Personal Injury Construction

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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

California Supreme Court Upholds Design Professionals' Duty to Future Residential Purchasers

Design professionals, such as architects and engineers, often seek to avoid liability to third party property purchasers for their negligence by arguing that their role in preparing plans was too remote for a duty to be...more

Texas Supreme Court Unanimously Blocks Contractors' Economic Loss Tort Claims Against Designers

Texas contractors have long tried to directly sue their owners’ professional design firms -- rarely with success -- when faulty plans cause economic losses such as increased costs from delays and disruptions. A few cases in...more

Company fined $25,000 for operating electrical contracting business without license under Electricity Act after apprentice injured

An electrical contractor has been convicted and fined for carrying on an electrical contracting business without being licensed under the Ontario Electricity Act. A young apprentice with the company was seriously...more

Federal District Court in Pennsylvania Allows Negligence Suit Against Builder Despite Lack of Privity of Contract Between the...

A Federal Court in Pennsylvania has handed down a ruling that may expand the pool of potential plaintiffs in construction litigation. See AMCO Insurance Co. v. Emery and Associates, 926 F. Supp. 2d 634 (W.D. Pa. 2013). In...more

No Lawsuit for You! When Subcontractors Cannot Sue the General Contractor

Can a subcontractor sue a general contractor over a work site accident? A recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court loudly and clearly said, "NO." Why not? The court ruled in Patton v. Worthington Associations, Inc....more

The Construct - May 2014

In This Issue: - Green Law Corner - You Decide: Green Globes vs. LEED: The U.S. General Services Administration recently added Green Globes as an additional third-party green building certification system for...more

Illinois Court Holds Insured Cannot Deselect Insurer In Connection With Underlying Settlement

In its recent decision in AMCO Ins. Co. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 296 (May 5, 2014), the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, had occasion to consider whether an insurer selected by an insured’s...more

Condominium Construction Defects Legislation Introduced

Proposed legislation to reduce the cost of construction defect claims and encourage condominium construction has been introduced in the Colorado legislature. The long-awaited bill, Senate Bill 14-220, sponsored by Sen. Jessie...more

Alabama Supreme Court Clarifies Position on Construction Coverage Question: Damage to Contractor’s Work Resulting from Faulty...

In an important decision for policyholders in the construction business, the Supreme Court of Alabama recently clarified that Alabama law is in accord with the growing majority of jurisdictions finding coverage for property...more

Did You Unknowingly Sign Away Your Ability To Sue? Double Check Your Construction Agreement!

By statute, the time to bring a lawsuit against a contractor for hidden construction deficiencies can be as long as 10 years. That means that, say, a property owner could sue his or her architect or general contractor for...more

Insurance Recovery Law

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

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