Did you know? Recent changes in the law that may impact your construction projects in the Southeast.


1. Forum Selection Clause.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that forum selection clauses should be upheld in most circumstances. Have you used a forum selection clause in your contracts which would maximize the benefit to your company?

2. Insurance Coverage.

Recent federal court decisions have interpreted the “additional insured” language of CGL policies in such a way that coverage for the additional insured ends when the project is completed. Have you considered how this may affect your company if a construction defect claim is asserted long after the job is done? Have you taken measures to protect your interests?

3. OSHA Regulations.

OSHA has published new regulations for permissible exposure limits (PEL) for crystalline silica in the workplace. The change drastically reduces the PEL and is expected to have a significant financial impact on the construction industry. When this change takes effect, it will impact your jobs in progress at that time. Did you consider the impact when pricing work?

4. Mississippi.

The Mississippi Supreme Court recently held that state law allowing a subcontractor to issue a stop payment notice to an owner is unconstitutional. Subcontractors were left with no lien rights or ability to protect against non-payment by contractors other than to file a lawsuit or arbitration claim. In response, a subcontractor lien bill is pending in the state legislature. Have you taken the appropriate steps to protect your company?

5. Tennessee.

Beginning July 1, 2014, workers’ compensation claims will become administrative proceedings, handled by the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor. Currently, workers’ compensation claims are handled by the court system with an elected judge deciding the cases.

6. Georgia.

The state senate recently passed broad legislation to permit public-private partnerships (P3) when the project is for a qualifying public purpose or public need. A vote in the Georgia house of representatives should occur before the end of March. Presently Georgia law only allows P3’s for department of transportation projects.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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