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Doug Hanson

The Punch List provides you with a review of current state and federal cases, as well as legislative and regulatory changes, affecting the construction industry. Some of the topics include contracts, classification of workers, construction bidding, independent contractors, negligence, construction defects, liens, insurance claims, and various other important topics in the industry.  Click on the subscription button below to customize your updates.
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A contractor’s costly mistake

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 08:00


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An Illinois Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court’s holding that a mechanic’s lien was void and unenforceable under the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act.

   

Insurance coverage denied for faulty workmanship

Thursday, 24 July 2014 07:59


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Prior to the construction of a 42-story office building, the owner of the site procured a policy through an owner controlled insurance program on behalf of all parties performing work on the project.  Thereafter, during the construction process, a section of the building’s eighth-story exterior wall fell to the street.  The owner filed suit against both the general contractor and the subcontractor who was retained to design and build the exterior wall. The suit alleged breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligence attributable to defects in the design, fabrication and/or installation of the components of the exterior wall.  The general contractor and subcontractor tendered notice of the suit to the insurance company that provided the policy under the owner controlled insurance program.  The company, however, denied that the policy covered the allegations against the general contractor and subcontractor.

   

My subcontracting business is an LLC, I am immune from suit, right?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 12:59


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While an LLC provides a large amount of protection to its owners, a recent decision by the United States District Court, District of Nevada, illustrates that owners must be careful with their interactions/involvement at the company level to avoid individual liability.

   

Who's the boss?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:00


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In most organizations, it is generally clear who is the boss and who are the employees; however, the legal realm can often complicate matters.  For example, employers must be mindful of who the Department of Labor or the Internal Revenue Service considers employees, as each one uses different tests to make that determination.  Further, as discovered by the estate of a subcontractor’s employee, insurance companies and state laws may also have their own definitions of who is considered an employee.

   

Meaning of Davis-Bacon Act’s “Public Work” clarified

Friday, 06 June 2014 11:15


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A dispute recently arose with respect to the applicability of the Davis-Bacon Act (“DBA”) on a large-scale urban redevelopment project (“Project”) in downtown Washington, DC.  The Project at issue involves the construction of a mixed-use development on land owned by the District of Columbia (“District”) which was acquired by the developer pursuant to a 99-year lease. The development will include condominium and apartment buildings, office buildings, a hotel, retail establishments, and some public open spaces.  Although the District imposed numerous requirements on the Project, it did not contribute any funds for construction, contract with any of the firms performing the construction, and will not occupy any of the buildings following construction.  Despite this lack of connection with the District, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) determined that the Project should be characterized as a “public work” subject to the DBA.  The District filed an action contesting this determination.

   

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