Category Archives for "Court Decisions"

Surety’s entitlement to recover costs under general indemnity agreements with contractor and contractor’s owners. Arch Insurance Company v. Centerplan Construction Company, LLC. United States District Court, District of Connecticut (2019), by Hugh Anderson

Although the terms and conditions of the bonds were not significant factors in the court’s decision, it appears that the bonds on the project were similar to, perhaps the same as, the standard bonds developed by a collaboration of industry organizations (including EJCDC) and published by EJCDC. For example, the Arch performance bond appeared to require a conference of owner, contractor, and surety prior to a declaration of default—such a conference is one of the procedural steps required in EJCDC® C-610, Performance Bond, Paragraph 3.1.

Continue reading

Conflict of interest because of participation in peer review. In the Matter of HBI-GF, J.V. United States Government Accountability Office (2017), by Hugh Anderson

Summary: In March 2016, the Corps of Engineers retained Gannett Fleming to conduct an external peer review of the design of a six-mile cutoff wall project at the Herbert Hoover Dike embankment, at Lake Okeechobee, Florida. Gannett Fleming’s personnel, including a geotechnical engineer, reviewed project design documents, submitted more than 80 comments, and prepared findings […]

Continue reading

Entitlement to arbitration under design agreement. Thomas Zimmer Builders LLC v. Kurt E. Roots and Monika Roots. Court of Appeals of Wisconsin (2018), by Hugh Anderson

Summary: In a residential construction dispute between contractor and homeowners, the homeowners (the Rootses) brought a third-party claim against architect Mark Udvari-Solner. Udvari-Solner moved to compel arbitration, based on the arbitration clause in the design agreement between the Rootses and Udvari-Solner Design Co., a corporation. The trial court denied the motion to compel arbitration, and […]

Continue reading

Is an aggregate analysis a professional service that triggers the application of a certificate of merit requirement? Ronald R. Wagner & Co. LP v. Apex Geoscience Inc. Texas Court of Appeals (2018), by Hugh Anderson

Summary: Wagner was the construction contractor on a paving project. The Texas DOT (TXDOT) specifications required the contractor to provide aggregate meeting stated characteristics. During the bidding phase, Wagner had relied on a report, issued by a senior engineer at Apex Geoscience, that found that proposed aggregate from the Wilson Pit met the specification. Later, […]

Continue reading

Did the payment bond issued for a design-build project provide protection to an engineering subcontractor? Aztec Engineering Group, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana (2017), by Hugh Anderson.

Summary: Aztec Engineering Group provided design services for the upgrade of 21 miles of state highway near Bloomington, Indiana, under a professional services subcontract with design-builder Isolux-Corson. Isolux-Corson’s work was in turn part of a Public Private Partnership to “design, build, finance, operate and upgrade” the highway. The design-build contract between the project’s Developer and […]

Continue reading

Contractor-subcontractor relationship; wrongful termination of subcontractor. Randy Kinder Excavating, Inc. v. J.A. Manning Construction Co., Inc. United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. (2018), by Hugh Anderson

Summary: Kinder was the general contractor on a $10 million Corps of Engineers pumping station project on the White River in Arkansas. Manning was Kinder’s subcontractor for construction of a mechanically stabilized earth wall (a form of retaining wall). As the U.S. Court of Appeals put it, “As with many large-scale projects, this venture was […]

Continue reading

What is the exercise of discretionary authority under a statute limiting the State’s liability? Rodriguez v. Department of Transportation. Court of Appeal of California (2018), by Hugh Anderson

Summary: The State of California is not liable for injuries except as provided by statute. The Government Claims Act allows for direct liability for injuries caused by the State maintaining a dangerous condition. However, this exposure to liability is limited: the State is allowed to raise the design immunity defense. This defense gives the State […]

Continue reading

Owner’s claims against design-builder’s architect regarding design-builder’s applications for payment. Auburn Hills Tax Increment Finance Authority v. Haussman Construction Company. Court of Appeals of Michigan (2018), by Hugh Anderson

Summary: Haussman Construction retained Mayotte Group, Inc., an architecture firm, to design a four-story parking structure. Somewhat afterward, Haussman entered into an “Owner-Builder” agreement with the project owner, the Auburn Hills Tax Increment Finance Authority, agreeing to “serve as general contractor for the design and construction” of the parking structure. The Owner-Builder agreement identified Mayotte […]

Continue reading

May a project owner sustain a claim against design professionals retained by the contractor? Stapleton v. Barrett Crane Design & Engineering. United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (2018), by Hugh Anderson

Summary: Keywell, the project owner, entered into contract with Pavilion Building for the design and construction of a commercial building in western New York. Pavilion subcontracted some or all of the design to Barrett Crane Design & Engineering. After completion, Keywell brought professional negligence and breach of contract claims in Federal court against Pavilion, Barrett […]

Continue reading

Issue: Property damage insurance and waiver of subrogation. Ritacca Laser Center v. Brydges. Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District (2018)., by Hugh Anderson

Summary: A medical facility, Ritacca Laser Center, entered into a design-build contract to remodel a basement space into a surgical suite. The design-build contractor retained O’Hare Engineering for design and installation of the building’s HVAC system. A few days after the new facility’s grand opening, a fire caused extensive damage. The cause of the fire […]

Continue reading