Construction Law News Blog

Showing 15 posts by John S. Higgins.

Ohio Supreme Court Clarifies What is a "Pay-if-Paid" Clause

On July 17, 2014, the Ohio Supreme Court continued its literal interpretation and application of construction contracts. In the case, Transtar Elec., Inc. v. A.E.M. Elec. Servs. Corp., Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-3095, a general contractor hired a sub-contractor to provide electrical services for the installation of a pool at a hotel. The sub filed suit seeking payment of $44,000 that was never paid by the GC or project owner. The subcontract included the following language:

"(c) The Contractor shall pay to the Subcontractor the amount due under subparagraph (a) above only upon the satisfaction of all four of the following conditions: * * * (iv) the Contractor has received payment from the Owner for the Work performed by the Subcontractor. RECEIPT OF PAYMENT BY CONTRACTOR FROM THE OWNER FOR WORK PERFORMED BY SUBCONTRACTOR IS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO PAYMENT BY CONTRACTOR TO SUBCONTRACTOR FOR THAT WORK." Read More ›

Construction Trades Find Protection in Shortened Statute of Limitations

On September 28, 2012, the Ohio Revised Code 2305.06 was amended to reduce the statute of limitations from 15 years to 8 years. In the past, a contracting party had 15 years to file suit for breach of a written contract.   Read More ›

Is Your Arbitration Clause Enforceable?

   A recent court-of-appeals decision nicely summarizes the enforceability of arbitration clauses. In Crouse v. LaGrange Junction, Ltd., 2012 Ohio 2972 (June 29, 2012 9th Dist.) a homeowner sued a builder when a number of problems prevented legal occupation of a house. The home builder / defendant moved to stay the litigation pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section 2711.02, citing an arbitration clause in a construction contract.  The trial court denied the motion to stay, agreeing with the homeowner that the arbitration clause was unenforceable due to substantive and procedural unconscionability. Read More ›

When Does a Claim on Funds / “Public Lien” Expire in Ohio?

   Six years after the cause of action accrued, not six years after perfecting the lien, according the recent holding in Akron Concrete Corp. v. Medina City School Dist. Bd. of Edn. , 2012 Ohio 2971 (June 29, 2012 9th Dist.).  An appellate court recently confirmed our long-held interpretation of Ohio lien law that  public liens do not expire after six years.  Read More ›

Attention home builders! On March 14, 2012 the Ohio Supreme Court Held That A Home Builder’s Duty To Construct A House In A Workmanlike Manner...

Attention home builders! On March 14, 2012 the Ohio Supreme Court held that a home builder’s duty to construct a house in a workmanlike manner usingordinary care is a duty imposed by law, and a home buyer’s right to enforce that duty cannot be waived by contract. Read More ›

Retainage Reform in Ohio?

Ohio legislators have contemplated retainage reform for years.  New legislation is being drafted to attempt reform retainage on private construction projects (LSC 129 1897).  Read More ›


The statute for limitations for breach-of-written-contract claims may soon be reduced from 15 to six years in Ohio. Read More ›

Contractor Refused Contract Due to Past Litigation

The legal pendulum continues to swing further towards public owners in Ohio. In Triton Services, Inc. v. Talawanda City School District, 2011 Ohio 667 (Ohio App. 12th. Dist. Feb. 14, 2011) the Court held that a school district can reject an apparent low bid if the bidder is perceived by the public entity as litigious. Read More ›

When Should A Notice Of Furnishing Be Submitted?

Within 21 days AFTER the first labor or materials are supplied to a project. On May 10, 2010 the Twelfth District Court of Appeals issued an opinion contrary to common practices in the construction industry. Halsey, Inc. v. Isbel, 2010 Ohio 2052, 2010 WL 1850660 (Ohio App. 12 Dist.). The Court held that, "a notice of furnishing should not be served until after materials are furnished." And that service of a notice of furnishing is complete when mailed (not when received), if sent via certified mail. Read More ›

Cincinnati Tower Receives Funding

Financing for the "Great American Tower" has been approved. The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority has agreed to provide more than $300 million in financing for the Great American Tower at Queen City Square. The building will be 41 storys and will be located on the east side of Sycamore between Third and Fourth streets. The bond financing includes $64 million in tax increment financing revenue bonds and $259 million in lease revenue bonds. Read More ›

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Attorney Spotlight

C. Michael Shull, III focuses his practice on construction law and litigation. Michael's client representations range from casinos and ENR Top 400 contractors to design firms and subcontractors.