Subcontractors Construction Contracts

News & Analysis as of

Security of Payment and the rise of the contractual reference date

The recent Supreme Court of NSW decision by Ball J in Fairfield City Council v Abergeldie Contractors Pty Ltd1 (Abergeldie), provides another demonstration of how issues with reference dates2 can provide potent grounds for...more

Under Construction - March 2017

Letter from the Editor - Welcome to the spring 2017 edition of our Under Construction newsletter. We hope 2017 is off to a good start for you and your company. An issue that seems to commonly come up in cost-plus...more

Missouri appellate court opens the door to Spearin claims by contractors against public entities

A Missouri appellate court has for the first time recognized that a construction contractor may pursue a breach of contract claim against a public entity owner based on the “Spearin doctrine,” meaning the contractor may...more

Significant Government Contract Litigation: A Year in Review

Last year provided a number of important claims and cases that further developed various aspects of litigation regarding the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). The major issues raised in some of the more notable claims include...more

New FAR Changes Incentivize Prime Contractors Not to Be Deadbeats in Meeting Their Payment Obligations to Their Small Business...

One common complaint we hear from our subcontractor clients is “HOW CAN WE GET PAID????” Our experience has shown that whether through inadvertence, lack of subcontract management resources – or even as a predatory business...more

Illinois Court Addresses Contractual "Pay-If-Paid" Provisions - Appellate Ruling: Strict Standard is Required for Forfeiture of...

The Illinois First District Appellate Court recently addressed the longstanding principle in A.A. Conte Inc. v. Campbell-Lowrie-Lautermilch Corp., 132 Ill. App. 3d 325 (1st Dist. 1985), of barring payments by general...more

Federal Court in Hawaii Holds that an Unlicensed Subcontractor May Pursue Contract Claims Against Contractor Notwithstanding...

U.S. Pipelining LLC v. Johnson Controls, Inc., No. 16-00132 HG-RLP, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150767 (D. Haw. Oct. 31, 2016) - This action arose out of the renovation of a condominium complex on Maui (Project). Johnson...more

New York Case Reminds Us That Some Courts Take Notice Provisions Very Seriously

A New York appellate court issued a decision in 2016 that serves as an important reminder to all tiers of the construction industry: courts take the notice provisions in your construction contracts very seriously. In the...more

Oregon High Court Clarifies How To Read the Four Corners of a Complaint

On December 8, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision, West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., 360 Or. 650 (2016), clarifying what allegations in a construction defect suit will implicate coverage under...more

An update on payment issues on UK construction projects

Our Autumn 2016 update includes news on the Prompt Payment Code and the Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter as well as some guidance on the use of payment schedules....more

Court rejects contractor’s mechanic’s lien because of ‘intent’

The Illinois Court of Appeals’ recent decision in AUI Construction Group, LLC v. Vaessen highlights the need for careful planning in structuring development agreements, construction contracts, and the use of an easement as...more

Illinois Appellate Court Ruling Provides (Another) Reason to Double-Check Your Payment Clauses

A recent ruling out of the First District Illinois Appellate Court makes one thing clear: contractors and subcontractors should pay close attention to payment clauses on all contract forms. In Beal Bank Nevada v. Northshore...more

Construction Contract Clauses That May or May Not Have Your Vote – Part 3

Scope, time and cost provisions may be the most important clauses in your construction contract but they’re not the only ones which can impact your bottom line. The third in a multi-part series, here are some other important...more

Worker’s Compensation Exclusivity Rule Gets “Trumped” by Indemnity Provision

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with the title. The next case, Aluma Systems Concrete Construction of California v. Nibbi Bros., Inc., California Court of Appeals for the First District, Case No. A145734 (August 16, 2016),...more

Subcontractor Exception Torpedoes Insurers’ Defense To Faulty Workmanship Claim

As this blog has reported, a line of cases deciding coverage disputes over faulty workmanship runs against (or, at least, around) a basic rule for interpreting insurance policies. Under that rule, the scope of coverage is...more

Harsh Consequences for Contractor’s False Payment Certifications in Massachusetts

On most construction projects, a project owner will require the contractor to certify that it has fully paid each of its subcontractors as a condition to the owner making payment to the contractor. The purpose of these...more

Unpaid Subcontractors Beware

Alberta Court of Appeal confirms no duty to disclose existence of labour and material bond unless asked - Labour and material payment bonds (L&M Bonds) serve an important purpose on a construction project by providing...more

Subcontractor Required to Strictly Comply with General Contractor’s Contractual Claim Provisions

In construction, incorporating a “prime contract” by reference into a subcontract is commonplace. Recently the Courts have broadly construed such “incorporation” provisions, often to the detriment of subcontractors....more

Title Insurance Treatment of Mechanic’s Liens

The “Homeowner Amendments” to Ohio Mechanic’s Lien law significantly limits the rights of subcontractors and suppliers to file mechanic’s liens against a homeowner’s property. These apply if the owner has paid the builder in...more

Broad “Assumption of Liability” Clause in Subcontract Likely Trumps “Waiver of Subrogation” Clause in Prime Contract

In a recent case handled by Bradley, a federal court in Maryland issued a decision attempting to reconcile inconsistent contract provisions. The general contractor said that its fire sprinkler subcontractor was...more

“Rip and Tear” Damage Remains Covered Under CGL Policy as “Accident”—for Now.

The Colorado Supreme Court has approved a settlement between the parties to an appeal of the 2012 Colorado Pool Systems v. Scottsdale Insurance Company Court of Appeals case, leaving that ruling intact. The ruling parses a...more

California Court Limits Recovery for General Contractors Relying on Subcontractor Bids

The court’s decision allows subcontractors to place unforgiving terms in their bids and gives them an ultimate out if general contractors do not agree to those terms. General contractors should pay attention to a...more

FAQ on the Limitations on Subcontracting New Rules

We recently held a live seminar and a webinar on the new Limitations on Subcontracting (“LOS”) rule. We reviewed the questions submitted during the sessions, and noticed that many of the same questions were being asked by...more

Minnesota Rewrites Construction Rules for Prompt Payment and Retainage

Minnesota has modified its prompt payment and retainage statute (Minn. Stat. 337.10). These revisions mean that many owners, contractors and subcontractors will have to revise the payment provisions of their construction...more

Federal Court in Maryland Denies Summary Judgment, Holding That Subcontract Provision Placing Responsibility for Property Damage...

Turner Constr. Co. v. BFPE Int’l, Inc., No. JKB-15-368, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39161 (D. Md. Mar. 25, 2016) - The University of Maryland Medical Center (“UMMC”) entered into a contract (the “Prime Contract”) with Turner...more

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