Weigand Construction Co., Inc. v. Stephens Fabrication, Inc.
2010 Ind. App. LEXIS 1109 (Ind. Ct. App. June 25, 2010)

Ball State University (BSU) contracted with Weigand Construction Co. (“Weigand) to act as the general contractor for its Music Instruction Building project. Weigand subcontracted the structural steel work to Stephens Fabrication, Inc. (“Stephens”). Stephens was to manufacture the steel, perform certain engineering and prepare shop drawings. Stephens contracted with sub-subcontractors, Argo and Wilson, to perform the engineering and prepare the shop drawings.

Continue Reading Indiana Court Holds Subcontractor Subject to Prime Contract Claim Notice Requirement via Flow-Down Provision – Its Claims Were Presented Too Late

Turnberry Pavillon Partners, L.P. v. M.J. Dean Construction, Inc.
2010 U.S. App. Lexis 9832 (9th Cir. May 13, 2010)

Developer built a luxury condominium tower and hired contractor to serve as both the construction manager and concrete subcontractor. A separate interior drywall and site wall subcontractor was also hired for the Project. A series of lawsuits arose. In the first lawsuit, construction manager was found liable for causing “lost production” and “uncompensated overtime” to site wall subcontractor due to its negligent concrete work as well as negligent construction management. While cross-appeals were pending on the matter Developer paid $2.1 to settle the site wall subcontractor’s claim. In a second case, condominium association sued Developer for construction defects. In turn, Developer filed a third-party complaint against construction manager as well as other subcontractors alleging that their negligence caused defects in the Project. Ultimately, the parties to the second suit reached a settlement whereby Developer and construction manager paid the condominium association $2 million and $600,000 respectively.

Continue Reading U.S. Court of Appeals for 9th Circuit Holds Release in Defect Case Does Not Bar Claims for Indemnity in Delay / Disruption Case

Village of Sturtevant v. STS Consultants, Ltd.
2010 Wisc. App. LEXIS 433 (Wis. Ct. App. June 9, 2010)

The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin recently considered whether a design professional could maintain a claim for contribution against a subcontractor on the basis that the subcontractor had a duty to advise that the design was not suited for the intended application. The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s dismissal of such claims on the basis that the subcontractor had no design or construction responsibility and therefore could not be a joint tortfeasor.

Continue Reading Wisconsin Court Holds Subcontractor Had No Responsibility to Critique Design in Contract Documents

Harris Constr. Co., Ltd. v. GGP-Bridgeland, L.P.
2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46477 (S.D. Tex. May 12, 2010)

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas determined that the issue whether the Texas Supreme Court would recognize a claim for breach of implied warranty against an owner or a design professional providing defective plans had been resolved by the Fifth Circuit in Interstate Contracting Corp. v. City of Dallas, 407 F.3d 708 (5th Cir. 2005). The Court concluded that the Texas would apply the Lonergan rule, which requires contractual language indicating an intent to shift the burden of risk of defective design to the owner or a design professional hired by the owner to make the plans and specifications.

Continue Reading U.S. District Court in Texas Concludes that the Texas Supreme Court Would Not Follow Federal Spearin Doctrine Pertaining to Implied Warranty of Design

Centex/Vestal J.V. v. Friendship West Baptist Church
2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 4346 (Tex. App. June 10, 2010)

The trial court denied a motion to confirm an arbitration award and granted a motion to vacate finding that the arbitrator exceeded his authority when he determined the validity of and awarded the general contractor damages on its pass through subcontractor claims. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, holding that because of the breadth of the arbitration clause, the arbitrator was authorized to determine the pass through subcontractor claims, and entered an order confirming the arbitrator’s award.

Continue Reading Texas Court Holds that Arbitrator Had Jurisdiction Over Subcontractor Pass Through Claims

Cleveland Construction, Inc. v. Kent State University
2010 Ohio 2906, 2010 Ohio App. LEXIS 2407 (Ohio Ct. App. June 24, 2010)

The Ohio Court of Appeals held that a contractor’s failure to submit claims in accordance with the contract’s dispute process and its failure to exhaust administrative remedies prescribed by statute would bar its claims regardless of assertions as to the futility or unfairness of such procedures.

Continue Reading Ohio Court Holds Contractor Claims Barred Because of Failure to Comply With Contract’s Claim Submission and Dispute Resolution Provisions

Blesi-Evans Co. v. Western Mechanical Service, Inc.
2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36302 (S.D. April 13, 2010)

Defendant Western Mechanical Services, Inc. entered into a contract with the state of South Dakota to replace boilers on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus Western, in turn, solicited bids for the boilers. Western accepted Plaintiff Blesi-Evans Co.’s proposal to supply one of the boilers. A dispute arose out of the delay in the production and delivery of that boiler.

Continue Reading U.S. District Court in South Dakota Denies Summary Judgment on Contractor’s Set-off Defense Based on Delay in Delivery to Supplier’s Claim for Payment On Grounds That Material Issues of Fact Existed Regarding Time for Delivery and UCC Notice to Supplier

Lillibridge Health Care Services, Inc. v. Hunton Brady Architects, P.A.
2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34210 (M.D. Fla. April 7, 2010)

Lillibridge Healthcare Services, Inc. sued Hunton Brady Architects, P.A. and Heery International, Inc. for breach of contract, negligent design, and negligent misrepresentation.

Hunton had entered into an agreement with Mediplex Medical Building Corporation (“MMBC”) to prepare documents and to provide other services for the construction of a four story, steel frame medical office building located in Celebration, Florida. MMBC assigned its rights under that contract to Lillibridge. Heery had assumed obligations under a subcontract with Hunton to perform the engineering work for the Project.

Continue Reading U.S. District Court in Florida Rules Expert Witness Not Required to Establish Architectural or Engineering Standards of Care, Where Claims Based on Rejection of Designs for Noncompliance With Codes

Acme Contracting, Ltd. v. Toltest, Inc.
2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 6144 (6th Cir. Mar. 24, 2010)

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a District Court decision that a “no damage for delay” clause was void and unenforceable pursuant to Section 4113.62 of the Ohio Revised Code. The clause contained provisions requiring that any “delay must be reported in writing and an extension of time shall be the sole and exclusive remedy of Contractor for any such delays or suspensions, but only to the extent that a time extension is obtained from the Owner,” and that “no claims will be accepted for costs incurred due to delays caused by others except to the extent that such delays exceed four (4) months.”

Continue Reading U.S. Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit Holds Ohio Statute Precludes Application of “No Damage for Delay” Clause

Penava Mechanical Corp. v. Afgo Mechanical Services, Inc.
2010 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1973 (N.Y. App. Div. March 16, 2010)

In a contract dispute, the trial court granted motions for summary judgment filed by the general contractor and owner, dismissing counterclaims asserted by the subcontractor, and denied the subcontractor’s motion for summary judgment as to liability for such counterclaims. On appeal, the Appellate Division reversed the trial court’s order to the extent it granted the general contractor’s and owner’s motions for summary judgment.

Continue Reading New York Appellate Division Holds Oral Directions to Perform Extra Work May Override Contract Provisions Requiring Written Authorization