General Contractors

News & Analysis as of

Changes Made to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law to Protect Holders of Open-End Mortgages and Residential Property Owners

Mechanics’ liens grant contractors and subcontractors an interest in improvements made to real property to secure the payment obligations of owners to contractors, and of contractors to subcontractors. While these liens...more

Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course, Finds Insurance Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims

Companies such as homebuilders, construction companies and contractors face significant financial risk from bodily injury and property damage claims arising from allegedly faulty workmanship or construction defects. Although...more

North Dakota Supreme Court Establishes Defense to “No Damage for Delay” Clause

In June 2014, the North Dakota Supreme Court issued its decision in C&C Plumbing & Heating, LLP v. Williams County et al, No. 20130297. The Court articulated a new defense to the application of a “no damage for delay” clause....more

Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Pay-if-Paid Provisions - “Condition precedent” sufficient to transfer non-payment risk in subcontracts

The Ohio Supreme Court today held that when a subcontract makes payment by a project owner to the general contractor a condition precedent to the general contractor’s obligation to pay the subcontractor — the subcontract...more

CSLL Does Not Bar Successor Entity’s Compensation Claims After Contractor’s Change of Business Entity During Construction

A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal imposed a sensible limit on the prohibition of compensation claims by unlicensed contractors under the Contractors’ State License Law (“CSLL”), specifically California Bus....more

Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Construction Manager At-Risk Responsible for Design Errors / Holds that Spearin Doctrine Does...

The Worcester Superior Court recently issued a potentially landmark decision clarifying the risk that construction managers assume when entering into CM-At Risk contracts. ...more

Unpaid Prevailing Wage Assessments and Actions: Ways a General Contractor (and Its Surety) Can Protect Itself or Limit Its...

General contractors and their sureties on public works construction projects in California have faced an onslaught of claims, assessments, and lawsuits based on the failure of subcontractors, regardless of tier, to pay their...more

Homebuilder Series Webinar: Joint Ventures Solutions, Steve Lear [Video]

This is the second in a series of in-depth webinar discussions that cover a range of legal and business issues affecting the homebuilder industry. Homebuilders frequently use joint ventures as a means to finance...more

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

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

News for Contractors and Construction Lenders in Arizona and Nevada – The Contractors' Lien May Trump the Bank's

In addition to an arid climate and plenty of sunshine, Arizona and Nevada have something more to offer contractors: a potentially advantageous position over lenders when a project goes bad. When a project derails and...more

Is Your Design Professional Construction Contract Too Friendly? (Law Note)

My husband often travels the back roads between Chapel Hill and Fuquay Varina to visit friends. En route (a circuitous route that goes past Sharon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, among other places), he passes by the “Friendly...more

The Alabama Supreme Court Changes Its Mind on Coverage Under CGL Policy

Last September the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion addressing the applicability of the “own work” exclusion to claims against a contractor for defective construction. However, on March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme...more

Court of Appeal Ameliorates (a Bit) the "Harshness" of Business and Professions Code Section 7031

California courts have variously described Business and Professions Code section 7031 as “draconian,” “harsh[ ]“ and “[u]njust[ ],” but nonetheless enforceable. Section 7031 both prohibits unlicensed or improperly...more

Construction Contracts – Limitation on Recovery For Unlicensed Contractor

E.J. Franks Construction, Inc. v Bhupinder K. Sahota, et al. - Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District (June 5, 2014) - The purpose of the Contractors’ State License Law (Business & Professions Code sections...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

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Public Construction Bond Act

Our reports on the oral arguments from the May term of the Illinois Supreme Court continue with Lake County Grading Company, LLC v. The Village of Antioch. Lake County – which comes to the Court from the Second District –...more

Using Social Media to Reap Benefits, Not Liability

A simple search on Linked-In, Facebook, and Twitter reveals that social media is connected with the construction industry in significant ways. In one respect, a growing number of construction professionals intentionally...more

More Legal Developments for the Construction Industry in the Southeast

Alabama - The Alabama Supreme Court reversed itself and concluded that faulty workmanship can constitute an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability insurance policy which triggers coverage for the insured. In a...more

The Alabama Supreme Court Broadens the Definition of “Occurrence” in a General Contractor’s Commercial General Liability Policy in...

On March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme Court withdrew its September 20, 2013 opinion and substituted a new decision in Owners Ins. Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder, LLC, 2014 WL 1270629 (Ala. Mar. 28, 2013). In its new decision,...more

Homebuilder Confidence Rises to Six Month High

Good news for the homebuilding industry came earlier this week when the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo released the housing market index. Its numbers showed that homebuilders’ confidence rose to 49 points...more

Iowa Court of Appeals Rejects Argument to Impose Implied Warranty upon Land Developers

On April 16, 2014, land developers and sellers breathed a sigh of relief after the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that a purchaser of a residential building lot cannot sue the land developer for perceived deficiencies with the...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

Say What??!! When is There an Enforceable Agreement in the Subcontractor Bidding Process?

A major development and infrastructure project is announced that will provide significant work to a construction manager, general contractor (“GC”), and many subcontractors (“Sub”) across the building trades. The architect...more

The Legal Perspective on Technical Documents in the Construction Industry

A lawyer adds value to a project by applying his or her unique knowledge of legal principles and industry experience to the particular circumstances of a client’s business. In the construction industry, the substance...more

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