Construction

Duty to Defend Enforceable Even if Duty to Indemnify is Unresolved

A Connecticut court, applying plain language in a subcontract, has held that the sub must defend the general contractor in an injured worker lawsuit, even if the sub’s obligation to indemnify the GC is not yet established. The worker was employed b… Read More
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What Triggers the Statute of Repose on Multi-Phase Project?

It’s a controversial decision on a controversial topic, but a federal court judge has held that the statute of repose on a multi-phase project was triggered by the last phase, and not sooner. In Massachusetts, the six-year statute of repose clock s… Read More
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Is This a Forum Selection Clause, or Not?

Forum selection clauses have become commonplace in construction contracts. Most general contractors take steps to ensure that they can bring their subs into the same forum as the owner, should there be an owner dispute that involves the sub’s work.… Read More
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Manufacturer Can Pursue Local Lawsuit for Out-of-State Project

Venue clauses requiring lawsuits to be brought in a particular locale are common, and routinely enforced. From a federal court in Western Pennsylvania, though, comes a reminder that analysis of venue (when not governed by a contract clause) can favor… Read More
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The Problem with Weak Payment Bond Defenses

A payment bond surety whose principal may be insolvent is caught in a difficult spot. But a Connecticut court decision dealt a major blow to a surety who tried to rely on a series of special defenses, none of which stood up to the facts that material… Read More
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Payment Bond Surety Cannot Compel Subcontractor to Arbitrate

A Maryland federal court judge has reminded a payment bond surety that it cannot compel arbitration with the subcontractor making a claim under the bond. Baltimore Steel Erectors filed suit against Hanover, the payment bond surety for ARGO Systems on… Read More
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Letter of Intent Precluded Dismissal of Mechanic’s Lien

A contractor recorded a lien notice, using a letter of intent as the “written contract” supporting the lien. The owner moved for summary dismissal of the lien, arguing that the LOI was nothing more than an agreement to negotiate a contract, and n… Read More
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Expedited Arbitration Upheld on New York Prompt Pay Law

The New York prompt pay act (PPA) calls for expedited arbitration. A federal court has confirmed that the parties must proceed to arbitration under the PPA even when their contract does not call for arbitration. The federal court, referring to the NY… Read More
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GC Liability for Sub’s Employee? Determining Factor is Foreseeability

A New Jersey appellate court, analyzing the claim of an injured sub employee against the general contractor, notes that the pertinent factor is “foreseeability of the risk of injury, both its nature and severity.” In that instance, the court foun… Read More
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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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