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Suit Alleging Drug Distributor Was a “Pill Mill” Requires Defense - Why it matters: A Kentucky federal court held that the claimed impact in a suit brought by the West Virginia Attorney General – alleging that...more

Majority Of OHSA Fines In $100,000 To $150,000 Range In Fatality Cases, Court Notes

In sentencing an employer to a $115,000.00 fine in the case of a tragic workplace death, an Ontario Justice of the Peace has discussed the range of fines against employers convicted of charges under the Occupational Health...more

Florida High Court Liberally Construes Self-Insured Retention Endorsement

On February 6, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court took a liberal view of self-insured retentions (SIRs) and held that an insured can apply indemnification payments from a third party to satisfy its SIR under a general liability...more

Builders Beware! You Cannot Hide Behind SB 800!

In Burch v Superior Court (Premier Homes et al.) 2014 DJDAR 1991 (decided February 19, 2014) plaintiff Burch, a Pacific Palisades homeowner, sued defendants Premier Homes, the developer, and Custom Home Builders, the general...more

Deliberate Intent: Beyond Workers’ Compensation and Into the Assets of Your Business

A recent November 2013 case from the North Carolina Court of Appeals provides the perfect opportunity to remember when your business or your supervisors can be held liable for workplace injuries....more

OSHA Update: Blaming Workers for Injuries?

In 2012, OSHA warned employers to be cautious about safety incentives that encourage workers not to report workplace injuries. As part of this memo from OSHA, employers were told to make sure that employees were free to...more

$20,000 Fine After HR Staff, Supervisor Fail To Immediately Report Injury To MOL

An Ontario employer has been fined $20,000 for failing to report an injury to the Ministry of Labour, showing that employers need to educate their managers about the types of injuries that must be reported under the...more

Supervisor Jailed 45 Days For Occupational Health And Safety Act Violation

An Ontario supervisor has been jailed for 45 days after a worker fell off a roof and suffered permanent paralysis. Are courts growing increasingly comfortable jailing supervisors for serious safety violations?...more

The Construction Advantage

We hope you enjoy Bernstein Shur’s first edition of The Construction Advantage. This newsletter will provide you with insight into the current legal issues in construction, news and updates. We hope in this newsletter and...more

The Texas Supreme Court Issues a Liability-Coverage Decision Favorable to the Construction Industry

On January 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court resolved a long-debated controversy as to the scope of a contractual liability insurance exclusion in Ewing Construction Co. v. Amerisure Insurance Co. A contractual liability...more

Texas Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court’s Holding Excluding Construction Defect Claim From Coverage Under CGL Policy

In a victory for contractors, the Texas Supreme Court recently held that a contractor does not lose coverage under its commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy merely because it entered into a contract agreeing to perform...more

Texas Supreme Court Rejects Insurer Attempt to Expand Limited Insurance Exclusion for Liability Assumed by Contract, Holding that...

In a highly anticipated ruling earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court rejected Amerisure Insurance Company’s attempt to radically expand the scope of a common exclusion for liability assumed by contract found in many...more

Texas Supreme Court Limits Liability Exclusion in Ewing

On January 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued a key ruling clarifying the scope of contractual liability exclusions in insurance policies. In Ewing Const. Co., Inc. v. Amerisure Ins. Co., 2014 WL 185035 (Tex. Jan. 17,...more

Certificate of Qualified Expert Not Always Required for Claim Against a Design Firm in Maryland

For over 15 years, Maryland law has required that a party asserting a claim against a design professional – such as an architect or an engineer – for negligence in the rendition of professional services must file a...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules CGL Policy’s “Contractual Liability" Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage for Claims Arising From...

On January 17, 2014, the Supreme Court of Texas rejected a commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurer’s attempt to invoke the “contractual liability” exclusion to deny coverage under a standard CGL policy regarding a...more

Texas Supreme Court Holds “Contractual Liability” Exclusion Inapplicable

In a long and highly anticipated decision issued today, the Texas Supreme Court held that a standard “contractual liability” exclusion does not void coverage for claims alleging that a contractor failed to construct a project...more

Utah Court of Appeals Limits Third-Party Beneficiary Contract Claims Against Appraisers, but Recognizes Tort Based Third-Party...

In Lilley v. JPMorgan Chase, et al, 748 UT Adv. Rpt. 48, 213 Utah App. 285, Nov. 20, 2013, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed an order of the District Court dismissing the Plaintiffs’ breach of contract action against an...more

“John Doe” Saves the Day in Washington: Avoiding S.O.L. Defense by Properly Naming “Doe” Defendants

In Powers v. W.B. Mobile Servs., Inc., 311 P.3d 58, 2013 WL 5645561 (2013), Division Two of the Washington Court of Appeals held that if a plaintiff (1) names a “John Doe” defendant with “reasonable particularity,” files suit...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Limitations and Repose for Architects and Contractors

November was a relatively light month for the Illinois Supreme Court on the civil docket, with only one civil case on for argument. Today, we report on the oral argument in Gillespie Community Unit School Dist. No. 7 v. Wight...more

Homeowners Cannot Assert Claims Against Subcontractors For Breach Of Implied Warranty

Since 1979, Arizona courts have recognized an implied warranty of workmanship and habitability (“Implied Warranty”) regarding new home construction. Although a contractual relationship (“privity”) is generally required to...more

What’s The Risk Of Not Foreseeing Safety? In Today’s Industry, One Must Endeavour To Pinpoint Workplace Hazards And Then Strive To...

It’s commonplace to say that “careful planning” is an obvious and vital element of any construction project, but it’s only the first foreseeable step in prevention. As all involved in 21st century construction are (or should...more

Door Opening to Allow Common Negligence Claims Against Construction Professionals

For several years, design and construction professionals have been awaiting word from the Washington Supreme Court regarding whether aggrieved parties are limited to remedies set forth in their written contracts or whether...more

Allegations in Third-Party Complaint May Trigger Duty to Defend

Although a personal injury complaint filed by a subcontractor’s employee alleged direct negligence only against the additional insured contractor, the vicarious liability coverage afforded the additional insured was...more

New York Court of Appeals: Vandalism Coverage under “Named Peril” Property Policy Can Apply Even When Malicious Act Is Not...

In a case with broad implications for property owners near construction sites (Georgitsi Realty, LLC v. Penn-Star Insurance Company, No. 156, October 17, 2013), the New York Court of Appeals has opened the door to broad...more

Statute of Repose and Independent Contractor Defense Bar Asbestos Claims in New Jersey

In a unanimous decision, New Jersey’s intermediate appellate court applied the statute of repose and the independent contractor defense and reversed a $1.8 million verdict awarded to the widow of a union asbestos insulator. ...more

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