From the category archives: Liability

Liability

Negotiating a Contract: Clauses, Changes and Delays

Beginning with a sound construction contract can have a significant impact on a firm’s profit, loss, reputation and overall ability to manage a project. 

Risk shifting is the contracting norm, and attorneys across the country scrutinize contract clauses when deciding which client will prevail. In the sterile vacuum of negotiation, the owner and contractor presumably reached an understanding of the meaning of the contract terms. However, once a dispute arises that impacts costs or project milestones, the meeting of the minds becomes cloudy. 

There Is Pervasive Non-compliance With the IBC for Fire-rated HVAC Assemblies

  A recent multi-state market analysis has revealed that industry standard horizontal HVAC fire-rated duct assemblies are not in compliance with requirements of the International Building Code (IBC).  

Widely used in multi-story and commercial structures of all types, horizontal HVAC fire-rated duct assemblies serve a basic purpose: to manage hot gases for a period of time during a fire so occupants and first responders are safe. Specifically, these fire-rated duct systems must be rated for two hours or more. 

Decision Opens the Door to Joint Employer Liability for Contractors

On Jan. 25, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a significant blow to the traditional contractor-subcontractor relationship. In finding that a contractor and subcontractor could be considered “joint employers” of the subcontractor’s workers for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the court’s decision has opened a Pandora’s Box of potential wage and hour issues, including claims for overtime pay against contractors and higher-tier subcontractors from the employees of lower-tier subcontractors.

ICE Is Coming for Undocumented Workers: How to Prevent Corporate Frostbite

  Undocumented workers and the businesses that knowingly or unknowingly employ them are coming under the microscope. Just looking at recent headlines, the president has implemented two immigration bans, is challenging so-called “Sanctuary Cities” that do not help federal immigration enforcement, has instructed government agencies to become more aggressive in enforcing immigration laws and is already reviewing proposals to strengthen the border wall. Plus, the E-Verify program for verifying worker status is likely to become mandatory.

Reduce Risk Through Planning, Collaboration and Brainstorming

  Properly managing risk in the construction industry can have a major impact on project cost, schedule and resource use, potentially offering significant savings, according to a new Dodge Data & Analytics study. 

Produced in partnership with Alliant and supported by e-Builder and Procore, the “Managing Risk in the Construction Industry SmartMarket Report” reveals the top construction risks, their impact on the industry and the benefits associated with using specific risk evaluation and mitigation strategies. One clear finding that emerges from this data is that the industry’s growing focus on collaboration and integration may be an important step toward reducing construction risk.

Reduce Lien Exposure With Anti-Assignment Clauses

Property owners, general contractors, subcontractors and materials providers must understand their rights and obligations with respect to construction liens in order to avoid delays in finalizing a project (from the perspective of the property owner) or to avoid forfeiting lien rights (from the perspective of the subcontractor).

Three Ways for Contractors to Mitigate Risk and Lower Insurance Premiums

Many business executives believe insurance brokers have control over the quotes they provide, but that’s not the case. Insurance carriers control the price, and they provide the best rates to companies that proactively manage their risk. The less risky a contractor appears, the fewer claims it’s likely to have and the “safer” the company looks. Therefore, the lower the premium they are likely to get.

Here are three ways general contractors can mitigate risk and make their companies more desirable to insurance carriers.

Report Offers Intelligence on Managing Risk in The Construction Industry

A new SmartMarket Report from Dodge Data & Analytics, “Managing Risk in the Construction Industry,” reveals essential intelligence on the risks faced by building owners, general contractors and trade contractors and the benefits achieved from specific risk evaluation and mitigation practices.

The study demonstrates how collaboration between building owners, general contractors and subcontractors can aid in keeping construction project costs under control, result in a timely delivery and enhance the safety environment.

Five Reasons for Contractors to Consider Environmental Insurance

  Construction companies rarely consider that they may end up in court for performing work that damaged the environment, but it happens more frequently than contractors may think.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that construction contractors have a significantly high potential for contributing to environmental damages. The agency considers general contractors, subcontractors, engineers and architects as suspect when it comes to environmental pollution and the resulting damages pollution causes. Yet, some contractors do not recognize the significant risk of environmental claims.

A Potential Gap in Indemnity Coverage

Commercial contracts in the construction industry generally contain indemnity provisions in which one party (the indemnitor) agrees to assume the liability of the other party (the indemnitee) as a result of personal injury or property damage. Historically, one party indemnifies the other regardless of fault—meaning the indemnitor assumes liability for all damage to its own property and people, regardless of who caused the damage. To the extent allowed under state law, this obligation also can include indemnity for damage caused by the sole negligence of the indemnitee.  
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