Articles in Contracts

WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES GRAY AREA OF CONSTRUCTION LIEN STATUTE

Date: January 24th, 2018

Last week, the Washington Supreme Court issued an important decision that provides some clarity to contractors faced with foreclosing a lien against a release of lien bond. As the lower courts have expressly acknowledged, the “Bond in Lieu of Claim” section of the construction lien … Read More »

WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS WEIGHS IN ON LIEN RELEASE BONDS

Date: January 17th, 2017

Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals recently clarified a significant grey area in the construction lien statute in Inland Empire Dry Wall Supply Co. v. Western Surety Co.. Specifically, the Court weighed in on who a lien claimant must sue in a foreclosure … Read More »

NARROW EXCEPTION TO MIKE M. JOHNSON CONFIRMED BY DIVISION III COURT OF APPEALS

Date: September 20th, 2016

Recently, Division III of the Washington State Court of Appeals attempted to provide guidance to Washington trial courts and the construction industry on the interplay between two landmark Washington Supreme Court construction law cases – Bignold v. King County (1965) and Mike M. Johnson Construction … Read More »

ARE YOUR CONTRACTS AND INSURANCE POLICIES PROTECTING YOU FROM COLLABORATION RISK?

Date: May 5th, 2015
Categories: Contracts, Insurance

Construction is a collaborative process. Always has been, always will be. Despite this reality, market forces have historically prevailed in developing construction contracts to compartmentalize the owner’s relationships with the builder and the designer, keeping designer and builder separate from one another despite the need … Read More »

RETHINKING BUILDER’S RISK INSURANCE: A CONTRACTOR’S PERSPECTIVE

Date: January 27th, 2015
Categories: Contracts, Insurance

The AIA contract is the benchmark of construction contracts throughout the country. As many contractors know, by default under the AIA contract it is the Owner rather than the Contractor who is responsible for purchasing builder’s risk insurance. But is that the way it should … Read More »

DEFAULT TERMINATION IS RISKY BUSINESS: WASHINGTON COURTS SAY “WATCH OUT!”

Date: July 30th, 2014
Categories: Contracts

Washington courts have repeatedly ruled that termination, where one contracting party unilaterally declares the other in default, is an extreme remedy. Accordingly, a general rule has developed demanding strict compliance with any and all contractual notice-and-cure procedures. Recently, the Washington Court of Appeals issued the … Read More »

INSURANCE COVERAGE: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR

Date: May 28th, 2014
Categories: Contracts, Insurance

Contractors and owners alike want additional insured coverage that fully covers them against damage caused by downstream contractors. However, as demonstrated by the recent Washington Court of Appeals decision Lewark v. Davis Door Service, Inc., careless contract language will often result in additional insured coverage … Read More »

COURT: CONTRACTORS CAN LIEN FOR EXTRA WORK THAT WASN’T PART OF A WRITTEN CHANGE ORDER

Date: March 20th, 2014

In a decision issued on Monday, March 10, the state Court of Appeals clarified an unsettled provision of the lien statute, holding that contractors can lien for extra work not incorporated by written change order into the contract. The relevant facts of the case are … Read More »

NEW CITY POLICY HAS CONTRACTORS ACTING LIKE BANKS

Date: October 3rd, 2013

In the last days of September, the city of Seattle announced dramatic changes to the prompt payment terms found in the city’s standard contract provisions for public construction work. The city initially appeared ready to release the proposed changes on October 1 for comment prior … Read More »

LIQUIDATED DAMAGES IN WASHINGTON

Courts will enforce an assessment of liquidated damages if the amount of those damages was reasonable at the time the contract was signed. Courts will not enforce liquidated damages when the amount of damages specified is unreasonable and is, therefore, a penalty. Also, courts will … Read More »