Washington State Court Affirms $155M Jury Award Against Contractor and Surety Stemming from Claim of Default Due to Delayed Performance, Sustaining Denial of Contractor’s Differing Site Condition Defense

Joseph T. Imperiale, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Partner
James M. Kwartnik Jr., Pepper Hamilton LLP, Associate

King County v. Vinci Construction Grands Projects/Parsons RCI/Frontier-Kemper, JV, 2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 2735 (Nov. 9, 2015)

The Court of Appeals of Washington recently decided King County v. Vinci Construction Grands Projects/Parsons RCI/Frontier-Kemper, JV, a dispute between a joint venture contractor (the Contractor) and King County, Washington (the County). The dispute stemmed from problems that arose and significant delays that occurred during a major expansion of the County’s wastewater treatment system, known as the Brightwater project. The case illustrates the potential pitfalls of a contractor’s claim of differing site conditions. Continue reading “Washington State Court Affirms $155M Jury Award Against Contractor and Surety Stemming from Claim of Default Due to Delayed Performance, Sustaining Denial of Contractor’s Differing Site Condition Defense”

Superior Court of Pennsylvania Strictly Construes Procedural Requirements Under Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Law

Oakdale Equip. Corp. v. Meadows Landing Assocs., LP, 2015 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2067 (Pa. Super. Ct. July 8, 2015)

Meadows Landing Associates, LP (“MLA”) contracted with Richard Lawson Excavating, Inc. (“Lawson”) for work on MLA’s 200-acre subdivision, including earthwork, grading, excavating and pond construction.  Lawson then contracted with Oakdale Equipment Corporation (“Oakdale”) to rent heavy equipment for the work.  More than one year later, MLA terminated Lawson for failure to achieve substantial completion on time.  Oakdale and Lawson both filed mechanics’ lien claims against MLA. Continue reading “Superior Court of Pennsylvania Strictly Construes Procedural Requirements Under Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Law”

Federal Court in Pennsylvania Holds Design Professionals’ Negligence Claim Against Pump Supplier Barred By Economic Loss Rule

Elliot-Lewis Corp. v. Skanska USA Building, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98405 (E.D. Pa. July 27, 2015)

This dispute arises out of a major renovation and expansion of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (the “Project”).  Plaintiff Elliot-Lewis Corporation (“ELCo”) was a subcontractor hired to install the piping and controls for the Project’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (“HVAC”) system.  The Project’s schedule required that start up and testing of the HVAC system begin by February 23, 2013 and that the system be operational by April 1, 2013.  But, when the HVAC was started for testing, flooding issues arose due to problems with the condenser pumps specified in the HVAC system’s specifications.  Ultimately, the HVAC system was not operational by April 1 and ELCo was required to perform additional work and install temporary cooling equipment so that the Franklin Institute could open during the summer.  ELCo was never paid by the prime contractor for this additional work. Continue reading “Federal Court in Pennsylvania Holds Design Professionals’ Negligence Claim Against Pump Supplier Barred By Economic Loss Rule”