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Archon Construction Co. v. U.S. Shelter, LLC, 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 197 (March 31, 2017)

U.S. Shelter, LLC, a developer, undertook to develop a new residential subdivision in Elgin, Illinois. As part of that project, U.S. Shelter retained Archon Construction Company, Inc. (“Archon”) to install the sanitary sewer system for $890,955.29.

Archon’s contract provided that after the system was completed, Archon would videotape the interior of the piping, to allow the City of Elgin (“City”) to inspect and determine the acceptability of the system as installed.

Archon completed its work in August of 2005. In early 2007, the City requested that Archon perform the required videotaping.  Archon complied.

After viewing the videotapes, the City announced that the system, as installed, was not acceptable and that certain repairs were necessary. In particular, the City specified that one of the lines running through the system needed to be replaced because of cracking, the existence of gravel in the lines, and other issues.  While the entire sewer system had been constructed with PVC pipe, the City directed that this line be replaced with ductile iron pipe.

Continue Reading Illinois Appellate Court Attempts to Draw the Line Between Contract and Quasi-Contract; Holds That Quantum Meruit Is Only Available Where Disputed Work is Outside the “General Subject Matter” of the Contract

Broomfield Senior Living Owner, LLC v. R.G. Brinkmann Co., 2017 Colo. App. Lexis 261 (March 9, 2017)

R.G. Brinkmann Company, as general contractor, was retained by Sunrise Development, Inc., a major national developer, for the construction of a senior assisted and independent living facility in Broomfield, Colorado. The project was owned by Broomfield Senior Living Owner, LLC.

Section 13.7 of the contract between Brinkmann and Sunrise provided that all claims arising from defects in Brinkmann’s work would be deemed to accrue no later than final completion of the project. On May 15, 2009, the project achieved final completion when a certificate of occupancy was issued.  No defects in the project were noted at that time.  In the Fall of 2012, however, Broomfield discovered broken sewer pipes at the project.  Further investigation revealed a number of defects that Broomfield attributed to Brinkmann’s poor construction.

On July 21, 2014, Broomfield filed a lawsuit asserting various defective workmanship claims against Brinkmann. Brinkmann responded by moving for summary judgment, arguing that under Section 13.7 of its contract with Sunrise, all defective work claims accrued no later than final completion on May 15, 2009 and that Colorado’s two year statute of limitations for civil claims therefore expired on May 15, 2011.  The trial court granted Brinkmann’s motion and dismissed Broomfield’s claims.

Continue Reading Colorado Appellate Court Holds that Commercial Entity that Owns a Senior Living Facility Is a “Residential Property Owner” Within the Meaning of the Homeowner Protection Act and Is Therefore Entitled to More Lenient Statute of Limitations

Jay Jala, LLC v. DDG Construction, Inc., No. 15-3948, 2016 US Dist. LEXIS 150969 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 1, 2016)

Jay Jala, LLC was the owner of a motel construction project in Allentown, Pennsylvania. DDG Construction, Inc. was the contractor.  The project was delayed during construction and, four months after the specified completion date, DDG abandoned the project.  Jay Jala terminated DDG for default, completed the project, and initiated this action.

The contract provided that the parties “waive Claims against each other for consequential damages arising out of or relating to this Contract.” During litigation, DDG stipulated that it breached the contract but moved for partial summary judgment, arguing that Jay Jala’s damages were consequential, and thus waived.

Continue Reading Federal Court in Pennsylvania Analyzes Which Types of Damage are Barred by Contractual Waiver of Consequential Damages

Scott Enters., Inc. v. City of Allentown, 2016 Pa. LEXIS 1503 (Pa. July 19, 2016)

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversed an order of the Commonwealth Court and held that the prompt payment provisions of the Commonwealth Procurement Code, 62 Pa. C.S. §3931-3939 (the “Prompt Payment Act”), do not mandate an award of penalty interest and attorneys’ fees upon a finding that the government withheld payments from the contractor in bad faith.

Continue Reading Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Holds That Under Prompt Payment Act, Imposition of Penalty and Attorneys’ Fees Is Discretionary, Not Mandatory, Upon Finding of Bad Faith

Securiforce Int’l America, LLC v. United States, 125 Fed. Cl. 749 (March 21, 2016)

Plaintiff Securiforce International America, LLC (“Securiforce”) was awarded a contract by the Defense Logistics Agency Energy (“DLA Energy” or the “agency”) to deliver diesel fuel and gasoline to eight Department of State sites in Iraq.  But, within three months of the award, the agency partially terminated the contract for the convenience of the government.  The remainder of the contract was terminated for cause shortly thereafter.

As a result of its termination, Securiforce submitted claims to DLA Energy’s contracting officer, seeking, among other things, a declaration from the contracting officer that the termination for convenience was invalid and constituted a breach of contract.  The contracting officer denied the claims.

Continue Reading Court of Federal Claims Rules Contracting Officer’s Failure to Exercise Independent Business Judgment Renders Partial Termination for Convenience an Abuse of Discretion and Breach, but Holds Subsequent Termination for Cause of Remainder of Contract to Be Appropriate

United States ex rel Jack Daniels Construction, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172189 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 28, 2015)

This action arises from the construction of the Joint Intelligence Technical Training Facility at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas (the “Project”).  Plaintiff Jack Daniels Construction, Inc. (“Jack Daniels”) was a sub-subcontractor who was retained by the subcontractor, Ragghianti Foundations III, Inc. (“Ragghianti”), to perform certain concrete work at the Project.  Jack Daniels commenced its work on the Project in late August of 2011, but it was demobilized by early September as a result of problems encountered by Ragghianti and the prime contractor.  Jack Daniels resumed its work in late October, but by November of 2011, the Project was behind schedule.

Continue Reading Federal District Court in Florida Considers Damages (Including Delay Costs and Attorneys Fees) and Defenses Available Under the Miller Act

Elliot-Lewis Corp. v. Skanska USA Building, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98405 (E.D. Pa. July 27, 2015)

This dispute arises out of a major renovation and expansion of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (the “Project”).  Plaintiff Elliot-Lewis Corporation (“ELCo”) was a subcontractor hired to install the piping and controls for the Project’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (“HVAC”) system.  The Project’s schedule required that start up and testing of the HVAC system begin by February 23, 2013 and that the system be operational by April 1, 2013.  But, when the HVAC was started for testing, flooding issues arose due to problems with the condenser pumps specified in the HVAC system’s specifications.  Ultimately, the HVAC system was not operational by April 1 and ELCo was required to perform additional work and install temporary cooling equipment so that the Franklin Institute could open during the summer.  ELCo was never paid by the prime contractor for this additional work.

Continue Reading Federal Court in Pennsylvania Holds Design Professionals’ Negligence Claim Against Pump Supplier Barred By Economic Loss Rule

Fed. Ins. Co. v. Fredericks, Inc., 2015-Ohio-694, 29 N.E.3d 313, 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 684 (Ohio Ct. App. Feb. 27, 2015)

This case arises from a construction project in Vandalia, Ohio that was damaged during a windstorm before construction was completed.  The project was for the construction of a “cross-dock facility” warehouse (the “Project”) on certain real property owned by Pasco Enterprises (“Pasco”), a company in the business of owning and leasing real estate holdings.  Pasco’s 100% parent, J.P. Holding Co., Inc. (“JP Holding”) also owned Carter Express, Inc. (“Express”) and Carter Logistics, LLC (“Logistics”).  Logistics was in the business of providing freight transportation services to its customers; it also contracted with freight carriers, including Express, to transport its customers’ freight.  Approximately 85% of Logistics’ freight shipments were transported by Express.

Continue Reading Ohio Court of Appeals Holds that Economic Loss Rule Bars Claim by Affiliates of Owner Against Subcontractor

Clipper Pipe & Service, Inc. v. The Ohio Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 Pa. LEXIS 1275 (PA  June 15, 2015)

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that CASPA, 73 P.S. §§501-516, “does not apply to a construction project where the owner is a governmental entity.”  The decision once and for all resolved the issue of whether the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (“CASPA”) applies to payment disputes between prime contractors and subcontractors on public works projects,  either instead of, or in addition to, the prompt payment provisions of the Commonwealth Procurement Code, 62 Pa.C.S. §§ 3931-3939 (commonly referred to as “the Prompt Payment Act”).

Continue Reading Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Holds Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (“CASPA”) Inapplicable to Public Works Projects

Hill International, Inc. v. Atlantic City Board of Education, 2014 N.J. Super. LEXIS 177 (App. Div. Dec. 30, 2014)

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division held that, in order to support of claim of professional malpractice or professional negligence, New Jersey’s Affidavit of Merit Statute, NJSA 2A:53A-26 to -29, requires that the affidavit of merit must be signed by an affiant who is licensed within the same profession as the defendant.

Continue Reading New Jersey Appellate Division Holds that Affidavit of Merit Must be Issued by a Professional within the Same Profession as Defendant