Robinson+Cole's Construction Group

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Robinson+Cole Hosts Fourth Construction Industry Roundtable

Robinson+Cole’s Construction Group hosted its fourth— but first ever virtual — Construction Industry Roundtable on July 14, 2020. Representatives of major design and construction industry organizations and stakeholders in the Northeast were in attendance to discuss the state of the regional market and to look ahead for trends to watch for 2021.… Continue Reading

Who Will Bear the Risk and Cost for Coronavirus Construction Delays? A Contractual Analysis.

As the Coronavirus spreads across the globe, its impact continues to disrupt many industries, including construction.  Over the last twenty years, the construction industry in the United States has substantially increased its reliance on China as a supplier for all types of construction materials including electrical and lighting equipment, elevators and component parts, plumbing fittings … Continue Reading

California and Maryland Have Enacted Legislation Essentially Making The General Contractor the Guarantor for All Wages on the Project – Should Sureties Be Concerned?

It’s been said that as California goes, so goes the nation. If so, general contractors throughout the country may soon be taking on more responsibility for the unpaid wages of the workers on their construction projects than they might have expected. As of January 1, 2018, Assembly Bill 1701 makes general contractors liable for the … Continue Reading

Will Strict “No Damages for Delay” Clauses Be Outlawed on New York Public Construction Projects? Stay tuned.

For years, general contractors and trade contractors have faced very strict “no damages for delay” clauses on New York State construction projects. The tides are changing.  If signed into law, S. R. 06686, Reg. Sess. 2017-2018 (NY 2017) will require public entities to allow contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to recover for costs associated with project … Continue Reading

What is Builders’ Risk and Why Do We Need It?

In negotiating construction contracts, the parties may ignore or give little attention to the project’s insurance requirements.  Insurance provisions are oftentimes left untouched on the standard industry forms.  One typically misunderstood type of project insurance is builders’ risk, also sometimes referred to as an “all risk” policy, or BRI.  Builders’ risk insurance is a property … Continue Reading

Recipe for a Project Bankruptcy: Part 2
The Contractor in Bankruptcy Through the Lens of the Owner

My last article examined strategies for construction managers facing an owner bankruptcy. Now, looking through the lens of the owner, let’s examine best practices when it is the contractor who has filed for bankruptcy. Throughout New England and the United States the construction industry continues to thrive with several new projects underway and on the … Continue Reading

Contractual Waiver of Subrogation Applied to Owner’s Non-Work Property

After an insurer pays for a covered loss by an owner under a property policy the insurer generally has the right, whether under the common law, statute or the policy itself, to seek recovery of the payment from the responsible party.  This is known as the right of subrogation, or if based on the common-law … Continue Reading

Recipe for a Project Bankruptcy: The Owner in Bankruptcy Through The Lens of the Construction Manager

Industry leaders agree that the economy has turned the corner and private construction projects are on the uptick.  Banks have eased lending requirements and there is more private equity money on the streets.  Inexperienced developers are entering the arena and experienced developers are less guarded and taking on more risk.  On the flip side, small … Continue Reading

Changes Loom for Public Works Projects and Payment Bond Claims in Pending Connecticut Legislation

A recently proposed bill to reduce the retainage amount for certain public work contracts to five percent and to allow a claimant to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs from a payment bond surety that fails to timely respond to a claim was unanimously approved by the General Assembly’s General Law Committee on March 11, … Continue Reading

Bill Proposed in Massachusetts to Establish “Public Construction Surety Bond State Guarantee Fund” Requiring Chapter 149A Sureties to Specially Register and Pay a $10,000 Annual Fee

Sureties writing public construction bonds under Chapter 149A in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should pay close attention to Mass. Bill No. 3889, which seeks to create a Public Construction Surety Bond State Guarantee Fund.  The Fund would guarantee payment to claimants who have obtained judgment on their claims in a court of competent jurisdiction where … Continue Reading

What are the three most important risk-shifting provisions contractors and subcontractors should be concerned about?

1. “No damages for delay” clauses: “No damages for delay” clauses allocate the risks of project delays and disruptions between the owner and contractor. Oftentimes, these clauses preclude a contractor from recovering increased costs resulting from extended project duration, including claims for increased overhead and supervision costs, loss of productivity, and acceleration, even when such … Continue Reading

Additional Insureds Beware: A Certificate of Insurance Does Not Guaranty Coverage

This is the first in a 2-part series on the use of certificates of insurance as evidence of liability coverage for contractors on construction projects. The second part of the series will discuss the potential impact of recent Connecticut legislation governing certificates of insurance. It is common practice on construction projects for owners, general contractors … Continue Reading

Federal Court Determines that General Contractor’s Unreasonable Exercise of its Broad Discretion over Scheduling and Sequencing of the Work Can Support Bad Faith Exception to “No Damages for Delay” Provisions in Subcontract; but Subcontractor Must Still Submit Delay Claims Within Strict Time Requirements of Subcontract

In a recent decision, Elec. Contractors, Inc. v. Fid. & Deposit Co. of Maryland, No. 3:13-CV-00514 MPS, 2015 WL 1444481 (D. Conn. Mar. 30, 2015), the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut dismissed on summary judgment a subcontractor’s claims for delay damages against the general contractor on a construction project (“Project”) for … Continue Reading

Connecticut Legislators Consider Waiving Bonding Requirement On Public Projects For Those Who Are Inexperienced Or Otherwise Financially Unable To Obtain Bonds

There is legislation pending, Senate Bill 948, that would permit the Department of Administrative Services (the “DAS”) to waive the public bonding requirements for small, emerging and minority contractors. The Act would apply to projects less than $500,000 and would require participation by the contractor in a surety bond guarantee program – also created by … Continue Reading

Connecticut Legislature Introduces Bill that Would Subject the State to a Statute of Limitations in Claims Against Design Professionals

The Connecticut Legislature recently introduced a bill that would subject the State to a ten year statute of repose for claims against design professionals for defective design and/or administration of construction projects. The proposed bill is in response to the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in the case of State of Connecticut v. Lombardo Brothers Mason … Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Determines that Commercial General Liability Insurers Have Right to Obtain Declaratory Ruling as to Responsibility of Other Insurers to Pay Pro Rata Share of Insured’s Defense Costs

Many construction professionals in Connecticut, and in particular those who do business with the State, are well aware of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Lombardo Bros. Mason Contractors, Inc., 307 Conn. 412, 420-21, 54 A.3d 1005 (2012). The Court in Lombardo Bros. held that statutes precluding a private party from pursing a … Continue Reading

RCA’s 25th Annual Conference Las Vegas – Subcontractor Defaults and Bankruptcy Issues

I will be presenting at RCA’s 25th Annual Conference that runs Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 15 in Las Vegas. I’ll be kicking off the program on Saturday morning, presenting strategies for avoiding and addressing subcontractor defaults. We’ll review  best practices for selecting subcontractors, essential subcontract terms, and the proper procedure for defaulting and terminating … Continue Reading

Connecticut Supreme Court Rejects Effort to Read Default Liability Provision into Public Works Payment Bond Law

In a unanimous decision issued in the case of Electrical Contractor’s Inc. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, SC 19105 (2014), the Connecticut Supreme Court recently declared that a public works payment bond surety does not forfeit its substantive defenses to a bond claim by failing either to pay or deny a claim … Continue Reading

Allocating The Risks Associated With Project Delays

This is article explores the complex nature of allocating the risks associated with project delays. It was originally published in Schimenti Construction Company’s newsletter and is reprinted with permission. Retail construction is no stranger to the inherent costs associated with project delays.  Retailers, like all owners, rely upon construction professionals to estimate the duration of … Continue Reading
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