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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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Contractor Liable for a Third Party’s Faulty Design

Wednesday, 27 November 2013 11:01


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The Court of Appeals of Tennessee recently found a construction company liable for an inadequate drainage system, even though it was designed and developed by a third party.  The court reasoned that once a general contractor undertakes a construction contract, he is under a duty to perform the work in a workmanlike manner, which means, that the finished product is sufficient for the particular purpose it was built.  This duty to perform the work in a workmanlike manner is implied, even if not explicit, in a construction contract and cannot be delegated to a third party.

   

Statutory Compliance Required to Protect Lien

Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:32


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The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals recently held that strict statutory compliance is required to protect a materialman’s lien.  The court held the materialman must either have an express contract with the property’s owner or he must provide notice in writing of the costs before any material or labor is furnished.

   

Spoliation of Evidence: Defense of Claim Hampered by Inability to Inspect Alleged Negligence

Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:05


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The Court of Appeals of Texas recently addressed an oil company’s “spoliation” of relevant evidence prior to a lawsuit. Generally, spoliation of evidence occurs when an individual or entity violates its duty to preserve relevant evidence, either prior to or after a lawsuit is filed. This issue frequently arises in the construction industry, as construction sites change rapidly and evidence of faulty work can often become obstructed or even destroyed by subsequent repairs. Typically, a party is under a duty to preserve or maintain evidence once they reasonably believe there is a substantial chance a claim will be filed, and the failure to preserve such evidence can result in court sanctions. The application of this standard is commonly problematic for courts, especially with regard to the appropriate sanctions to impose to rectify the situation.

   

‘Welcome to the Jungle’ of Subcontractor Liability

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:37


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The Court of Appeals of Utah held that a residential elevator door subcontractor, ‘Guns and Hoses, Inc.,’ was not liable for injuries sustained by another subcontractor who fell thirty-six feet down an empty elevator shaft as he attempted to apply putty to the door’s trim.

   

Negligence Claim Against Joint Employer Prevented

Friday, 25 October 2013 10:40


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An injured construction worker brought a civil suit against a machinery provider who supplied the crane and operator for a construction site.  The construction worker alleged the crane operator was negligent in the operation of the crane and sought to hold the machinery provider liable.  The machinery provider filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit claiming the court lacked jurisdiction to hear a negligence suit because the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act applied and provided for the only source of a remedy.  The trial court agreed with the machinery provider, and on appeal by the worker, the Court of Appeals of Indiana upheld the trial court’s ruling.

   

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