In a recent decision likely to have a significant impact upon the way private construction projects in Massachusetts are managed, the Superior Court recently construed the Massachusetts Prompt Pay Statute in the way the Statute (Statute) was meant to be enforced, but contrary to most current construction practice.

In Tocci Building Corp. v. IRIV Partners

Passed in 2010, the Massachusetts Prompt Pay Statute imposed specific requirements on owners, contractors and subcontractors of private projects over $3M with regard to submitting, processing and approving requests for payment and change orders.  A recent decision by the Massachusetts Superior Court entitled, Tocci v. IRIV Partners, LLC, et. al. has confirmed that

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts has provided construction project owners, developers, general contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, and vendors with a helpful reminder about obtaining effective additional insurance coverage on construction projects.
Continue Reading Note to “Additional Insureds” Relying on Builders’ Risk Insurance: Federal Court Decision Evaluates Extent of Coverage

This post was published by High Profile magazine on May 27, 2020.

Governor Charlie Baker announced today that all construction projects in Massachusetts may reopen immediately, provided contractors and owners comply with new safety guidelines and compliance documentation requirements. These new requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
Continue Reading Massachusetts Construction Projects May Reopen Immediately, Governor Announces; Boston to Follow May 25th

In an effort to prepare to restart construction on suspended projects after imposing pandemic-related restrictions on construction deemed nonessential, the City of Boston recently issued its revised “Temporary Guidance for Construction in the City of Boston,” which took effect on April 27, 2020.

Last week, the City indicated that this new policy is effective for active permitted projects, and for all future permit applications moving forward, including Alterations, Amendments, Erect Building, Use of Premises, Short Form, Electrical (Temp Service, Low Voltage, Fire Alarm, and general), Plumbing, Gas, Sprinkler, Sheet Metal and Trench permits.
Continue Reading Boston Issues New COVID-19 Guidelines Applicable to All City-Permitted Projects

As we began to describe on March 18, the economic impacts of the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic on the construction industry are becoming more severe as the pandemic continues and spreads. Substantial uncertainty remains, however – as of the date of this post, the “peak” of the pandemic in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts is expected to occur (depending on which reports you read) in mid-April, late-April or May, respectively. It appears increasingly likely that proactive, protective measures in these states, along with their restrictive effects on the economy and construction activity, will continue through the end of April and into May.
Continue Reading Ongoing Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Construction Projects in Major Markets

On most construction projects, a project owner will require the contractor to certify that it has fully paid each of its subcontractors as a condition to the owner making  payment to the contractor.  The purpose of these certifications is to ensure timely payment to all subcontractors and to protect the owner from claims or liens by unpaid subcontractors. A recent Massachusetts decision highlights the importance of these certifications and the harsh consequences the contractor may expect if the contractor intentionally submits false payment certifications to the owner.

In G4S Tech., LLC v. Mass. Technology Park Corp., 2016 Mass. Super. LEXIS 36, 33 Mass. L. Rep. 301 (Mass. Super. March 30, 2016), the Contractor sought millions of dollars for alleged extra work and its contract balance for work performed on a state and federally funded project to design and construct a fiber optic network in western Massachusetts. The Owner disputed the extra work and contract balance claims because the Contractor intentionally breached the contract by submitting false payment certifications. The Contractor did not deny that it submitted false payment certifications but stated that because it eventually paid the subcontractors, and the late payments did not cause a delay on the completion of the project, any harm that arose was “de minimis”. Therefore, the Contractor argued that its submission of false payment certifications should not prevent it from collecting its contract balance and pursuing its multi-million dollar claim.  In addition, the contractor argued that it should be entitled to recover the cost of the work performed under the equitable theory of quantum meruit, which entitles one who performed work to recover the cost of that work in the absence of a contract or agreement.


Continue Reading Harsh Consequences for Contractor’s False Payment Certifications in Massachusetts

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

The private construction game has very recently changed in Massachusetts. Late last year, the new Massachusetts Retainage law took effect. The new law applies to certain private construction contracts executed after November 6, 2014, and impacts not just the amount of retainage that a construction stakeholder may withhold, but also mandates some very specific processes