Construction Toxic Torts

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Government Claims Against Contractors and Developers Subject to Statute of Repose Filing Deadlines, Arizona Court of Appeals Rules

In a matter of first impression, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently ruled that government claims against contractors and developers are subject to the time limits set forth in the Construction Statute of Repose. The...more

Contractor loses lawsuit against city for alleged breaches of OHSA’s asbestos-disclosure rules

A construction contractor has lost its bid for damages from a city, relying on a little-used section of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act that permits contractors to sue a building owner for damages for failing...more

Is it the Dawning of the Age of Strict Products Liability for Contractors in California?

It was the Age of Aquarius. And everything was changing. Politically, socially . . . and legally. Through the 19th Century the doctrine of caveat emptor, literally “let the buyer beware,” was the rule of law. Under...more

Subcontractor Performing Services may be Liable in Strict Liability For Purchasing and Installing Defective Products in Fulfilling...

Jovana Hernandezcueva v. E. F. Brady Company, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four (December 22, 2015) - The doctrine of strict liability is ordinarily inapplicable to transactions...more

U.S. construction companies and manager face fines of nearly $2 million for exposing workers to asbestos

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) has cited a construction company and its manager for asbestos-related violations and imposed fines of almost $2 million.  Safety regulators are increasingly taking...more

Foundation: July 2015 • Vol. II, Issue 2

Warranty/Guaranty Provisions in Construction Contracts - The most confusion I have seen in the discussion of construction topics concerns the concepts of “warranty” and “guaranty.” This article will address the...more

Duty to Cooperate Ruling Narrows Insurers’ Ability to Foreclose Coverage for Settled Class Action Claims

Insurance policies typically include a cooperation clause, which requires the insured to cooperate with the insurer in the defense of a covered claim. Insurers routinely use this clause as a sword against their insureds by...more

New Jersey Court Applies Continuous Trigger Theory and Finds That No Coverage Is Available Because Damage Manifested Prior to...

In Cypress Point Condo. Ass’n. v. Selective Way Ins. Co., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 721 (March 30, 2015), the New Jersey Law Division dismissed a declaratory judgment action filed against an insurer for a framing...more

Town Gets Schooled on Class Definition in PCB Contamination Case

The Town of Lexington, Massachusetts filed a putative class action in 2012 on behalf of itself and alleged similarly situated Massachusetts school districts that have one or more buildings with airborne...more

Silica Dust Damage Held Barred by Pollution and Faulty Workmanship Exclusions in New York

Building construction frequently generates silica dust, a substance that can cause lung disease and other respiratory problems.  Abrasive sand-blasting or jack hammering as well as concrete drilling and block cutting can lead...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines Review of Case Applying Statute of Repose to Asbestos Claims

As we reported in our July 2014 edition, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held, in Graver v. Foster-Wheeler Corp., 96 A.3d 383 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2014), that the 12-year statute of repose applicable to claims against designers...more

Virginia Court Nixes Claim Chinese Drywall Damage to HVAC Systems is Covered as Equipment Breakdown

In Travco Ins. Co. v. Ward, 284 Va. 547, 736 S.E.2d 321 (2012), the Virginia Supreme Court held that loss occasioned by the sulfuric gas released by defective Chinese drywall was excluded under the primary coverage grant of a...more

No Diagnosis, No "Damages": Wisconsin's Construction Statute of Repose in Asbestos Cases

How to apply Wisconsin’s construction statute of repose, Wis. Stat. § 893.89, in asbestos cases has recently been a hot topic dividing trial courts. The statute bars a broad category of claims if they are brought more than 10...more

Designers, Contractors and Insurers Take Note: Recent Amendment to IL Statute of Repose Strips Asbestos Defense, Exposes Decades...

On December 19, 2014 the Illinois legislature amended the Illinois construction statute of repose to eliminate its protection in asbestos exposure cases (Public Act 098-1131). Beginning June 1, 2015, design professionals and...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

Newly-Published Regional Steel Case Raises More Questions Than It Answers

In May, California’s Second Appellate District affirmed a summary ruling that a Commercial General Liability insurer did not have a duty to defend a subcontractor who supplied faulty “seismic tie hooks” that were encased in...more

Environmental and Energy: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Draft Environmental Monitoring Services...

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a draft Commissioner Policy on Environmental Monitoring Services (the Policy). The proposed Policy updates DEC’s...more

Editorial: Silica Exposure Lawsuits: The Next Toxic Tort?

With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration signaling its increased attention to workers’ exposure to crystalline silica, and the plaintiff bar evidently in search of new subjects for “toxic tort” claims, there is...more

NAHB Urges OSHA To Rescind Proposed Silica Rule

We recently posted an article about whether silica exposure claims might emerge as the next toxic tort. A particular focus of that article was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) clearly increasing...more

Silica Exposure Lawsuits: The Next Toxic Tort?

With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signaling its increased attention to workers' exposure to crystalline silica, and the plaintiffs' bar evidently in search of new subjects for "toxic tort" claims,...more

Indiana Court of Appeals Once More Asked to Interpret AIA Standard Construction Contract

This week's discussion focuses on the interpretation of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) standard construction contract by the Indiana Court of Appeals in the recent case Allen County Public Library v. Shambaugh &...more

South Carolina Court Rejects Theory of Seamless Claims Made and Reported Coverage

In its recent decision in GS2 Engineering & Environmental Consultants, Inc. v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95137 (D.S.C. July 9, 2013), the United State District Court for South Carolina had occasion to...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusion Applies Indoors

In Midwest Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Wolters, et al., — N.W.2d –, 2013 WL 2363239 (Minn. May 31, 2013), the Minnesota Supreme Court joined the minority view in holding that the absolute pollution exclusion applies to...more

Vapor Intrusion Developments

Potential buyers and sellers take note — on April 16, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued draft guidance that would require more evaluation of "vapor intrusion" (migration of any hazardous vapors...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - April 2013

In This Issue: - Western District Of Washington: Denial of a Defense Where Additional-Insured Status Was Arguable, and Doing So in Reliance on Extrinsic Evidence, Were Both Acts of Bad Faith - New York Court...more

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