Latest News

25 May, 2015

Do Engineers Owe a Duty to Third Parties?

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00May 25th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Engineers and Architects Regulation Act|

A Texas Court of Appeals, in USA Walnut Creek, DST v. Terracon Consultants, Inc., recently ruled that an engineer owed a duty to the buyer of an apartment complex, even though the engineer had no contractual relationship with the buyer.  This is an expansion of the duty professionals owe on construction projects and could signal a change in the law. In the case, Walnut Creek purchased a three year old apartment [...]

18 May, 2015

New OSHA Regulations on Confined Spaces in Construction

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00May 18th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

On May 1, OSHA announced its final rules for construction workers in confined spaces.  The Final Rules, which will take effect August 3, 2015, will require more comprehensive training , with the goal of providing construction workers the same or similar protections as employees in manufacturing and general industry. The final rule will cover confined spaces such as: Crawl spaces Manholes Tanks Sewers The final rule will require the following: Confined [...]

11 May, 2015

Suspend the Work, but Don’t Get Fired

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00May 11th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts|

Getting paid for your work is often times one of the hardest parts of a project.  If you find yourself working without getting paid, it’s easy to think, “I’ll just stop working until I get paid.”  While the law may support you in that decision, the contract may not and you may be found in breach of the contract if you walk off the job. Nebraska Law Nebraska courts have [...]

4 May, 2015

Indemnity Clauses—What do they mean, and what should you be looking for?

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00May 4th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts|

It seems that every construction contract now-a-days, contains an indemnity clause.  Contractors should be reviewing these indemnity clauses very carefully to understand the potential scope of an indemnity obligation and your opportunity to negotiate changes. What is an indemnity Clause? An indemnity clause transfers risk from one party to another.  When a contractor signs an indemnity agreement, it is agreeing to pay for damages for which another party could be [...]

27 Apr, 2015

Construction Litigation—Battles on Many Fronts

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00April 27th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Litigation|

When you are involved in construction litigation, you have battles on several fronts, including those against subcontractors, owners, insurers and the court.  Shoring up your defenses on each of these fronts is imperative, or you may lose the battle or, worse yet, the war. A recent opinion out of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (overseeing federal courts in Alabama, Florida and Georgia) Carithers v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, illustrates the [...]

19 Apr, 2015

Ambush Elections are Here—Are You Ready?

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00April 19th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Unioin Campaign|

On April 14, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board's new election rule went into effect. The new rule, which shortens the time frame for union elections, will make it easier for unions to organize.  Employers must get prepared now, not when they hear about an election.  As the NLRB Members who dissented from the final rule noted: The Final Rule has become the Mount Everest of regulations: Massive in scale and unforgiving in its [...]

13 Apr, 2015

OSHA Penalties—What Happened with International Nutrition

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00April 13th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor|

For those of you in and around Omaha, you recall the tragic collapse of International Nutrition’s plant in early 2014, killing two workers and injuring several others.  OSHA swept onto the scene and issued citations.  Surprisingly, the penalties totaled only $120,000.  While a large sum, one would think two deaths and a score of injuries would generate a larger fine.  International Nutrition appealed the penalties and they have now been [...]

6 Apr, 2015

Employee Handbooks—Your First Line of Defense

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00April 6th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Employee Handbook|

This spring has been busy with questions about employee handbooks.  Perhaps it is because the NLRB just issued a directive on the legality of various clauses usually contained in handbooks. Or perhaps it’s because employers, including construction companies, are realizing the importance that handbooks play in defending against claims of harassment.   Employee Handbooks Are Important Employee handbooks are an employer’s first line of defense in claims of harassment.  A [...]

30 Mar, 2015

Demanding A Reduction in Retainage

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00March 30th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Nebraska Prompt Pay Act|

One of the attendees of the Goldleaf Surety presentation asked a great question about reducing retention under the Nebraska Construction Prompt Pay Act, Nebraska Revised Statutes, 45-1201-45-1211.  He wanted to know whether there was any way to reduce and recover retainage during the project.  The short answer is retainage should be reduced half way through the project, but there is no right to recover retainge for work performed during the [...]

24 Mar, 2015

Des Moines Divides the House: Files suit against rural drainage districts

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00March 24th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

As previously reported in A House Divided, Des Moines claims its water supply has been polluted by excessive nitrogen from farm runoff drained through the rural tiling systems.  Des Moines' threat to sue neighboring rural drainage districts for failing to prevent the pollution of Des Moines water supply is no longer idle. On March 16, 2015 Des Moines filed suit against the board of supervisors of Sac County, Calhoun County [...]

23 Mar, 2015

Improper Classification Under Davis Bacon Can Be Costly

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00March 23rd, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Davis Bacon Act|

The Department of Labor announced late last year that it had recovered nearly $2 million in back wages and fringe benefits from a subcontractor that provided constructions services at the federally funded Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in the Nevada desert. This was not a failure to pay Davis Bacon wages, but a failure to properly classify laborers on the project. The DOL determined that the laborers should have been [...]

17 Mar, 2015

Submitting Claims on Government Projects Can Be Tricky

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00March 17th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Contracting|

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in K-Con Building Systems, Inc. v. United States illustrates the difficulties a contractor may face when pursuing a claim before a Contracting Officer. After nearly 10 years of litigation, the court found that the contractor’s claim to the Contracting Officer did not contain enough detail to allow the claim to proceed. That’s a lot of time and resources wasted on a claim that [...]

8 Mar, 2015

Pay-if-Paid Clauses, Nasty, but Enforceable

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00March 8th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Contracts|

I am preparing for a presentation this week on Troublesome Contract Clauses to the Construction Specifications Institute (“CSI”), Nebraska Chapter. One of the clauses we will be discussing is the dreaded Pay-if-Paid clause, a particularly nasty provision that places the risk of owner's solvency squarely on the subcontractor's shoulders.  While pay-if-paid clauses can create tremendous problems for subcontractors, they are enforceable. Pay-if-Paid clauses eliminate the obligation to pay the subcontractor [...]

6 Mar, 2015

A House Divided: Urban Iowa Threatening to Sue Rural Iowa for Farm Runoff

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00March 6th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Water Law|

  Dividing the House "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  Abraham Lincoln quoted this indisputable truth in reference to the issue of slavery.  Although unlikely to lead to civil war, the debate between urban water use and rural land use is an ever increasing concern. The issue has come to head in Iowa and may be fought in court.  The city of Des Moines plans to file [...]

1 Mar, 2015

Can General Contractors Make Subcontractors Pay for OSHA Violations?

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00March 1st, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

OSHA has long held the opinion that general contractors may be held liable for subcontractor’s OSHA violations and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, overseeing the Midwest, has agreed since 2009. To combat this risk, general contractors would be well served to incorporate targeted indemnity provisions into their subcontracts that require subcontractors to pay for all claims and costs associated with subcontractor caused OSHA violations. OSHA’s Multi-Employer Policy OSHA’s Multi-Employer [...]

22 Feb, 2015

How Long is Your Construction Warranty?

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00February 22nd, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Nebraska Construction|

The Nebraska Court of Appeals threw a wrench into the calculation of your warranty earlier this year in Adams v. Manchester Park, LLC and Southfork Homes, Inc. In that case, the court found that the statute of limitations for a warranty claim started running after the homebuilder’s warranty expired. So, the four year breach of warranty statute of limitations did not begin until after the one year homebuilder warranty expired. [...]

15 Feb, 2015

Preserving Your Construction Claim

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00February 15th, 2015|Construction Claims, Construction Contractor Advisor|

A recent article in the Construction Executive discussed the importance of preserving your claim, both in terms of timeliness of submitting your claim and making sure that you aren't waiving portions of your claim when executing releases. These are all excellent points and bear some follow-up. Timing Your Claim I often review construction contracts that contain deadlines by which claims must be submitted. It may seem counter intuitive to think [...]

12 Feb, 2015

Court Finds Manure Not So Refreshing and May Be Subject to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00February 12th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Property Rights|

According to the Seinfeld character George Costanza; "If you consider the other choices "manure" is actually pretty refreshing."   Seinfeld - My Boyfriend - YouTube.  Well, a Washington Federal Court disagrees; meaning dairy and other livestock operations may have to re-analyze their manure management practices.  In Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) v. Cow Palace, LLC, et al, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington ruled [...]

11 Feb, 2015

Beware of Statutory Limits on Change Orders

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00February 11th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Public Contracts|

While change orders are always part of construction projects, it’s important to know whether a public agency is limited on how much it can increase the scope of the work through change orders. A contractor in Virginia found out the hard way that the state agency did not have the authority to increase the scope of the project and thus the contractor could not collect for the extra work. In [...]

8 Feb, 2015

Top 10 Lessons Learned from a Construction Attorney

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00February 8th, 2015|Best Practices, Construction Contractor Advisor|

I have had the pleasure of working with Cordell Parvin, who in his earlier career was a preeminent construction attorney, and now coaches attorneys.  Cordell has shared countless construction guides and presentations with me over the years, for which I am extremely grateful.  Below is Cordell's Lesson's Learned list, that is as true today as when he drafted it years ago. Contracts and owners are not all alike. Some are [...]

5 Feb, 2015

Improvements to AIA Contracts?

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00February 5th, 2015|AIA Contracts, Construction Contractor Advisor|

Joel Sciascia, general counsel for the construction management company Pavarini McGovern, made some insightful comments in the Viewpoint section of the latest Engineering News Record magazine. He argues that architects should not be the initial decision maker (“IDM”) under AIA contracts. Instead of using the architect, Mr. Sciascia suggests the use of an independent dispute-resolution board. In 2007, the AIA introduced a new concept into the A-201 documents through which the owner [...]

3 Feb, 2015

The Insurance Coverage Debate on Construction Defects Continues

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00February 3rd, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Insurance coverage|

New Hampshire is the first court of 2015 to weigh in on construction defect coverage issues. The case, Cogswell Farm Condominium Association v. Tower Group, involved a typical situation. Lemery Building Company was hired to build 24 residential condominium units. After construction, the condominium association sued the builder asserting that the weather barrier, including the water/ice shield, flashing, siding, and vapor barrier, was defectively constructed and resulted in damage to [...]

29 Jan, 2015

Why I Love Being Your Construction Attorney

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00January 29th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Law|

I love working as a construction attorney because I get to work with clients who love what they do. As a construction attorney, I have the privilege of working with individuals who have taken their passion, created a business, and are striving for success. These individuals, that love the trade, love the work, but hate the legal red tape, are the reason I love doing what I do. I was [...]

23 Jan, 2015

Construction Law Seminar–Free

2018-04-23T23:55:11-05:00January 23rd, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Law|

SAVE THE DATE Tuesday, March 10, 2015  Best Practices in Construction Seminar La Vista Conference Center 12520 Westport Parkway, La Vista, Nebraska‎ Goldleaf Surety is sponsoring a seminar on Construction Best Practices.  I will be presenting on the following topics: Lien Claims in Nebraska and Iowa Filing a lien may prove to be one of your best protections to get paid. But, doing it right is crucial to getting paid. During [...]

19 Jan, 2015

The Future Looks Bright for Construction in 2015

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00January 19th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Economy|

Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Executive has painted a rosy outlook for the upcoming year. ABC’s Chief Economist predicts a 7.4 percent increase in total nonresidential spending for 2015. This is great news for a construction industry that has climbing out of the recession through fits and starts over the last several months. Perhaps the most telling statistic was ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator, which reached an all time high in [...]

13 Jan, 2015

Nebraska’s Prompt Pay Act for 2015

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00January 13th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Prompt Pay Act|

Continuing with our theme of Ready for 2015, this blog serves as a reminder of your rights and obligations under Nebraska’s Prompt Pay Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 45-1201-1211. As you may recall, Nebraska’s legislature amended the Prompt Pay Act in 2014. The most significant changes are highlighted below. Attorney’s Fees May be Recovered. The most significant change in the Prompt Pay Act allows contractors to recover damages if they [...]

7 Jan, 2015

Maryland Contractor Documents its Illegal Deal and Pays $2.15 Million to Settle Fraud Claims

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00January 7th, 2015|Construction Contractor Advisor, Criminal Conduct, Government Contracting|

Why would a contractor create a contract for illegal work?  I really don't know. Late last year, the FBI announced that a Maryland contractor, Forrester Construction Company, agreed to pay $2.15 million dollars to resolve a criminal investigation into alleged fraud in connection with the use of disadvantaged business enterprises involving more than $145 million of District of Columbia government contracts. Under this scheme, Forrester entered into joint venture agreements [...]

5 Jan, 2015

Are You Ready For 2015?

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00January 5th, 2015|Best Practices, Construction Contractor Advisor|

Last month’s Engineering News Record Magazine contained an editorial noting the worst projects of the year. Are you prepared if you have a bad project? As the editors aptly pointed out: By their nature, bad projects disappoint owners, incite hostility among team members, slip months and years past scheduled completions and drain finances. ENR pointed noted a few projects from 2014 that did not go well.  They included: Wayne County [...]

23 Dec, 2014

Happy Holidays and My Gift to You

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00December 23rd, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Insurance coverage|

I love this time of year.  Of course, work efficiency is down and that which does get done is hard fought, but I love the season of hope and joy. I hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. I also wanted to get you something  I thought long and hard about what to get you. Reflecting on the year, I realized that insurance coverage was a popular [...]

19 Dec, 2014

Viptera Approved: China Ends Import Ban On 3 GMOs

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00December 19th, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law|

China finally opens up to Viptera On December 17, 2014 China finally ended its import ban on Syngenta's Viptera corn and two varieties of GMO soybeans produced by DuPont Pioneer and Bayer Crop Sciences. The announcement is cause for great relief to the seed companies and U.S. grain exporters considering U.S. grain trading with China was shut down for all intents and purposes during the ban.  Secretary of [...]

17 Dec, 2014

Quickie Elections–NLRB Issues Final Rule

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00December 17th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, NLRB|

On December 12, 2014, the NLRB announced that its final rules on the "Quickie" Election will be published on December 15, 2014, and will take effect April 15, 2015.  The most significant impact of the new rules will be to shorten the time from election for union representation from approximately 40 days to 10 to 14 days. The NLRB's press release stated that the rules are aimed at streamlining and [...]

15 Dec, 2014

Kiewit-Turner Stops Work on VA Project—Now What?

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00December 15th, 2014|Breach of Contract, Construction Contractor Advisor, Government Contracting|

Stop! The Kiewit-Turner joint venture created to build the VA’s hospital near Denver stopped work on December 10 after the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals ruled that the VA breached the contract. Kiewit-Turner claims that the VA owes it over $100 million on the project. And, given the appeals board’s recent ruling entirely against the VA, the claim may get some traction. This project has been plagued with [...]

10 Dec, 2014

OSHA’s New Severe Injury and Fatality Reporting Requirements, Are You Ready?

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00December 10th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

Last September, OSHA announced its final rules for reporting severe injuries and fatalities. The new rules take effect on January 1, 2015. Are you ready? OSHA The New Rule Requirements OSHA’s severe injury and fatality reporting requirements apply to all employers covered by OSHA, not just those with 10 or more employees. All employee work-related fatalities must be reported within 8 hours of the death. The previous rule [...]

8 Dec, 2014

That’s What I have Insurance For, Right?

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00December 8th, 2014|Construction Claims, Construction Contractor Advisor, Insurance coverage|

Construction Insurance Coverage Ah, the age old question, What does my insurance really cover?  A federal court in Georgia recently weighed in on this issue in Standard Contractors, Inc. v. National Trust Insurance Company, and ruled that a contractor’s commercial general liability insurer did not have to pay for damage caused by a subcontractor. Standard Contractors was hired to renovate the pool on an army base.  Standard hired [...]

2 Dec, 2014

Obama’s Immigration Efforts May Impact Your Company

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00December 2nd, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Employee Eligibility|

Late last month, President Obama issued a number of Executive Orders on immigration policy. One main point of the President’s action grants work permits to millions of immigrants who were ineligible for lawful status. If one of your employee’s qualifies for this program, called Deferred Action, you may have to update employee I-9s. Deferred Action The executive order allows qualifying immigrants to remain in the U.S. It also allows individuals [...]

25 Nov, 2014

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00November 25th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Thank You|

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and have a moment reflect on all the wonderful experiences over the last year for which we can all be thankful. I'd also like to thank you all for reading this blog.  I truly appreciate your interest, sharing, and comments over the past year. If you ever have an idea or a question you’d like me to write about, please let me [...]

19 Nov, 2014

8th Circuit Intercepts Syngenta’s Attempt to Pass Viptera Problem to Bunge

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00November 19th, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

As a follow up to Syngenta Under Pile of Lawsuits, the United States 8th Circuit Court of Appeals recently broke up Syngenta Seeds, Inc.'s attempt to pass the Viptera problem to Bunge North America, Inc. In 2013 Syngenta tried to get ahead of the problems caused by China's ban of Viptera corn by suing Bunge for refusing to accept corn which contained the Viptera trait. Knowing Bunge would not accept [...]

19 Nov, 2014

What Personal Assets Have you Pledged to your Bonding Company?

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00November 19th, 2014|Bond Claims, Construction Contractor Advisor|

What are your personal obligations? The demise of Truland Group, an electrical contractor on the east coast, raises an interesting question as to the extent of an owner’s personal liability to the bonding company. As has been revealed in the litigation surrounding Truland’s fall from grace, it is far from clear which of the owner’s assets may be seized to reimburse the bonding company for payments on projects. [...]

17 Nov, 2014

Best Practices in Construction– What are Yours?

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00November 17th, 2014|Best Practices, Construction Contractor Advisor|

Risks on Construction Projects The latest Engineering News Record had an interesting article on Best Practices  in Construction written by Deron Cowan of Zurich Services Corporation. In the articles, Mr. Cowan emphasizes the importance of best practices and the methodology to develop them. As Mr. Cowan notes, best practices are intended to eliminate, reduce and manage risks and all construction companies should be fully engaged in correctly executing [...]

16 Nov, 2014

Labor Shortage Confirmed Through AGC Poll

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00November 16th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Labor Shortage|

Help Wanted in Construction Industry Over 1,000 contractors participated in Associated General Contractors’ (“AGC”) survey asking whether they were facing a labor shortage. AGC crunched the numbers and provided an Analysis of its survey. The survey revealed that 83% of construction firms were having trouble finding qualified workers. This survey certainly confirmed comments from construction firms in and around Omaha. AGC also provided a regional analysis and below are some [...]

14 Nov, 2014

Syngenta Under Pile of Lawsuits for Alleged Losses Caused by China’s Ban of Viptera Corn

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00November 14th, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Midwest Agricultural Law|

The lawsuits against Syngenta for alleged losses due to China's ban of Viptera corn are starting to pile up.  Nine such lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa in October with more expected as producers jump on the pile started by Cargill in September. In 2011 Syngenta launched the Agrisure Viptera trait to producers after being deregulated by the United States Department of [...]

12 Nov, 2014

Minimum Wage on Federal Construction Projects is $10.10

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00November 12th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor|

The Department of Labor's regulations can impact your construction project. The Department of Labor issued its final regulations to implement President Obama’s Executive Order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on federal construction projects. The new minimum wage will not be effective until January 1, 2015, and will apply to most workers and most federal projects. Covered Contracts Executive Order 13658 applies to four [...]

10 Nov, 2014

Court Again Defines Extent of Contractor’s Insurance Coverage

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00November 10th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Insurance coverage|

Construction insurance coverage can be confusing and counsel may be necessary to review coverage decisions. The ever changing landscape of insurance coverage for contractors continues to be clarified in Texas. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals applied Texas law in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, concluding that contractors do have insurance coverage to cover claims that a project was not constructed in a good and workmanlike manner. In [...]

5 Nov, 2014

Owner’s Web of Deception Foiled by the Court

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00November 5th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor|

Can an owner use a related entity to purchase the construction loan from the lender and then foreclose on that loan to wipe out a contractor’s construction lien? Not in Florida. Nebraska construction projects can involve webs of difficulties and even deceit. In CDC Builders, Inc. v. Biltmore-Sevilla Debt Investors, LLC, the Florida appellate court refused to allow an owner to avoid a construction lien through the owner's web [...]

3 Nov, 2014

Majority Rules – Iowa District Court finds minority shareholder not oppressed

2018-04-23T18:22:20-05:00November 3rd, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

In 2013 the Iowa Supreme Court evaluated “fairness” among minority and majority shareholders of a family farming corporation in the context of disagreements between second-generation cousin shareholders.  The case is Baur v. Baur Farms, Inc.  In Baur Farms, one of the cousins, who was not involved in operating the farm and received all of his stock by way of inheritance or gift, decided he wanted to be bought out.  The [...]

3 Nov, 2014

Can a Contractor be Liable to Second Buyers of Homes for Construction Defects?

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00November 3rd, 2014|Construction Claims, Construction Contractor Advisor|

Looking for assistance with a construction problem? Whether a contractor will be liable to a second purchaser, even though the contractor never contracted with the second purchaser, varies state to state. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in Conway v. The Cutler Group, is the latest court to rule that a subsequent purchaser lacks privity and cannot pursue an action against the builder. In that case, the Conways purchased a [...]

29 Oct, 2014

General Contractors Can Be Sued by a Subcontractor’s Injured Employee

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00October 29th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, General Contractor Concerns|

Looking for assistance with a construction problem? General contractors that exercise control over the worksite can be sued by a subcontractor’s injured employee. The Nebraska Supreme Court’s recent opinion, Gaytan v. Wal-Mart, should serve as a reminder that general contractors may be responsible for the safety of all workers on a job site. In this case, a roofing subcontractor’s employee died after falling through the roof of the [...]

21 Oct, 2014

A Winning Procedure to Develop a Request for Compensation — Lunch & Learn

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00October 21st, 2014|Construction Claims, Construction Contractor Advisor|

Thanks to everyone that attended last week’s Lunch & Learn on preparing claims. We had some great discussion from both the ranks of general contractors and subcontractors. For those of you that missed the meeting or didn't pick up the handout, A Winning Procedure to Develop a Request for Compensation, send me an e-mail and I'll send it to you.  My e-mail address is In a nutshell, to develop [...]

16 Oct, 2014

Arbitration—No Opportunity for Appeal

2018-04-23T23:55:12-05:00October 16th, 2014|Arbitration, Construction Contractor Advisor|

Last week I presented to the Great Plains Chapter of the American Society of Professional Estimators on arbitration and litigation. Some of the questions related to the difficulty of appealing an arbitrator’s decision. A Florida appellate court recently confirmed this difficulty. In Village at Dolphin Commerce Center, LLC v. Construction Service Solutions, LLC, a contractor filed an arbitration claim against the owner to get paid for its work. The owner [...]

13 Oct, 2014

Union THUGS Plead Guilty

2018-04-23T23:55:13-05:00October 13th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Unioin Campaign|

Some time ago, I wrote about union THUGS (The Helpful Union Guys) that tormented merit shops to force contractors to use union labor on projects. The THUGS set fire to equipment, beat contractors with baseball bats, and picketed apartment complexes where contractors lived. Recently two of the ten union members plead guilty to arson-related charges, including two counts of maliciously damaging property by means of fire, extortion, and RICO conspiracy [...]