when a project does not get completed on time or the work does not comply with the Contract Documents. The...more

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