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29 Dec, 2012

What Does the Fiscal Cliff Mean for the Construction Industry?

By |2012-12-29T10:39:48+00:00December 29th, 2012|Government Contracting, Nebraska Construction|

Everyone is talking about the fiscal cliff and what will happen if the economy tumbles off the cliff. A review of AIA publications, AGC articles, and industry blogs, reveals that the outlook for the construction industry is not good if we do fall off the fiscal cliff. A recent study by the AIA analyzed the impact of going over the fiscal cliff. The study reviewed figures from the Office of [...]

27 Dec, 2012

Anne Marie O’Brien Headline Speaker at Insurance Industry Seminar

By |2018-07-11T18:17:18+00:00December 27th, 2012|Latest News, News|

            Anne Marie O’Brien was the headline speaker at a continuing education seminar for over 100 local insurance industry professionals on December 13, 2012.              The group of Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America is more commonly known by its acronym: The Big I.  It is comprised of professionals from both Nebraska and Iowa.              The presentation focused on recent legal decisions affecting property and casualty insurance.  The members of [...]

27 Dec, 2012

A Year in Review—Know Thy Contract

By |2012-12-27T14:20:12+00:00December 27th, 2012|Breach of Contract, Construction Contracts|

As we wind down 2012, it’s a good time to look back and see where we've been. If the Construction Contractor Advisor had any themes beyond construction law, they were to know the terms of the contract and comply with those terms. Know Your Contract Every week I read about disputes that were caused by the parties’ differing interpretations of their obligations under a contract. These disputes often times relate to: Scope [...]

26 Dec, 2012


By |2018-04-23T20:59:45+00:00December 26th, 2012|Midwest Insurance Law Guide, Policyholder|

Most policies require a policyholder to repair or replace property in a timely manner.  Only then, after this is accomplished, will the insurance company reimburse the policyholder under the terms of the insurance contract.  But what happens when it is too expensive to make these repairs? Is the policyholder barred from collecting insurance if he cannot fulfill his duty to timely repair or replace under the contract?  […]

20 Dec, 2012

Claiming Liquidated Damages

By |2012-12-20T08:00:50+00:00December 20th, 2012|Breach of Contract|

A recent case out of Tennessee raised the question of whether claims for liquidated damages were subject to the contract's claim procedure time limits. The Tennessee Court of Appeals held that the owner waived its claim for liquidated damages because it did not follow the claim procedure. I'm sure that came as a surprise to the owner. In this case, the owner claimed it was entitled to $237,000 in liquidated damages [...]

20 Dec, 2012


By |2018-04-23T20:59:46+00:00December 20th, 2012|Additional insured coverage, Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

Most states have adopted a broad interpretation of coverage for losses suffered by an Additional Insured.   Traditionally, Additional Insureds are added to policies by an agreement with the policyholder.  Coverage for losses incurred by an Additional Insured is generally limited under a standard ISO endorsement.  The endorsement amends the “Who Is An Insured” section of the policy.  The endorsement adds those who “you” have agreed to indemnify by contract, [...]

18 Dec, 2012


By |2018-04-23T20:59:46+00:00December 18th, 2012|Fire subrogation, Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

It can’t have it.  Or at least it cannot if the fire starter is the renter of one half of the duplex.    In this recent case scenario, the renter of one half of a duplex accidently started a fire that destroyed the whole home.  The insurance company sued the renter.  But the suit was for only those losses on that half of the duplex that the renter did not occupy.  [...]

18 Dec, 2012

Right-to-Work States, Now at 24

By |2012-12-18T08:00:22+00:00December 18th, 2012|Union Free|

Michigan has joined the 23 other Right-to-Work states in exercising the Taft-Hartley amendments to the National Labor Relations Act prohibiting union security clauses in collective bargaining agreements. Union security clauses require all employees to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. Nebraska’s and Iowa’s Right-to-Work laws have been on the books since 1947. In essence, the laws provide that no one may be denied employment because of [...]

13 Dec, 2012


By |2018-04-23T20:59:46+00:00December 13th, 2012|Additional insured coverage, Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

Today let’s talk about the role of an additional insured under a typical Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy.  I handle legal issues concerning Additional Insureds almost daily in my practice.  Business agreements in this past decade have increasingly been requiring one party or the other to add an Additional Insured to their CGL policy.  For this reason we often handle litigation enforcing such clauses when a loss arises out [...]

13 Dec, 2012

Eliminating Substance Abuse from the Construction Industry

By |2012-12-13T08:00:30+00:00December 13th, 2012|Drug Testing|

I recently read a great article in Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Executive magazine describing how industry groups are coming together to create the Construction Coalition for a Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace. The Coalition’s mission is to provide employers with the resources necessary implement drug and alcohol policies and eliminate substance abuse related incidents from the job site. The Coalition consists of a number of industry groups, including Associated [...]

11 Dec, 2012

Railroad as an Additional Insured Part 2

By |2018-04-23T20:59:46+00:00December 11th, 2012|Midwest Insurance Law Guide, Risk transference|

Railroad risk transference through insurance can be accomplished several ways.  First, the vendor can purchase standard Commercial General Liability (CGL) coverage.  Most policies are written with standard forms which were drafted by insurance advisory organizations.  These forms contain uniform language used by most all insurance companies.  This is why they are called “standard” forms.   The standard CGL form contains a broad provision which does not provide insurance coverage for [...]

11 Dec, 2012

OSHA Seeks Comments on Construction Industry Standards

By |2012-12-11T08:00:55+00:00December 11th, 2012|OSHA|

Well, that didn't take long. On the heels of the election, , the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it was issuing a Request for Information to initiate the fourth phase of its Standards Improvement Project. This project, called SIP-IV, seeks comments from the construction industry to improve and streamline existing OSHA construction standards by removing or revising requirements that are confusing, outdated, or inconsistent with other standards. The last [...]

10 Dec, 2012

Written Livestock Production Contracts: Revisiting the Benefits Over the Handshake Deal.

By |2018-04-23T18:22:22+00:00December 10th, 2012|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

  Hopefully they are saying "Hello" and not "It's a Deal". Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a blog discussing important checklists for producers entering livestock production contracts, which you can revisit here.  This issue came to mind again when I learned of a recent lawsuit over a handshake deal between a livestock owner and contract grower.  The owner claimed $85,000 in damages when several of the owner's cattle became sick or died because the contract [...]

6 Dec, 2012

Do you Have Insurance Coverage for that Mishap?

By |2012-12-06T12:44:13+00:00December 6th, 2012|Latest News|

All contractors carry general liability insurance, right? But, what does it really cover The problem I see more often than not is that contractors assume that their general liability insurance covers screw ups on the project. But, most general liability policies specifically exclude losses resulting from “your work, your product or impaired property” when the problem stems from your work. For example, if you pick up the wrong carpet and [...]

4 Dec, 2012

Can your Subcontractor Back Out of the Job?

By |2012-12-04T08:00:55+00:00December 4th, 2012|Breach of Contract|

You've been awarded the bid on a project and you let all your subs know that you were awarded the job. But, what do you do about that subcontractor that says, glad to hear it, but we can’t do your job anymore. The knee jerk reaction is to tell the subcontractor that he’s bound to do the job.  But is he? Submitting a Bid In order to have a binding [...]

3 Dec, 2012

Railroad as an Additional Insured Part 1

By |2018-04-23T20:59:46+00:00December 3rd, 2012|Midwest Insurance Law Guide, Risk transference|

Risk transference is ubiquitous in the railroad industry.  Railroad losses traditionally can be catastrophic and expensive.  Most railroads are self insured by using a captive.  Once this self insurance is exhausted, the Class I railroads will have a very high self insured retention that does not kick in until losses exceed the multi millions.  For this reason a railroad will transfer, a potential risk for future ability onto a contractor [...]