The calculation of lost labor productivity, also termed labor inefficiencies, is one of the most significant elements of damages in a construction dispute and one of the most controversial. If these damages are proven, the monetary value claim can be a considerable amount. This is far from surprising seeing as labor costs can make up to 30 to 50% of overall project costs and if these projects lose money, the unanticipated labor costs result from lesser unexpected productivity. Lost labor productivity has become controversial since owners and general contractors are skeptical of the methods in curating these calculations can be considered questionable, speculative, and illusory. The article will further define how lost labor productivity claims developed; the interplay of Daubert in the pursuit of, and defense against, such claims; and recent federal and state case law addressing loss productivity.
The full article, written by Duane Morris partner Daniel E. Toomey and Duane Morris associate Joshua S. Marks, along with Dr. Tong Zhao, P.E. and J. Mark Dungan of Delta Consulting Group, Inc., is available on the Duane Morris LLP website, courtesy of The Construction Lawyer.
Duane Morris is pleased to announce that the firm’s Construction Group has once again been nominated for one of the prestigious Chambers USA Awards for Excellence. This is the fifth overall nomination for the group, which has been recognized among the top national practices by Chambers for the past several years. Duane Morris is one of only six firms to be finalists in the construction category this year.
The Awards for Excellence honor outstanding firms based on research conducted for Chambers USA 2015. These awards reflect a law firm’s preeminence in key practice areas, as well as notable achievements over a 12-month period, including outstanding work; impressive strategic growth; and excellence in client service.
The Chambers USA Awards for Excellence winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey has announced the establishment of a Complex Business Litigation Program, effective January 1, 2015, with designated judges in each county assigned to provide individualized case management to complex business, commercial and construction cases meeting the program criteria. The Complex Business Litigation Program is likely to substantially improve and streamline the litigation of complex business, commercial, and construction disputes in the New Jersey courts, and foster the further development and refinement of New Jersey business litigation case law.
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On September 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register to implement Executive Order 13665, which was signed by President Obama on April 8, 2014. Generally, the proposed rule would prohibit federal contractors from maintaining pay secrecy policies and would amend the equal opportunity clauses in Executive Order 11246 to provide protections to workers who talk about pay. The rule would apply to federal contractors with a federal contract worth more than $10,000 and entered into or modified on or after the effective date of the final rule, as well as to federal subcontractors working under such a covered federal contract.
To read the full Duane Morris Alert, please click here.
On July 9, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Act 117 of 2014, which amends the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law (MLL), 49 P.S. 1101, et seq., to provide that a construction loan secured by an open-end mortgage where at least 60 percent of the proceeds are “intended to pay or used to pay” all or part of the “costs of construction” will have lien priority ahead of any filed mechanics’ lien claims, even when the visible commencement of work was prior to the recordation of the open-end mortgage.
Click here to read the full Alert, written by Duane Morris associate Louise S. Melchor.
The California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, S208173, on July 3, upholding a homeowners association’s right to pursue a common law negligence claim against the project architects of a 595-unit condominium project in San Francisco.
Building on substantial case law and the common law principles on which it is based, we hold that an architect owes a duty of care to future homeowners in the design of a residential building where, as here, the architect is a principal architect on the project — that is, the architect, in providing professional design services, is not subordinate to other design professionals. The duty of care extends to such architects even when they do not actually build the project or exercise ultimate control over construction.
Continue reading “California Supreme Court Addresses Architect’s Duty of Care”
Duane Morris is pleased to announce that the firm’s Construction Group has once again been nominated for one of the prestigious Chambers USA Awards for Excellence. This is the fourth overall nomination for the group, which has been recognized among the top national practices by Chambers for the past several years. Duane Morris is one of only five firms to be finalists in the construction category this year.
The Awards for Excellence honor outstanding firms based on research conducted for Chambers USA 2014. These awards reflect a law firm’s preeminence in key practice areas, as well as notable achievements over a 12-month period, including outstanding work; impressive strategic growth; and excellence in client service.
The Chambers USA Awards for Excellence winners will be announced on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City
Duane Morris partner Albert Bates, Jr., will be presenting at the 2014 Deloitte Energy Conference: A Global Industry . . . Competing Locally, which will be held on Tuesday, May 13, and Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Mr. Bates will serve as a panelist during the Elective Session – Sector Breakouts on Power on May 14, 2014, where he will discuss strategic considerations of major capital projects, including evolving project delivery systems and inherent risks, as well as proactive project risk management and controls.
CPE Credit Amount and CPE Field of Study Subject Area(s) are pending review by the National CPE Compliance Group. Participants can receive up to 12 hours of CPE credits for attending this conference in multiple subject areas depending upon sessions attended.
Continue reading “Duane Morris Partner Albert Bates, Jr. to Present at the Deloitte Energy Conference”
With its new Standard Construction Contract, issued in December 2013, the City of New York (the “City”) has implemented numerous significant changes as compared with its 2008 standard contract. The most widely discussed change in the City’s standard construction contract is the elimination of an express “no damage for delay” clause. At least ostensibly, the new contract represents a more flexible approach to delay damages by enabling the contractor to recover for delays in factual settings not previously amenable to delay claims. This Alert briefly summarizes some of the new provisions.
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The good news is that public works construction projects for municipalities are projected to remain a major sector of construction activity for the foreseeable future. The not-so-good news is that municipal bankruptcy filings are on the rise, and they are likely to increase. The issues facing parties under contract with a municipality when it files for bankruptcy protection are playing out nationally in places like Stockton, California, and Detroit, Michigan. Construction lawyers now more than ever need to know the risks of a public owner filing for bankruptcy protection before project completion, and what they can do in the event it does so before the project is closed out—thereby jeopardizing the owner’s ability to pay.
Click here to read the full article, written by Duane Morris partners Robert Hendrickson and Ron Oliner.