General Contractors

News & Analysis as of

California Court of Appeal allows construction defect class action to proceed against homebuilders

In an unpublished decision on August 19, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, reinstated a class action asserting construction defect claims against a nationwide homebuilder. The case is located at 2015 WL...more

Saul Ewing Top Ten Construction Clauses: Substantial Completion

Substantial completion is described in AIA Document A201™-2007 as “the stage in the progress of the Work when the Work or designated portion thereof is substantially complete in accordance with the Contract Documents so that...more

Title Insurance: When Does a Construction Lender “Create” or “Suffer” a Mechanics Lien?

BB Syndication Services, Inc. v. First American Title Ins. Co., 785 F.3d 825 (7th Cir. 2015) – A construction lender sued a title insurance company seeking defense and indemnification in connection with claims in a...more

Letters of the Law: 'Q' is for Quality

Quality can be difficult to describe and equally difficult to deliver. To what quality does a contractor have to deliver construction works by law? How is that measured? As with many aspects of construction and...more

Federal Highway Administration Publishes CM/GC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On June 29, 2015, the Federal Highway Administration ("FHWA") issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") related to the construction manager/general contractor ("CM/GC") method of contracting. The NPRM is a long-awaited...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Defects in the Construction of a “Known-Loss” Exclusion

A mason who performed work on a residential project was notified in 2006 that cracks had developed in his work. Several months later, the mason purchased a commercial general liability policy that expressly excluded coverage...more

California Court of Appeals Holds Liability Insurer May Obtain Equitable Subrogation Against its Insured’s Contractual Indemnitor...

In Valley Crest Landscape, Inc. v. Mission Pools of Escondido, Inc., 238 Cal.App.4th 468 (2015), the California Court of Appeals held that an insurer could successfully recover on a claim for equitable subrogation against the...more

Construction Case Law Update - July 2015 #2

CGL Policies; Declaratory Judgments; Appeal of a Partial Final Judgment – A commercial general liability insurer and its insured sought declaratory relief over the question of insurance coverage and the duty to defend...more

Is the Mechanic’s Lien or Bond Waiver Clause in Your Contract Enforceable in Virginia?

A new Virginia law invalidates any mechanic’s lien or payment bond waiver signed before work has commenced. The Governor recently signed new legislation into law, effective July 1, 2015, that invalidates waivers of...more

“If You See Something, Say Something” Applies to Construction Contract Bidding

In Otis Elevator Co. v. W.G.Yates & Sons Construction Co., 589 Fed. Appx. 953; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20214 (11th Cir. 2014), a subcontractor installed a series of escalators for an airport expansion project and sued the...more

Contractor’s Repeated Material Breach Excuses Subcontractor From Further Performance

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York in U.W. Marx, Inc. v. Koko Contracting, Inc. affirmed judgment in favor of a subcontractor, holding that the general contractor’s failure to make three successive...more

If You Can't Say Anything Nice: Criticizing Contractors Can Be Costly

Construction projects can turn acrimonious — and bad feelings often survive dispute resolution. But think twice before voicing thoughts or opinions about a fellow project participant. A false statement about another’s...more

Federal Circuit Court Affirms that Federal Claims Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Claims By Subcontractor

Montano Elec. Contractor v. United States, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5928 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 13, 2015) - The Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) hired a general contractor, who subcontracted certain electrical work to Montano...more

Summary of Revised AAA Construction Industry Rules Effective July 1, 2015

The American Arbitration Association recently revised its Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures. The revised Rules, which became effective on July 1, "further align the AAA Construction Rules with...more

Summary of Revised AAA Construction Industry Rules Effective July 1, 2015

The American Arbitration Association recently revised its Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures. The revised Rules, which became effective on July 1, "further align the AAA Construction Rules with...more

Top Ten Construction Clauses: Pay-if-Paid and Pay-when-Paid Clauses

Pay-if-paid clauses provide that a general contractor is not required to pay subcontractors unless and until it receives payment from the owner. The ConsensusDocs Standard Agreement 655 provides the following example: Receipt...more

New Jersey Developer Wins on “Occurrence” and “Property Damage”; Appellate Division finds Subcontractors’ Faulty Construction...

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, has issued a very important decision for real estate developers and general contractors whose insurance companies have reserved rights or denied coverage for damage caused...more

Construction Case Law Update - July 2015

Involuntary Dismissal of Counterclaims – In a suit between a developer and general contractor, the trial court erred in dismissing the general contractor’s counterclaims, without a motion by the developer, before the...more

Additional Insureds Beware: A Certificate of Insurance Does Not Guaranty Coverage

This is the first in a 2-part series on the use of certificates of insurance as evidence of liability coverage for contractors on construction projects. The second part of the series will discuss the potential impact of...more

“All-Risks” Insurance Policies Don’t Cover All the Risks

In a recent decision, Ledcor Construction Limited v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Company (Ledcor), the Alberta Court of Appeal (Court) gave guidance on the scope of defects exclusions in “all-risks” construction insurance...more

In Overhead and Profit Class Actions, The Third Trade’s No Longer The Charm

When repairs to a damaged home reach a certain level of complexity, they call for supervision by a general contractor, who receives a percentage of the actual repair costs as “general contractor’s overhead and profit” or...more

Looking Backward: West Virginia Retroactively Imposes Coverage for Faulty Workmanship

A notorious moving target in the field of coverage litigation is an insurer’s responsibility under a commercial general liability policy for the policyholder’s faulty workmanship. The key question is usually whether the...more

Nevada Legislature Passes Reform on General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Subcontractor Labor Benefits

The 2015 Nevada Legislature appears to have brought common sense reform to one of the state’s most controversial statutes – NRS 608.150 – which made “original contractors” liable to its subcontractor employees (or labor...more

A Recent Case's Impact on the Determination of Contractor Licensure

A Florida court of appeals recently ruled that a contractor is considered licensed if it is associated with a qualifying agent licensed to perform the contract work on the effective date of the contract. Other courts...more

Construction Bonds and Subguard Insurance

In virtually all public projects (and in many private projects), the owner requires the general contractor to post a performance bond and a payment bond. Recently, in some cases, general contractors have obtained...more

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