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Contract Scope Limits Tort Liability

From the Massachusetts Appeals Court comes a reminder that a contract scope of services may serve to control or limit the scope of tort liability. New homeowners sued the contractor and designer, hired by the former homeowner for a replacement septic… Read More
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NH DOT Had Authority to Procure Electronic Tolling Services Through Best-Value Process

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation, using a best-value process, awarded the EZ-Pass electronic tolling system back office work to a new vendor. The original vendor challenged both the authority of the DOT to conduct this procurement (argu… Read More
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Failure to Promptly Reserve Rights on Coverage = Loss of Ability to Disclaim

From the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal comes a reminder that undertaking defense of a claim without any reservation of rights can bar an insurer from disclaiming coverage nine months later – even if the claim was not within the policy language from t… Read More
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Complete and Strict Compliance, or Substantial Performance? The Legal Standard Is . . .

Yes. The Massachusetts high court, with an opportunity to address construction contract performance standards, has held that the contractor must provide “complete and strict performance” with respect to design and construction matters, but that c… Read More
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When a Court Doesn’t Understand Surety Bonds

It was only a $6,000 bond and not a construction case, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unfortunately demonstrated its ignorance of surety bonds, showing how a case can be messed up when the court doesn’t understand the principles. In M… Read More
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Violation of Home Improvement Contractor Act is Subject to Statute of Repose

A sharply divided Supreme Judicial Court has held that claims by a homeowner against a contractor, under the state home improvement contractor law, are subject to the statute of repose. Thus, when improper work done in 2001 was not discovered until 2… Read More
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An Unfortunate Reminder About Statutes of Limitation: The Triggering Event!

A developer sought to recover $749,000 in fees it claimed should not have been charged by a town. The fees were paid on October 18, 2013, and the developer filed suit to recover the fees on October 17, 2016. The statute of limitations for the develop… Read More
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Contract Ambiguity Affected Accrual of Claim, and Statute of Limitations Analysis

A seemingly minor ambiguity in contract terms, probably unnoticed at the time, has affected the timeliness of a claim for construction defects. The contract was signed in 2008, after the 2007 updates to the AIA contract forms had been published. The… Read More
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Tough Mudder Approach to Arbitration Upheld

People who want to register for a Tough Mudder obstacle course event must acknowledge assent to terms and conditions, which include a mediation and arbitration clause. But what happens if the event is moved at the last minute from Massachusetts to Ma… Read More
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Rental Agreement Indemnity – A Setback for Rental Companies

Readers of this blog know that the terms and conditions in equipment rental agreements favor the rental company. Those agreements typically have one-sided indemnity clauses, on the basis that the rental company expects the renting contractor to carry… Read More
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