District Court in Wisconsin Finds That Counteroffer and Repeated Negotiations Concerning a Construction Contract Do Not Create Contractual Relationship

Skyrise Construction Group, LLC v. Annex Construction, LLC, 2019 BL 55071 (E.D. Wis. Feb. 20, 2019)

Subcontractor Skyrise Construction, Inc. (“Skyrise”) sued general contractor Annex Construction, Inc. (“Annex”) for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, negligent misrepresentation, and violations of Wisconsin and Illinois trade practices statutes.  Skyrise primarily based its claims on an assertion that the parties entered into a subcontract, which Annex breached when it removed Skyrise from the project and completed the work with an alternative subcontractor.  Both Skyrise and Annex filed motions for summary judgment.  The District Court denied Skyrise’s motion and granted Annex’s motion.

Continue reading

Posted in Breach of Contract, Negligence, Promissory Estoppel, Subcontract | Tagged , , , , ,

The Washington Court of Appeals Clarifies When the Statute of Limitations for a Negligence Claim Begins to Run Under the Discovery Rule

Dep’t of Transp. v. Seattle Tunnel Partners, 2019 BL 36988, 2 (Wash. App. Div. 2 Feb. 05, 2019)

On January 8, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the State of Washington reversed and remanded in part a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in a tunnel-boring construction case.  Specifically, the Court clarified that the three-year statute of limitations for negligence claims begins to run as soon as the aggrieved party becomes aware of the factual elements of the claims.  It does not matter whether the underlying cause of the claims remains disputed.

Continue reading

Posted in Discovery, Negligence, Statute of Limitations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New York Appellate Court Holds That Affidavits Can Cure Pleading Defects and Extrinsic Evidence Permitted When Contract Clause Is Ambiguous

Servidone, Inc./B. Anthony Constr. Corp., J.V. v. State of New York, No. 2016-05238, 2019 BL 7232 (App. Div., 2d Dept. Jan. 09, 2019)

Servidone, Inc./B. Anthony Construction Corp., J.V. (the “Contractor”) and the New York State Department of Transportation (the “DOT”) entered into a construction contract to reconstruct and replace bridges on Route 59 in New York State. The Contractor retained L.M. Sessler Excavating & Wrecking, Inc. (the “Subcontractor”) to perform the demolition and disposal portion of the project.

Continue reading

Posted in Affidavit of Merit | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Ninth Circuit Finds Arbitration Award Is ‘Irrational’ Because It Disregards the Contract’s Plain Text Simply to Reach a Just Result

Aspic Eng’g & Constr. Co. v. ECC Centcom Constructors LLC, No. 17-16510, 2019 BL 26363 (9th Cir. Jan. 28, 2019)

Aspic Engineering and Construction Company (“Aspic”), a local Afghan subcontractor, entered into multiple subcontracts with ECC Centcom Constructors and ECC International (“ECC”), the prime contractor, to construct buildings and facilities in Afghanistan.  The subcontracts contained terms and conditions “applicable to all U.S. Government subcontracts,” and mandated that Aspic owed ECC the same obligations that ECC owed to the federal government.  The subcontracts also incorporated multiple Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) clauses, including FAR 49.2 through 49.6, which govern the recovery of expenses in the event a contractor is terminated for convenience, i.e. required documentation and procedures.

Continue reading

Posted in Arbitration, Termination | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Federal Court in Maryland Holds Subcontractor Waived Right to Bring Labor Inefficiency Claim Despite Voicing ‘Expression[s] of Frustration’ and ‘General Complaints’ of Mismanagement Throughout Project

Hagen Constr. Inc. v. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., No. JKB-18-1201, 2019 BL 36862 (D. Md. Feb. 04, 2019)

This case arises out of the construction of a pediatric outpatient center in southern New Jersey.  Plaintiff subcontractor Hagen Construction, Inc. (“Hagen”) filed suit in New Jersey state Court against defendant general contractor Whiting-Turner Construction Co. (“W-T”), seeking reimbursement for labor inefficiency costs incurred as a result of W-T’s alleged project mismanagement.  Hagen claimed it incurred additional costs to repeat work and remobilize to multiple areas because it was not afforded unimpeded access or timely supply of necessary materials and information.  Once the case was removed and transferred to Maryland federal Court, W-T moved for partial summary judgment on the portion of Hagen’s breach of contract claim reflecting labor inefficiency costs. Continue reading

Posted in Subcontract | Tagged , , , ,