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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

New Jersey Appellate Division Holds that Affidavit of Merit Must be Issued by a Professional within the Same Profession as...

Hill International, Inc. v. Atlantic City Board of Education, 2014 N.J. Super. LEXIS 177 (App. Div. Dec. 30, 2014) - The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division held that, in order to support of claim of...more

Florida Court Holds That Engineering Company Cannot be Held Liable for Third Party Injury Despite Open and Obvious Design Defect

Vanessa Cruz was tragically killed on July 15, 2008, in a single vehicle accident on the Florida Turnpike. Vanessa was the front seat passenger in a vehicle when the driver lost control, left the roadway, and struck the end...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

Third-party lawsuits and construction worksite accidents

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 8,000 American employees are injured on the job every day. Some of these injuries are relatively minor, requiring only a short recovery period....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

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

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

Construction Case Law Update - December, 2014

FLORIDA STATE CASES - Employer Liability Policies & Worker’s Compensation – Although decedent-employee’s estate had standing as a judgment creditor to sue the tortfeasor-employer’s liability insurer for breach of...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

More “Texas Justice” For Policyholder On Contractual Liability Exclusion

On October 29, the Fifth Circuit reversed itself for the second time this year in a case involving the interpretation of a contractual liability exclusion in a CGL policy. This recent decision by the Fifth Circuit in...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

Renowned Architect Wins Retraction From The New York Review of Books

On August 25, 2014, The New York Review of Books issued a retraction in response to a defamation suit filed in New York State Court by well-known architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid was selected to design one of the stadiums for the...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

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