Construction Law News Blog

Showing 72 posts in Current Developments / Legislation.

What Project Delivery Method will be Used for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project?

Spurred by President Obama’s visit to the I-71/75 Brent Spence Bridge last week, bridge construction projects continue to be in the news across the country.  The Louisville Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, which is one of the largest transportation projects in the United States, continues to move forward.  One of the issues that must be decided is what project delivery method will be used for the project.  On September 13 the Bridges Authority issued a Request for Information to aid in its selection of a delivery model and financial plan for the project. The RFI seeks input on the following questions: Read More ›

Ohio House Bill 153 and Public Construction Reform

On June 30, 2011, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law HB 153, the biennial budget legislation, which includes significant reforms to Ohio’s public construction laws.  Although the construction reforms set forth in HB 153 will take effect September 30th, there are a number of rules that the Department of Administrative Services (“DAS”) must issue pursuant to HB 153.  And it will be difficult to fully appreciate the impact of HB 153 until those rules have been issued. Below is a summary of significant provisions from the legislation:

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Kentucky Adopts Economic Loss Doctrine but Specific Application to the Construction Industry Remains Unsettled

On June 16, 2011, Kentucky’s highest court officially adopted the economic loss doctrine, joining a majority of states that have done so.  To be sure, this doctrine is not pertinent only to the construction industry and is frequently thought to have the greatest impact on manufacturing.  The doctrine holds that when a product causes only damage to the product itself, with no personal injury or physical harm to other property, the owner of the product cannot bring tort claims but is limited to the recovery allowed under its contract with another party.  Negligence claims and strict liability claims are prohibited in this circumstance.  See Giddings & Lewis, Inc. v. Industrial Risk Insurers, __ S.W. 3d ___, 2011 WL 2436154 (Ky. 2011). 

In Giddings, an insurer of a diffuser cell system attempted to recover amounts paid to the owner of the product from the manufacturer of the system based on breach of contract, negligent strict liability, negligent misrepresentation and fraud by omission.  The court rejected the tort-based claims and damages, including economic loss for lost profits, costs for repair and replacement of the defective commercial product. Recovery was allowed only under the terms of the parties’ contract, which could include express or implied warranties negating certain types of damages.

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False Claims Act Introduced in Ohio Senate

At a press conference on April 7, 2011, the Ohio Attorney General and two Ohio state senators introduced SB 143, Ohio’s False Claims Act. Ohio currently does not have a false claims act and, as a result, this bill presents the possibility of a large change in Ohio public. A brief examination of the key provisions, therefore, is useful to see what may be on the horizon for entities that receive state funds either through contracts or grants. Read More ›

Out-of-State Contractor Can Enforce Georgia Arbitration Award in Kentucky: Costly Lessons on Contents of Arbitration Provision

The interplay between the Kentucky Arbitration Act, the Federal Arbitration Act and the enforcement of an award and judgment in either state or federal court creates certain procedural challenges.  Kentucky’s latest court ruling resolved one open issue:  can an arbitration award obtained and confirmed in a different state be enforced in a Kentucky state court when the contract’s arbitration clause is silent on both the location of an arbitration and the court that may confirm an award, the parties are from different states, and the contract involves interstate commerce,?  Under the facts in Paducah Federal Credit Union v. Consultants & Builders, Inc., the answer is yes. Read More ›

New Ohio Transportation Bill Allows Public-Private Partnerships And Limited Design-Build Procurement

Ohio has joined a growing number of states turning to public – private partnerships, or PPPs, to help fund much needed infrastructure projects.  On March 30, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a new $6.8 billion transportation bill into law. House Bill 114 allows the Ohio Department of Transportation to enter agreements with private entities to develop, finance, maintain, and operate transportation infrastructure.    Read More ›

Appeals Court Affirms Trade Group’s Standing to Sue for Violation of Wage and Hour Regulations

In its opinion released in October 2010, the Sixth District Court of Appeals in Ohio held that the Ohio Valley Associated Builders and Contractors (“ABC”) had statutory standing to present a claim alleging violation of Ohio’s prevailing wage laws. The court then returned the case to the trial court for further proceedings. 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 ›

A New Federal Landscape for Small Disadvantaged Contractors

On February 11, 2011 the Small Business Administration issued final rules that resulted in extensive changes to SBA’s Section 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business program. The new rules become effective March 14, 2011. While the rules address a wide array of areas in the 8(a) program, the most significant changes relate to joint ventures between 8(a) companies and non-8(a) companies as well as the frequently used mentor-protégé agreements. These changes warrant close attention to 8(a) contractors and those that seek to do business with them. Read More ›

Ohio Prohibits Union-Scale Wage Requirements on School Construction Projects

The Ohio School Facilities Commission voted Thursday to prohibit the use of mandatory union-scale wage requirements on school construction projects. Prior to this reversal, the OSFC had required contractors to pay laborers “prevailing wage” rates or to agree to a “project labor agreement.” 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.