Publication

Search Publications




June 2017

Construction Law Update

Second Quarter 2017

Gordon & Rees's Construction Group is pleased to publish the latest issue of our Construction Law Update, a quarterly take on trends of interest to design professionals, contractors, and developers throughout the country.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE
  1. Colorado Condominiums Now Require Majority Vote to Bring Construction Defect Litigation

  2. The Rise of Florida Statute § 725.06 and Fall of Noncompliant Contractual Indemnity Provisions

  3. Recent California Court Ruling May Help Reduce Value of Future Medical Damages Claimed in Personal Injury Actions

  4. Gordon & Rees Construction Attorneys Making Headlines

  5. Gordon & Rees Construction Law Blog

  6. About Gordon & Rees's Construction Group

I. Colorado Condominiums Now Require Majority Vote to Bring Construction Defect Litigation
     
  By Daniel E. Evans
   

Colorado’s legislature this spring enacted legislation designed to encourage residential construction in the state, in particular construction of new condominium units. The legislation is designed to reduce litigation risk associated with building condos by requiring a majority of actual condo unit owners, as opposed to a majority of the HOA board members, to approve the filing of a lawsuit over construction defects. While the new statutory provision may help spur condo development in Colorado, and may help reduce insurance rates for these projects, the legislation cannot be viewed as sweeping reform. Every little bit helps, though, and future legislative sessions will undoubtedly see additional efforts to reform construction defect litigation.

To read a full, expanded version of this article, click here.

Back to Top

II. The Rise of Florida Statute § 725.06 and Fall of Noncompliant Contractual Indemnity Provisions
     
By Amy M. Darby and Maura F. Lally
   

It may be the end of an era for Florida. That era being a time when general contractors can hail subcontractors into court with contractual indemnity claims based on botched or carelessly drafted indemnification provisions. Although surprising, many general contractors try to raise contractual indemnity claims that are not compliant with Florida’s contractual indemnification statute, F.S. § 725.06. Even more surprising, is how Courts are inclined to permit them and hesitant to dispose of contractual indemnity claims based on unenforceable provisions.

To read a full, expanded version of this article, click here.

Back to Top

III. Recent California Court Ruling May Help Reduce Value of Future Medical Damages Claimed in Personal Injury Actions
     
By Kimberly A. Blake and Ian G. Williamson
   

The simple reality is that personal injury claims that are made against contractors tend to be substantial. Far too often, they involve significant injuries with substantial dollars involved for past and future medical care. A recent California court decision may reduce the value of future medical damages to the benefit of the defendants.

To read a full, expanded version of this article, click here.

Back to Top

IV. Gordon & Rees Construction Attorneys Making Headlines

Tampa partner Amy Darby recently won motion for summary judgment on behalf of a contractor client in a multi-million dollar construction defect case. Ms. Darby demonstrated that contractual indemnity claims were void as a matter of law for failing to provide a monetary limit on the indemnity obligation, and the common law indemnity claims failed because there was no special relationship between the parties, as required by Florida law. Ms. Darby also convinced the Court that the remaining claims were time-barred.

Boston partner Jay Gregory recently won an appeal on a construction case he tried last year. The underlying case was a dispute between a homeowner and two Gordon & Rees clients – a general contractor and an architect. Mr. Gregory initiated suit on behalf of the contractor to recover $126,000 in unpaid bills. The homeowner counterclaimed seeking $500,000 allegedly representing the cost to complete the project (an indoor pool and 3-car garage man cave). The homeowner brought the architect in for good measure. At trial the jury rejected the homeowner’s claim and awarded the contractor every penny of his fee claim. The homeowner appealed on the basis that the trial judge improperly limited the scope of her experts’ opinion testimony. The Massachusetts Court of Appeals disagreed with the homeowner and upheld the jury verdict.
________________________________________________________________

Amy Darby co-presented along with Paul Bruno, Managing General Counsel of Fluor Corporation, "The Ethics of Privilege: Behind the Walls of Our Conference Rooms, Between the Borders of Our Country and Beyond, How You Can Stop Making Everyday Mistakes That Can Cost You the Attorney-Client Privilege," as part of the ABA 2017 Forum on Construction Law. The presentation focused on the common misperceptions that occur within corporate culture regarding attorney-client privileged communications, and how to avoid waiving the privilege both domestically and internationally.

On June 4, 2017, Jay Gregory will present a seminar on “Recent Trends in Dispute Resolution“ at the Boston Architectural College.

Chicago partner Tom Cronin co-presented a webinar in conjunction with The Hanover Insurance Group on May 23, 2017, entitled, “Using Well-Drafted Contracts to Reduce a Design Professional’s Risk.” The webinar included an overview of a design professional’s standard of care, contract provisions to avoid, and contract provisions to include. It was attended by nearly 100 design professionals and their associated firms.

Back to Top

V. Gordon & Rees Construction Law Blog

The Gordon & Rees Construction Law Blog continues to post new content addressing topical issues affecting the construction industry throughout the country. From analysis of new court decisions, discussions of timely legislation, and commentary on real-world, project-specific issues, Gordon & Rees’s Construction Law Blog provides insight on the issues that affect the construction industry now.

We invite you to visit the blog at www.grconstructionlawblog.com and see for yourself what we are up to. If you like what you see, do not hesitate to subscribe under the “Stay Connected” tab on the right side of the blog. There you can choose how you would like to be informed of new content (Twitter, LinkedIn, email, etc.). If you have any questions about the blog or would like to discuss further any of its content, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Back to Top

VI. About Gordon & Rees's Construction Group

Gordon & Rees's Construction Group consists of more than 100 lawyers in 43 offices throughout the nation. The firm continues to expand, opening five new offices in 2017 which include Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, and Salt Lake City.

Gordon & Rees’s construction attorneys focus their practice on the comprehensive range of legal service required by all participants in the construction industry – architects, engineers, design professionals, design joint ventures, owners, developers, property managers, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, product manufacturers, lenders, investors, state agencies, municipalities, and other affiliated consultants and service providers.

We serve clients who design, develop, or build all types of structures, including commercial buildings, single and multifamily residential projects, industrial facilities, universities, hospitals, museums, observatories, amusement parks, hotels, shopping centers, high-rise urban complexes, jails, airports, bridges, dams, and power plants. We also have been involved in projects for tunnels, freeways, light rail, railway stations, marinas, telecom systems, and earth-retention systems. Our experience includes private, public, and P3 construction projects.

If you have questions about this issue of the Construction Law Update or our nationwide construction practice, click here to visit our practice group page or contact partner Tom Cronin.

Thomas G. Cronin
Gordon & Rees, LLP
1 North Franklin
Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 980-6770
tcronin@gordonrees.com

Back to Top

Construction


Construction

Loading...