Will Technology Spell the End of Lopsided Subcontracts?

The press release that yet another large contractor has signed onto a web-based procurement portal raises the question – is this technology going to benefit subcontractors in ways they did not imagine?  Think about it – no contractor controls enough of the market to unilaterally compel compliance with its demands.  Use of technology will bring a need for uniformity in contract terms.  And a subcontract that places too much risk on the sub may hinder or even halt the gains sought to be achieved with the technology.  Work with me on this one.

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Pure Heart Empty Head - Construction Edition

Google “pure heart empty head” and you’ll find plenty of references to unsuccessful legal maneuvers.  The same thing happened recently in New Jersey.  The court never employed that phrase, but the contractor’s argument for attempting to pass along sales tax costs fit the mold.  The outcome?  The contractor was told to wake up, use common sense, and pay its own bills.

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Amtrak Announces Major Projects for 2012

As passenger rail service continues to rise, Amtrak has announced an “aggressive” construction agenda for 2012.  For example, Amtrak intends to spend $15 million in 2012 for planning and other pre-construction activities on its Gateway Program to provide additional capacity into Manhattan for Amtrak intercity and New Jersey Transit commuter services, including the proposed NextGen HSR system.  As part of the overall plan, which is expected to cost several billion dollars, Amtrak will build two additional tunnels under the Hudson River to access expanded terminal facilities serving New York Penn Station and the future Moynihan Station on the site of the former Farley Post Office.  In addition, Amtrak plans to replace and expand the century old Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River and increase from two to four the number of tracks between Newark and New York.

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No Time Runs Against The King - Should a Public Authority Be Able to Ignore the Statute of Limitations?

The Connecticut Attorney General has invoked a 13th-century legal doctrine in attempting to preserve claims against the architect and contractor for a public library project, as reported by the Hartford Courant.  Filing a lawsuit 12 years after completion of the UConn law school library, the AG argued the doctrine known in Latin as “nullum tempus occurrit regi,” meaning that no time runs against the king.  Is this good public policy?[Read More]

Design-Build Project Delivery In New York

Design-Build project delivery has gained ground recently in New York.  In a sweeping budget deal last month (December 2011), including provisions restructuring the personal income tax code, New York authorized certain state agencies to utilize design-build for road, bridge and other capital projects in excess of $1.2 million.  The agencies benefitting from the deal include the Department of Transportation, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Presentation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.  Awards are to be made on a “best value” basis to bidders from a prequalified list.

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Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds that Unions May File Mechanic’s Liens for Unpaid Contributions

On January 6, 2012, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held in Bricklayers of W. Pa. Combined Funds v. Scott's Dev. Co., 2012 PA Super 4; 2012 Pa. Super. LEXIS 5 (2012) that a labor union is a “subcontractor” under the Mechanic’s Lien Law, and, therefore, trustees of a union benefit fund have standing to file a mechanic’s lien claim on behalf of its members.

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Another State Joins List Of Anti-Additional Insured.

Effective this month, the State of Texas has joined the lists of states with anti-indemnity and anti-additional insured statutes.  In legislation signed last summer by Gov. Rick Perry but not effective until January 1, 2012, Texas joined the now long list of states prohibiting clauses in construction contracts requiring indemnification of indemnitees for their negligence.[Read More]

Duane Morris Construction Law

Duane Morris’ acclaimed Construction Group shares insights on legal developments impacting the business of construction.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.