Public contracts

Lost Profit Claim is Constrained by Low Bid Setting

A contractor was the lowest bidder on a public project, and the second-low bidder was only $11,705 higher. A consultant later discovered that some of the bid quantities that it provided to the contractor (pre-bid) were mistaken. The contractor, who s… Read More
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The Contract Isn’t Signed, a Few Issues Remain, the Work is Done; Now What?

Lawyers hate this question. A contractor and subcontractor, having gone back and forth on a few contract terms while the sub is performing work, reach the end of the project – or at least the end of the sub’s work – without an agreed contract f… Read More
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Federal Court Rebukes US Dept. of Labor – Private Project on Publicly-Leased Land is Not Subject to Davis-Bacon Wage Rates

Referring to the “novelty of the U.S. Department of Labor’s interpretation,” a federal Court of Appeal has held that construction of the CityCenterDC private development project is not subject to Davis-Bacon wage rates, even though the land… Read More
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Withholding Less Retainage ≠ Release of Retainage; No Prompt Pay Act Violation

Sometimes a construction contract allows for the amount of retainage being withheld by the owner to reduce, once the project is more than half complete. For instance, retainage that starts at 10% may reduce, at the halfway mark, to 5% being withheld… Read More
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Contractor Claim Not Dismissed under Contract Disputes Act for Failure of Timely Notice

Almost two years into a multi-year design-build contract, the government questioned the basis of design of the piles for a ship repair wharf. The contractor stopped work while the design issue was resolved with the government. The work stoppage led t… Read More
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Email was insufficient notice under payment bond law, but court left the door open for (more explicit) email notice in the future

The Massachusetts payment bond statute requires public project claimants to give notice to the general contractor by certified mail – not an uncommon requirement. The Massachusetts Appeals Court has just held that an email was not adequate notice,… Read More
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Failure to follow claims procedure was an irrevocable waiver of the claim

Consider this sentence: “courts cannot decide cases of contract interpretation on the basis of what is just or equitable.” Contractors are reminded, via an Ohio Court of Appeals decision, that claim deadlines and waiver language will be applied w… Read More
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Contractor's Court Judgment against Sub Did Not Resolve or Eliminate Sub-Sub’s Payment Bond Rights

When third-party creditors sought to garnish an electrical sub’s contract balance, the general contractor, McMillan-Pitts, commenced an interpleader action against the electrical sub and its known creditors, and deposited the remaining subcontract… Read More
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Owner’s Claim for Defective Work Not Barred by Prior Arbitration

A contractor who successfully pursued payment in arbitration objected when the public authority owner subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming defective work. The contractor argued that the lawsuit was barred by doctrines of res judicata or collateral e… Read More
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CM at Risk – Owner Still Impliedly Warrants Design

A public authority argued that the CM’s obligation to review and comment on the design in process meant that the authority did not impliedly warrant the sufficiency of that design. And thus the CM would have no claim against the authority when a su… Read More
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About Stan Martin

Stanley A. Martin's Profile Image
Stan Martin holds a law degree and an undergraduate degree in architecture. He has been involved with the construction industry for more than 45 years, working in construction prior to law school and beginning his construction law practice. Over the course of his career, he has served on boards and committees for organizations including the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts, the Boston Society of Architects, and the Massachusetts Building Congress.

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