General Contractors

News & Analysis as of

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

When Your General Contractor Files Bankruptcy

The case is Branch Banking & Trust Co. v. Construction Supervision Services Inc. (In re Construction Supervision Services Inc.), 753 F.3d 124 (4th Cir. 2014). After a general contractor filed bankruptcy, several of its...more

Mechanic’s Lien Reigns Supreme in the Battle of a Project Default? Not for a Waiving General

In what can only be described as a devastating result for a general contractor, the Fourth Appellate District held that a general contractor may prospectively waive the priority of a mechanic’s lien to the owner’s...more

Illinois Court Holds Insurer Estopped from Relying on Coverage Defenses

In its recent decision in Mt. Hawley Ins. Co v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 655 (Ill. App. Ct. Sept. 9, 2014), the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, had occasion to consider whether...more

Contractors: Beware the Subordination Clause

Did you know that California is the only state in the country in which mechanics liens are a constitutional right? Tis true. Article XIV of the California Constitution states: Mechanics, persons furnishing...more

Proposed Changes to Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law Would Provide for Internet-Based Directory to Serve as a Standardized...

Pending House Bill 473 seeks to amend the current lien law by creating a centralized construction notices registry in Pennsylvania known as the State Construction Notices Directory (“Directory”), which would provide owners...more

Mechanics Liens — Smart Tools of Construction Industry Professionals, and Bane of Property Owners

In 1791, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison proposed the first mechanics liens legislation in order to promote development in Washington. The Maryland Assembly (which governed Washington at that time) passed the...more

Mind the Details: Make Sure your WRAP Coverage is Done Right

A client recently asked for advice about insuring their development project with a wrap insurance policy. As we talked through the pros and cons, I was reminded of the intricacies of wrap insurance products. Undoubtedly,...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Oct 2014

Lack of Direct Contractual Relationship Doesn’t Doom Coverage - Why it matters: The companies involved in a workplace accident are additional insureds pursuant to a sub-subcontractor’s policy and the insurer...more

Construction Defect Claims Tackled By Lakewood

The impact of construction defect lawsuits on condominium development in Colorado has been a hot topic recently. Colorado law treats residential construction differently than non-residential construction. This increases the...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Determines Implied Warranty of Habitability Does Not Extend to Subsequent Purchasers

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is now the latest state court to weigh in on the issue of whether a subsequent purchaser of a previously inhabited residence can recover contract damages from a builder or general contractor for...more

Subcontractor Claims: What Can You Do Once Your General Contractor Files Bankruptcy?

Branch Banking & Trust Co. v Construction Supervision Services, Inc. (In re Construction Supervision Services, Inc.), 753 F.3d 124 (4th Cir. 2014) – After a general contractor filed bankruptcy, several of its...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Economic Loss Rule No Bar to Condo Trustees’ Claim for Damages to Common Areas Caused By...

Wyman v. Ayer Properties, LLC, 469 Mass. 64, 2014 Mass. LEXIS 524 (July 10, 2014) - The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the economic loss rule, which bars recovery of tort damages from the negligent supplier of...more

New Amendment to the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) could be Good News for Condominium Developers

On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed into law House Resolution 2600 that adds the sales of condominium units to the list of “partial” exemptions under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA). With the...more

2014 Connecticut Legislative Summary - September 2014

The 2014 regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly closed with only a few new laws on the books that will affect the design and construction industry. The summaries below highlight the most significant of these....more

Nebraska Appellate Court Gets Down to Earth to Hold That Faulty Workmanship Standing Alone Is Not An “Occurrence”

The insurance and construction industries have disagreed about coverage claims involving faulty workmanship for many years. Contractors believe their CGL insurance policies should always cover property damage caused by...more

Nevada Court Holds NRS Chapter 40 Does Not Require a Subcontractor to Provide Pre-Litigation Notice to a Supplier

Under Nevada Revised Statutes Annotated (NRS) Chapter 40, a general contractor is required to provide pre-litigation notice (followed by an opportunity to repair) to a subcontractor or supplier the general contractor believes...more

Mechanics Lien Subordination: Illinois Further Limits Construction Lenders’ Ability To Ensure Priority Against Mechanics Liens

On July 16, 2014, Illinois enacted Public Act 98-764 (Senate Bill 3023) (“SB 3023”), which amends the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act (770 ILCS 60/ et seq.) (the “Act”) to prohibit subordination of mechanics liens on Illinois...more

Texas Supreme Court Recognizes Exceptions to Enforcement of No-Damages-for-Delay Clauses

On August 29, 2014, in Zachry Construction Corp. v. Port of Houston Authority of Harris County, No. 12-0772, 2014 WL 4472616 (Tex. 2014), the Texas Supreme Court found that no-damages-for-delay clauses that purport to waive...more

Summary of California’s Prompt Payment Laws

The California legislature has enacted a comprehensive series of prompt payment statutes that are designed to ensure the prompt payment of progress payments and retention payments to downstream contractors by imposing harsh...more

Zachry v. Port of Houston Authority: Texas Supreme Court rules for contractor despite no-damages-for-delay clause

The Texas Supreme Court has issued a decision that could have a huge impact on the construction industry in Texas involving several high-profile issues the industry has passionately debated for years. In Zachry...more

Arizona Contractors Confront Cardinal Change

The Cardinal Change Doctrine - The “cardinal change doctrine” is a legal theory pursuant to which a contractor who is presented excessive, cumulative or otherwise material contract change orders has the right to...more

Drafting Contracts to Minimize or Avoid Claims

Many claims that arise in design and construction may be mitigated or avoided as a result of prudent contract drafting at the outset of the project. This article provides practical tips for drafting contracts to minimize or...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Only Original Purchasers May Recover Damages for Breach of the Builder’s Implied Warranty of...

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a builder’s implied warranty of habitability extends only to the initial buyer of a home, and not to subsequent purchasers. In Conway v. The Cutler Group, Inc., the Court reversed an...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Contractor May Recover in Quantum Meruit Where Home Improvement Contract Does Not Satisfy...

Homeowners Raymond and Donna Mantia contracted Shafer Electric & Construction (“Shafer”) to build a two-car garage addition onto their house. Shafer’s proposal was extremely detailed as to the work to be completed. Despite...more

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