Construction contracts and claims

The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently published a notice in the Federal Register of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and the Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) regulations.  87 Fed. Reg. 43620 (July 21, 2022). This proposal is the first NPRM update since 2014.  While the DOT was originally scheduled

An often-overlooked part of contract negotiations is the language included in the performance bond.  While the owner or contractor (bond obligee) requires a performance bond and pays for it, negotiating efforts are typically spent on the main contract language itself rather than the bond.  A common go-to performance bond form used in the construction industry

The recent Connecticut Appellate Court decision in Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. 50 Morgan Hospitality Group, LLC, 211 Conn. App. 724 (2022), eliminated any remaining doubt regarding a subcontractor’s right to payment for work performed when the subcontract includes a “pay-if-paid” provision. A pay-if- paid provision that makes an owner’s payment to the general contractor

The purpose of a liquidated damages provision in a construction contract is to establish in advance a fair amount of compensation to the injured party for a breach of contract to avoid spending time and money fighting over uncertain actual damages after they occur.  Generally, to be enforceable, a liquidated damages provision must satisfy three

Terminating a contract is a serious and sometimes risky decision. Whenever a client seeks advice regarding termination, a lawyer should stress the importance of strict compliance with the contractually specified termination provisions. One misstep by a terminating party who otherwise did nothing wrong could be a material breach of contract exposing the terminator to potentially

A recent decision serves as an important reminder to all in the construction industry about the dangers of using outdated contract forms. In Hillhouse v. Chris Cook Construction, LLC, 325 So. 3d 646 (Miss. 2021), the Supreme Court of Mississippi found an arbitration provision unenforceable where it designated that all claims “shall be submitted

While you may not have heard the term “slaughter clauses” to describe the provisions of a construction contract before, the metaphor makes sense when one considers the provisions to which the Connecticut Superior Court recently applied the phrase. In the recent case of Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. Lawrence Brunoili, Inc., et al., Docket No: X-07 HHD CV-20-6129731, the Superior Court considered many subcontractors’ least favorite contract provisions – those that impose limits on a subcontractor’s right to recover money, like strict notice provisions, payment limitations, and damages restrictions.
Continue Reading Connecticut Superior Court Holds That “Slaughter Clauses” Cannot be Added to Public Works Subcontracts Under Connecticut General Statutes § 4b-96

Below is an excerpt of an article published in Construction Executive on September 9, 2021.

The prices of raw building materials have risen dramatically over the past year, primarily because of the global pandemic and trade policies implemented by the previous administration, thereby jeopardizing construction projects that did not mitigate the risks of material price

Below is an excerpt of the “Legal Column” published in the Summer 2021 issue of PE Magazine, the flagship publication of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

Prior to COVID-19, the term “design to budget” was probably not a scary concept. After all, modern designers always consider the client’s budget when putting our Leroy

Anyone monitoring construction industry trends is aware that the prices of raw construction materials, particularly steel and lumber, have been rapidly increasing since early 2020. Earlier this year, Associated Builders and Contractors reported that iron and steel prices were up 15.6 percent from January of 2020 to January of 2021, and that softwood lumber prices had increased by as much as 73 percent during the same period.

The reasons for these price increases are varied (ranging from supply chain and shipping disruptions to the increased demand for new home construction), and many have their roots in changes introduced to the global economy by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of the explanations for the price increases, the reality is that builders and owners are more frequently facing busted budgets and difficult conversations, sometimes resulting in litigation, about which party is responsible for absorbing the increased costs. As is often the case, the answer to resolving these disputes likely lies in the particular provisions of the contract for construction.

Continue Reading Revisiting Price Escalation Clauses in a Time of Skyrocketing Material Costs