Latest News

18 Jul, 2022

COVID and Juror Attitudes About Science

2022-07-18T13:59:48-05:00July 18th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

Fresh from a mistrial due to COVID causing the jury panel to be deficient in number, I was thinking of some non-scientific observations about jurors, jury selection, and jury pools during our ongoing COVID era. Some juror’s attitudes have changed our jury venire and the possible areas of inquiry to “deselect” jurors in a very scientific area of litigation:  medical malpractice lawsuits. Here are some observations and areas of inquiry [...]

13 Jul, 2022

Beware the Risk of the “Lapsed” License in Professional Licensure Actions

2022-07-13T09:20:30-05:00July 13th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

Despite practicing in only one state, many physicians maintain licenses to practice in multiple states.  Some maintain active licenses in states where they no longer practice just in case they decide to return at some time in the future.  Others allow the licenses to lapse and become inactive, having no intention of practicing in the former state again.  Physicians holding more than one medical license, whether active or inactive, should [...]

6 Jul, 2022

Iowa Supreme Court Applies Statute of Repose to “Failure to Inform” Cases

2022-07-06T17:50:11-05:00July 6th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

In Downing v. Grossman, an April 2022 decision, the Iowa Supreme Court reaffirmed that medical malpractice plaintiffs may not use allegations of fraudulent concealment to employ equitable estoppel to eviscerate the operation of Iowa Code § 614.1(9)’s a statute of repose when the alleged fraudulent concealment goes to the very “heart of” a plaintiff’s claim. To understand Downing, it is important to keep in mind the similarities and differences between [...]

6 Jul, 2022

Working on Federal Projects—Beware of the Sovereign Acts Doctrine

2022-07-05T17:29:34-05:00July 6th, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, Federal Construction Projects|

Contractors working on federal projects continue to face losses caused by COVID.  Recovering these losses is proving difficult and the Sovereign Acts Doctrine may make it even more difficult. The Sovereign Acts Doctrine balances the government’s dual role in acting as a contractor and the sovereign.  When the sovereign takes action which is in the public good, a breach of contract action will not stand against the sovereign.  In order [...]

29 Jun, 2022

Don’t Let Medicaid Reimbursement Impact Settlements – SCOTUS Rules Medicaid Can Seek Reimbursement for Future Medical Expenses

2022-06-29T12:23:47-05:00June 29th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

The Supreme Court of the United States recently expanded the ability of states to recoup health care costs from accident victims under the Medicaid Act. The case, Gallardo v. Marstiller, involved injuries sustained by a plaintiff when she was hit by a motor vehicle as she stepped off a school bus in Florida.  Florida’s Medicaid agency paid $862,688.77 for Ms. Gallardo’s initial medical expenses.  Ms. Gallardo, through her parents, sued the [...]

19 Jun, 2022

No, You Don’t Have to Talk

2022-06-27T18:39:29-05:00June 19th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

When recently defending my physician client in a medical malpractice deposition, Plaintiff’s counsel started asking questions outside the lines. I objected and he immediately retorted back that I did not know the Rules of Evidence and that his questions were legitimate. He claimed certain testimony privileges only apply in criminal matters. I stood on my objections and my physician client followed my lead and did not answer the questions. But [...]

15 Jun, 2022

Strict Liability of Hospitals Under EMTALA

2022-06-15T08:16:21-05:00June 15th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (“EMTALA”), 42 U.S.C.S. § 395dd, which requires treatment of any person coming to an emergency department regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.  This is commonly referred to as the “anti-dumping” law.  Although EMTALA is a federal regulation, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are subject to civil liability for EMTALA violations.  Thus, it is important for [...]

14 Jun, 2022

Dave Schmitt Secures Summary Judgment for BNSF Railway in Two Separate Toxic Tort Lawsuits

2022-06-14T11:51:09-05:00June 14th, 2022|Transportation Law|

Dave Schmitt, a partner at Lamson Dugan & Murray LLP, secured summary judgment for BNSF Railway in two separate toxic tort lawsuits. The United States District Court for the District of Nebraska dismissed both cases finding they were time-barred by FELA’s three-year statute of limitations, 45 U.S.C. § 56. In Salstrand v. BNSF Ry., No. 4:20-cv-3146 (D. Neb. 2022), the plaintiff was diagnosed with multiple myeloma on March 3, 2014. [...]

6 Jun, 2022

Billed v. Paid Medical Expenses: The Retail Price Isn’t Always the Fair and Reasonable Value of Medical Services

2022-06-06T08:31:55-05:00June 6th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

In Nebraska, comparing what is charged in medical expenses to what was actually accepted as a complete payment of those medical expenses, including the patient deductible, is important in litigating every medical malpractice case. The measure of recovery for medical expenses is the reasonable value of the medical services rendered. Stanek v. Swierczek, 209 Neb. 357, 307 N.W.2d 807 (1981). Plaintiff's attorneys frequently cite a provision of Nebraska's hospital lien [...]

1 Jun, 2022

Do you have insurance coverage for that?

2022-05-31T10:17:54-05:00June 1st, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Insurance, Latest News|

Contractors are often surprised to learn that they do not have insurance coverage if the materials they provide fail.  A recent case out of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (which oversees Alabama, Florida and Georgia), upheld the trial court’s ruling that a contractor’s insurer was not required to cover claims that the concrete it provided did not meet specifications. The controversy arose when Morgan Concrete (“Morgan”) agreed to supply [...]

25 May, 2022

One Size Does Not Fit All – The Locality Rule in Nebraska

2022-05-25T16:00:26-05:00May 25th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

As medical malpractice defense attorneys, we are often asked: Will the opposing party be able to find an expert to support what is believed to be a baseless claim of malpractice? We must respond that we do not know, but in the United States usually if you are willing to pay enough money, you can find an expert to say almost anything. There is a cottage industry of so-called expert [...]

17 May, 2022

When DHHS Comes Calling

2022-05-17T13:21:05-05:00May 17th, 2022|Disciplinary Actions, LDM MedMal Forum, Litigation Tips, Risk Management|

Every licensed health care provider dreads receiving that certified letter with the return address, “Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Investigations Division.”  Opening the letter doesn’t help matters:  “Dear sir or madam, we are gathering information regarding a complaint that has been made against you.  The complaint alleges that you blah, blah, blah.  Please provide your written response to this office no later than 14 days after receipt of [...]

9 May, 2022

Iowa’s Certificate of Merit Statute Has Teeth

2022-05-09T10:56:23-05:00May 9th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

In 2017, Iowa enacted a statute that aimed to dismiss meritless medical malpractice actions early in the case.  The statute, Iowa Code § 147.140, requires that a plaintiff provide a certificate of merit signed by an expert within 60 days of the defendants’ answer.  The certificate must address the standard of care and the defendant’s alleged breach of that standard.  If the plaintiff fails to provide such a certificate, the [...]

4 May, 2022

Five Do’s and Don’ts of Deposition Preparation

2022-05-04T10:56:42-05:00May 4th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

Giving a deposition is a form of communication that is usually completely foreign to health care providers.  The surgeon who is in complete control of her operating suite may find herself utterly lost in a conference room surrounded by attorneys.  Some physicians become old hands at giving depositions, but for newcomers to the arena, emphasizing a few do’s and don’ts can make the process easier: DO Spend the time it [...]

2 May, 2022

The Criminal Prosecution of Medical Errors: Where Transparency Meets Self-Incrimination

2022-05-02T07:07:25-05:00May 2nd, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

They say the truth will set you free, but one nurse who told the truth about a medication error she committed in 2017 now faces up to 8 years in jail.  On March 25, 2022, following a 3-day trial, RaDonda Vaught, a former nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), was found guilty of gross neglect and negligent homicide of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey.  Murphey died as the result of Vaught administering a [...]

27 Apr, 2022

Beware of Waiving Your Arbitration Rights Through Your Conduct

2022-04-16T08:26:54-05:00April 27th, 2022|Arbitration, Construction Contractor Advisor|

Contractors are no strangers to arbitration or mediation clauses in construction contracts.  These provisions clearly identify the process for dispute resolution at the outset of a project rather than having to deal with disputes over how to resolve disputes.  However, a recent case in Florida illustrates the importance of following the requirements of these provisions to protect your rights. In Leder v. Imburgia Constr. Servs., 325 So. 3d 256 (Fla. [...]

25 Apr, 2022

Nebraska Supreme Court Puts the Brakes on the Continuous Treatment Doctrine

2022-04-25T08:56:19-05:00April 25th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

The statute of limitations is a frequent defense in medical malpractice cases. Patients are often reluctant to sue a physician with whom they have an ongoing relationship. This has led to many cases being filed after the statute of limitations has expired. In the past, patients have relied upon the vague and confusing “continuous treatment doctrine” to avoid the statute of limitations. That will now be much more difficult to [...]

21 Apr, 2022

Whose Opinions Can You Share to Establish the Standard of Care

2022-04-21T09:18:03-05:00April 21st, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

In any medical malpractice case where a plaintiff claims your physician-client violated the applicable standard of care, one of the defense attorney’s first tasks is—or should be—to identify an expert to defend your client’s treatment.  At first glance, this task seems straightforward.  After all, the simple goal is to identify a person that can vouch for the care your client provided.  But states maintain distinct standards that sometimes differ as [...]

15 Apr, 2022

The Department of Labor is Updating Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage Regulations

2022-04-09T11:25:20-05:00April 15th, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, Davis Bacon Act, Federal Construction Projects|

Last month, the US Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update the Davis-Bacon wage regulations.  Specifically, the Department proposes to amend regulations issued under the Davis-Bacon that set forth rules for the pre-determination of Davis-Bacon wage rates. The Davis-Bacon Act, created in 1931, requires contractors and subcontractors working on federally funded projects to pay employees locally prevailing wages and benefits.  At present, Davis-Bacon wages are required [...]

5 Apr, 2022

A Cautionary Tale

2022-04-05T15:17:09-05:00April 5th, 2022|Latest News, Transportation Law|

Every pilot who holds a medical certificate has at one time filled out Form 8500-8. Form 8500-8 is the form we all fill out when we apply for medical certificates. Form 8500-8 asks us, among other things, to disclose whether we have ever been diagnosed with a series of medical conditions. Providing false information on these forms is a felony and thus carries with it significant consequences, as one California [...]

22 Mar, 2022

Federal Contractors–Are you ready to register with the OFCCP?

2022-03-14T11:05:00-05:00March 22nd, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, Federal Construction Projects, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)|

On February 1, 2022, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched the contractor portal through which Federal Contractors must register their organization.  Federal Contractors will have until June 30, 2022 to certify that they have complied with Affirmative Action Plan requirements. WHICH FEDERAL CONTRACTORS HAVE TO CERTIFY? Service and Supply Contractors (and subcontractors) must certify that they have adopted an Affirmative Action Plan.  Construction Contractors do not have [...]

15 Mar, 2022

How to Get Paid on Public Projects in Iowa and Nebraska: The Little Miller Act

2022-03-07T14:34:46-06:00March 15th, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, Iowa Miller Act, Little Miller Act, Nebraska Miller Act|

Congress enacted the Miller Act to provide protection to contractors furnishing labor and material on federal projects.  Many states, including Nebraska and Iowa, have enacted “Little Miller Acts,” which provide that same protection on state and county public projects.  These laws require general contractors on certain government jobs to carry a performance bond to protect the government against delays and incomplete work.  Those covered are also required to carry payment [...]

4 Mar, 2022

Does Your Company Require Employees To Be Vaccinated for COVID-19?  A New Law In Nebraska Applies to You!

2022-03-03T16:07:14-06:00March 4th, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, COVID Legislative, COVID Vaccine, COVID-19|

Although we may be seeing the light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel, for those employers who have instituted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, a new law in Nebraska applies to you. On Monday, February 28, 2022 Governor Ricketts signed LB 906. LB 906 requires employers who have a mandatory vaccination policy to allow for exemptions for employees who have a religious objection to the vaccine or a [...]

23 Feb, 2022

Modifications and Release Agreements in Construction Contracts

2022-02-11T13:08:00-06:00February 23rd, 2022|Change Orders, Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts|

Construction contracts typically allow for modifications during the course of performance. Parties can agree to change the scope of work or price that was originally agreed to. For example, contractors can run into unexpected costs due to another’s negligence or delays. Material costs may go up and the contract price may become inadequate. Modifications allow for contractors to be fairly compensated for the increased costs that result through no fault [...]

16 Feb, 2022

Is the Legislature Dictating the Standard of Care for Opioid Prescribing?

2022-02-24T16:11:40-06:00February 16th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

Opioid abuse has grown into a crisis that has occupied the headlines in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. The root of the problem is misuse of opioids prescribed for chronic pain. It is estimated [...]

16 Feb, 2022

District Court Holds that 49 U.S.C. § 44112 preempts state tort claims

2022-02-16T12:54:08-06:00February 16th, 2022|Transportation Law|

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently held that a provision of the Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. § 44112, preempted state law negligence and strict liability claims brought against a former owner of an aircraft by the heirs of people who died in a plane crash.  See J.A.G.P. v. Aerolineas Damojh, S.A. de C.V., No. 1:19-CV-02552, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24858 (N.D. Ill. Feb. [...]

8 Feb, 2022

Biden Signs Executive Order Requiring Project Labor Agreements

2022-02-08T08:18:03-06:00February 8th, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, Executive Order, Federal Construction Projects, Project Labor Agreement|

On February 4, 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order on the use of project labor agreements (“PLA”) on federal construction projects.  The Order will not go into effect until the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council drafts regulations, which must be issued by June 4, 2022. President Biden’s executive order is making good on his promise to be the most “union friendly” president in history and could impact over $262 billion [...]

4 Feb, 2022

Nebraska Supreme Court Holds that Airplanes are Subject to Sales and Use Tax

2022-02-04T17:19:13-06:00February 4th, 2022|Latest News, Transportation Law|

In July 2021, the Nebraska Supreme Court decided an important case on the Nebraska sales and use tax and how it is applied to aircraft. In the case, Big Blue Express, Inc. v. Neb. Dep’t of Rev., 309 Neb. 838 (2021), the supreme court concluded that the “sale for resale” exemption found at Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-2701.34 did not exempt an aircraft from sales and use taxes when the [...]

4 Feb, 2022

Nebraska Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment on Statute of Limitations in FELA Toxic Action

2022-02-04T17:17:34-06:00February 4th, 2022|Transportation Law|

In Anderson v. Union Pac. R.R., 7:18-cv-5010 (July 6, 2020), the Nebraska federal court granted the defendant railroad’s motion for summary judgment on the statute of limitations in a toxic action filed under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. § 51 et seq. The plaintiff filed the action on August 21, 2018 claiming he was exposed to diesel exhaust and alleged toxic materials while he worked for the railroad which [...]

4 Feb, 2022

The Importance of Securing Medical Records Before Taking a Plaintiff’s Deposition

2022-02-04T17:11:08-06:00February 4th, 2022|Transportation Law|

In a personal injury case it is important to secure all of the plaintiff’s medical records before taking a plaintiff’s deposition. Medical records are important to determine the nature and extent of the claimed injury. Reviewing medical records in detail will provide insight whether a plaintiff complained of the same or similar conditions before the subject incident. Medical records typically contain a patient’s history, including the date of onset and [...]

4 Feb, 2022

Deposing a Plaintiff in FELA Toxic Actions

2022-02-04T17:09:47-06:00February 4th, 2022|Transportation Law|

Railroad workers are filing FELA lawsuits against their former employers claiming they were exposed to alleged toxic substances during their railroad careers which caused them to develop cancer. Most of the plaintiffs are retired and developed cancer late in their lives. They claim their railroad employment from decades earlier is responsible. It is important when taking a plaintiff’s deposition in a toxic tort action to have the plaintiff be specific [...]

25 Jan, 2022

COVID-19 and Force Majeure Clauses

2021-12-30T13:51:35-06:00January 25th, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, COVID-19, Force Majeure|

The resurgence of COVID-19 has increased the importance of force majeure clauses in construction contracts. Here are some things to consider for your force majeure clause. Effect of Force Majeure Clause Force majeure clauses seek to excuse the nonperformance of a party. A party is no longer obligated to perform when an event expressed in the force majeure clause occurs, and the event is the cause of the party’s inability [...]

11 Jan, 2022

What you need to know about Indemnification Clauses

2021-12-30T13:46:56-06:00January 11th, 2022|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts, Indemnity clauses|

Construction projects are risky, and parties allocate risk to reduce their own liabilities. Indemnification clauses shift risk from one party to another, but they come in may shapes and sizes. Therefore, it is important to read yours carefully. Terminology and Effect of Indemnification An “indemnitor” promises to compensate an “indemnitee” for injury or loss that the indemnitee incurs. Subcontractors are typically indemnitors that promise to “indemnify” the general contractor for [...]

20 Dec, 2021

OSHA’s Vaccine Rule—Reinstated

2021-12-20T09:12:55-06:00December 20th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor, COVID Employment, COVID-19, OSHA|

The tug-of-war on vaccination continues.  On December 17, 2021, a federal appellate court lifted the stay on OSHA’s emergency temporary standard requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure employees are vaccinated or are testing regularly.  The appellate court’s decision was immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. What does this mean for employers? OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring vaccinate or testing and masking is now in place, [...]

10 Dec, 2021

Federal Contractor COVID Vaccine Mandate Stayed

2021-12-09T08:23:59-06:00December 10th, 2021|Associated Builders and Contractors, Construction Contractor Advisor, COVID Construction|

On December 7, 2021, a federal judge in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction preventing the Biden administration’s Covid – 19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors from going into effect.  The injunction will remain in place until the court reaches a final decision on the matter, which could take several months. In ruling in favor of the various states that filed the lawsuit, the court found that President Bidens’s Administration likely [...]

25 Oct, 2021

Does It Come Furnished: Are Center Pivots Fixtures or Real Property?

2021-10-25T14:13:55-05:00October 25th, 2021|Agriculture, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  Central pivot irrigation systems are vitally important in Nebraska.  Not only is Nebraska the most irrigated state in the U.S., it is also the largest producer/user of center pivot systems in the world.[1] For Nebraska farmers and legal practitioners alike, it may be important to understand how center pivot systems are classified when either buying, selling, or assessing, for taxation purposes, farmland that utilizes a center pivot irrigation system. [...]

15 Oct, 2021

The COVID Mandate FAR Clause

2021-10-15T11:23:12-05:00October 15th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor|

The New FAR clause is out and the federal government is issuing amendments/modifications of contract notices on federally funded project.  For those of you new to this discussion, please check out our earlier blog on the new vaccine mandate.  As we warned you earlier, the federal government is now amending contracts to require all employees working on the federally funded project to be vaccinated.  There is no carve out for [...]

29 Sep, 2021

New Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractor

2021-09-29T15:23:40-05:00September 29th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor, COVID Construction, COVID-19, Vaccination|

The Federal Workforce Task Force, created by President Biden’s Executive Order on COVID Safety Protocols, released guidance on workplace safety protocols for federal contractors and subcontractor.  The Guidance explains which contracts are covered, which employers are covered and the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for covered employees.  Below are answers to common questions about the Guidance. When will the Vaccine Mandate start? Government agencies will begin implementing the new requirements during the [...]

22 Sep, 2021

The worst $333 never spent and the continuation of the common fund doctrine.

2021-09-23T10:19:15-05:00September 22nd, 2021|Appealing Litigation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

The common fund doctrine is alive and well in Nebraska, according to the Nebraska Supreme Court.  In Hauptman, O’Brien v Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 310 Neb. 147, - - N.W.2d - - (September 17, 2021), an injured plaintiff’s law firm sued Auto-Owners, the plaintiff’s automobile insurer. The insurer refused to reduce its $1,000 medical payment subrogation interest pursuant to the common fund doctrine. Standard Practice The common practice in Nebraska is [...]

15 Sep, 2021

Biden Executive Orders Mandates Vaccines for Federal Contractors

2021-09-13T17:39:11-05:00September 15th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor, COVID-19, Federal Construction Projects, Government Regulations|

On September 9, 2021, the Biden Administration issued an Executive Order “Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.” While the details are not entirely clear, it appears that in the next few weeks, federal contractors will have to provide evidence of vaccination of their employees working on federal projects. Implementation The Safer Federal Work Task Force has been directed by Executive Order to issue guidelines by September 24, 2021, [...]

4 Aug, 2021

Just say no to drugs?  How Iowa law requires extraordinary efforts by employers to enforce a drug testing policy

2021-07-31T07:14:46-05:00August 4th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor|

The illegal use of drugs by employees presents a host of issues for employers – from safety to work place errors to morale.  A well thought out and written drug testing policy has been a key tool in an employer’s tool box to manage its workforce and to prevent potentially catastrophic results from illegal drug use at work.  However, at least in Iowa, the task of creating and complying with [...]

28 Jul, 2021

Material Costs Continue to Rise—What’s a Contractor to do?

2021-07-24T09:08:33-05:00July 28th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts, Escalation Clause|

While COVID has made the past year wild and unpredictable, this summer could be even wilder with rapidly escalating material costs.  Lumber prices have tripled, steel prices are through the roof and PVC has doubled. These increases can turn into real numbers on your projects and if you don’t have any protections in place, the project could turn ugly in a hurry.  Now is the time to review your current [...]

6 Jul, 2021

Iowa Supreme Court Values Closely Held Farm Corps

2021-07-06T11:05:19-05:00July 6th, 2021|Farm Management, Latest News, Midwest Agricultural Law|

A recent case issued by the Iowa Supreme Court addressed the “fair value” of stock in a closely held farm corporation buyout. In Guge v. Kassel Enterprises, No. 19-2151 (Iowa Sup. Ct June 18, 2021), the Court provided clarity for determining what factors Iowa courts consider in calculating the “fair value” of a corporation in lieu of a dissolution proceeding. In Guge, three siblings owned all of the shares of [...]

16 Jun, 2021

How Should You Respond to An Accident on the Jobsite?

2021-06-12T09:43:38-05:00June 16th, 2021|Accident Investigation, Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

If you have ever experienced a serious accident on the jobsite, you know it can be an incredibly stressful experience.  Having a plan in place setting forth how you expect employees to respond will help your company respond competently and quickly to an accident.  Here are a few things to consider for your plan: Prepare a checklist of how you want employees to respond to an accident, including: Who should [...]

26 May, 2021

Murphy’s Law: 5 Reasons to Insist on Written Custom Farming Contract

2021-05-26T14:56:08-05:00May 26th, 2021|Contract, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  VS.      Custom farming agreements seem pretty straightforward and simple.  Landowner asks Custom Operator to till the field, apply the inputs, plant and harvest the crop or cut and bale the hay.  Custom Operator sets a price.  Landowner and Custom Operator shake hands.  Deal is done, right?  Yes, if everything goes right.  No, if the parties run into Murphy's Law of "if anything can go wrong, it will".  [...]

26 May, 2021

Contractors Do NOT Have to Record Vaccine Reactions

2021-05-25T08:18:30-05:00May 26th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor, COVID-19, Nebraska Construction Law, Vaccination|

On May 21, 2021, OSHA reversed course on employer-required COVID-19 vaccinations, no longer requiring employers to record vaccine reactions.  This is a great step forward for employers and is supported by both industry groups and labor unions. As you may recall, last February OSHA originally mandated that if an employer required employees to get a vaccine, an employee’s adverse reaction to the vaccination must be recorded in their OSHA 300 [...]

12 May, 2021

Another Reason Not to Act As Your Own General Contractor

2021-05-24T14:14:56-05:00May 12th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts, Statute of Limitations|

The Nebraska Supreme Court recently issued an important opinion concerning the statute of limitations for a homeowners bringing claims against contractors. When an owner acts as his own builder or general contractor, he must file a lawsuit against a subcontractor within four years of the subcontractor completing its work, not within four years of completion of the total home or project. Add this to the list of reasons a homeowner [...]

28 Apr, 2021

Material Cost Increases—Are you ready?

2021-04-25T12:09:44-05:00April 28th, 2021|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts, Escalation Clause|

Construction contractors are seeing material costs increase, particularly lumber, steel and fuel. As you review your contracts for 2021 and beyond, you may want to consider adding a price-escalation clause the protect against material cost increases. What is a price-escalation clause? In its simplest terms, a price-escalation clause allows contractors to recover material cost increases on a project.  While triggering events for escalation clauses vary, the two most popular types [...]

14 Apr, 2021

I’m sorry I asked.  What You Need To Know About Asking Employees If They Have Been Vaccinated.

2021-04-13T11:41:42-05:00April 14th, 2021|ADA, Construction Contractor Advisor|

During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic the promise of a vaccine and a return to normalcy was the light at the of the tunnel.  A year later the ability to receive a vaccine is becoming rapidly available to people in almost all age groups, including your employees.  However, with the increased ability to receive the vaccine comes a new question – can you ask your employees if they’ve [...]

7 Apr, 2021

Work Changes and Considerations

2021-04-08T07:25:42-05:00April 7th, 2021|Change Orders, Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts|

Changes on construction projects are inevitable, especially with the reality of projects during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this inevitability, owners should consider including contingency in the budget to deal with change orders. Accounting for legitimate changes quickly and obtaining an agreement that the payment fully resolves the issue can limit larger disputes down the road. Unresolved change orders often result in disputes that end up with legal [...]

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