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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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Court Grapples with Cost-Plus Contract and Damages Calculation

Thursday, 02 January 2014 11:34


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A contractor agreed in writing to build a duplex home according to the specifications of a buyer. When the project was nearly completed, the contractor informed the buyer that the cost exceeded the project’s estimated price. When the buyer refused to pay for the excess, or authorize a final payment of the outstanding portion of the estimated price so his lender could advance additional sums, the contractor sued the buyer.

   

Subcontractor Able to Recover Without Enforceable Contract

Friday, 20 December 2013 10:29


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It is an essential business practice to prepare a written contract for all projects in the construction industry. A well-drafted contract will clearly set forth each party’s obligations and duties, as well as provide the consequences of a breach, such as the breaching party’s obligation to pay for the non-breaching party’s reasonable attorneys’ fees in the event of a dispute.

   

Alabama Supreme Court Holds Faulty Workmanship Could be an “Occurrence” under CGL Policy

Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:49


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A couple hired a general contractor to construct a new home for them on a lake. After completion, the new homeowners began to notice water was leaking through the roof, walls, and floors.  The general contractor attempted to remedy the issues but was unsuccessful.  The homeowners sued the general contractor for breach of contract, fraud, and negligence. As expected, the general contractor immediately provided notice of the lawsuit to its general liability insurance provider, believing the matter was covered under its policy (“CGL”).

   

Mississippi’s ‘Stop Notice’ Statute Declared Unconstitutional

Friday, 06 December 2013 11:02


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One of the greatest protections provided to unpaid subcontractors performing work in Mississippi has been the state’s Stop-Notice statute.  A stop-notice claim differs from mechanic’s liens as the stop notice creates a claimholder’s interest in construction funds, as opposed to interest in land or an object.  Under the statute, unpaid subcontractors could bind money in the hands of the project owner, thereby preventing those funds from being forwarded to the non-paying general contractor.  A recent Mississippi Supreme Court decision, however, has held that the Stop-Notice statute is unconstitutional and no longer valid.

   

Corporate Officer Signing Contract Uses Parol Evidence Rule to avoid Personal Liability

Friday, 29 November 2013 08:43


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The Court of Appeals of Tennessee recently addressed a case dealing with an officer of a corporate general contractor and the potential for the officer’s individual liability (i.e., personal liability). The corporate general contractor was hired to build a subdivision in Tennessee. One of the subcontractors was engaged to grade and pave roads in the subdivision and to install water and sewer lines. The initial agreement consisted of four estimates, and each was signed by the owner of the corporate general contractor without any mention of the owner’s actions as being on behalf of the corporation. The first estimate related to the grading of the property, the second and third estimate related to the installation of water and sewer lines, and the fourth estimate related to the paving of the property.

   

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