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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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Arbitration Provision Not Waived After Litigation Pending for Three Years

Thursday, 23 January 2014 10:34


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The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently held that an arbitration agreement had not been waived as a result of invoking the arbitration provision after three years of pending litigation where the delay was caused by the party seeking to avoid arbitration.  The court further noted that an arbitration provision between commercial parties may not be deemed unconscionable merely by conclusory allegations that the contract was a “take it or leave it contract.”

   

Contract Providing for Payment Bond Applied to Temporary Skilled Labor

Thursday, 16 January 2014 11:24


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A general contractor hired for the construction of a new high school entered into a contract with a subcontractor to perform the mechanical and plumbing work. The general contractor required the subcontractor to obtain a payment bond, providing for the payment to all persons supplying labor and material in the completion of the work specified in the subcontract. The subcontractor further subcontracted the installation of ductwork to another company which, in turn, subcontracted with another company to provide temporary skilled labor.

   

Subcontractors Beware: Notice Requirement May Result in a Dismissed Claim

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 15:40


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A recent Minnesota Supreme Court decision serves as a cautionary tale for subcontractors faced with an issue of nonpayment by a general contractor.  The court dismissed the subcontractor’s complaint against the surety due to a notice technicality, even though it was undisputed that the contractor did not properly pay the subcontractor pursuant to the terms of their contract.

   

Contract Terms Trump Prior Course of Dealing

Monday, 06 January 2014 13:39


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After submitting the winning bid, a contractor entered into a contract with the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) to repave a seven mile section of road.  Incorporated into the contract was a “rideability” provision which required the DOT to perform pre-resurfacing and post-resurfacing tests to compare the smoothness of the ride on the seven mile section of road.  Payment of the full contract price depended upon the results of these pre-resurfacing and post-resurfacing tests.

   

The Blurred Lines of the Forum Selection Clause

Monday, 06 January 2014 11:37


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What happens when one party to a construction contract files a lawsuit in a different location than what was specified in the contract?  Generally, there are two interrelated clauses in most contracts, one addresses where suit can be filed, known as a forum-selection clause, and the other common clause addresses what jurisdiction’s laws will apply if suit is filed, known as the choice of law clause.  In a recent construction-based case, the United States Supreme Court addressed the appropriate legal procedure to follow when suit is filed in a different location than specified in the forum selection clause.

   

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