Florida Court of Appeals Permits Successor-In-Interest to Pursue Claims Originally Thought to Be Barred by Settlement Agreement

MBlock Investors, LLC v. Bovis Lend Lease, Inc., etc., et al., 44 Fla. L. Weekly d1432 (3d DCA 2019)

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Sophia L. Cahill

A Florida Appellate Court recently reversed a trial court’s decision granting summary judgment finding an issue of fact based upon an expert affidavit.  The underlying matter involved an action by MBlock Investors against Lend Lease (US) Construction, Inc. for latent defects following MBlock’s acquisition of a property commonly known as the Midblock Miami East Project (the “Property”).

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Federal Court in New Hampshire Holds That Subcontractor May Pursue a Mechanics’ Lien Despite Signing Written Lien Waivers and Releases Because General Contractor Had Actual Notice of Subcontractor’s Intent to Claim at Time Waivers Were Executed

Fraser Eng’g Co. v. IPS-Integrated Project Servs., LLC, 2018 US Dist. LEXIS 51392 (D.N.H. March 27, 2018)

IPS-Integrated Project Services, LLC (“IPS”) was the general contractor on a project to design and construct a manufacturing facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. IPS subcontracted with Fraser Engineering Company (“Fraser”) for the project’s mechanical and plumbing scope of work. Shortly after award, IPS notified Fraser that it may be directed to accelerate its work. In response, Fraser put IPS on notice that acceleration would result in labor inefficiencies for which it expected to be reimbursed.  Thereafter, IPS directed Fraser to accelerate and Fraser complied by using extra overtime over the next several months. During that time, the parties communicated numerous times about Fraser’s claim for labor inefficiencies.

Under its subcontract with IPS, Fraser was required to submit lien waivers with each of its payment applications. According to the court, the waivers at issue “do not merely release lien rights, but also ‘all claims, demands, or causes of action . . . which [Fraser] has, or might under any present or future law, assert against [IPS] or [the owner] relating to the Partial Payment and/or the labor services, materials or equipment for which the partial payment has been made.’” During its work, Fraser submitted eight such waivers. Continue reading “Federal Court in New Hampshire Holds That Subcontractor May Pursue a Mechanics’ Lien Despite Signing Written Lien Waivers and Releases Because General Contractor Had Actual Notice of Subcontractor’s Intent to Claim at Time Waivers Were Executed”

Evidence That Government Internally Considered Additional Modifications After the Parties Had Signed Earlier Modifications May Negate a Finding That the Earlier Modifications Were an Accord and Satisfaction of All Claims

Meridian Eng’g Co. v. United States, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 7024 (Fed. Cir., Mar. 20, 2018)

Meridian Engineering Company (“Meridian”) was hired by the United States (“Government”) to construct flood control structures on the Chula Vista Project.  Meridian encountered what it considered to be differing site conditions on the project.  The Government issued two contract modifications in response to Meridian’s claims.  Later, structural failures occurred and the Government ultimately terminated Meridian.  Meridian filed suit in the Court of Federal Claims.

The court held that Meridian failed to establish a compensable differing site condition because the bid documents sufficiently notified contractors of potential water conditions at the site that could result in the conditions claimed.  Also, the court held that Meridian was charged with knowledge of the conditions that a pre-bid site visit would have revealed, which included the conditions in question.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court on that issue. Continue reading “Evidence That Government Internally Considered Additional Modifications After the Parties Had Signed Earlier Modifications May Negate a Finding That the Earlier Modifications Were an Accord and Satisfaction of All Claims”