Articles in Contracts

SOUND TRANSIT CASE REAFFIRMS THE NEED TO MEET CONTRACT DEADLINES

A contractor’s claim was allowed to proceed to trial even though the contractor likely did not meet each and every contract claim and dispute resolution procedure. The Court, in Northwest Infrastructure Inc. v. PCL v. Sound Transit, ruled Sound Transit’s issuance of a unilateral change … Read More »

WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUSLY SIDES WITH CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS FOR INSURANCE COVERAGE IN COLLAPSE CASE

Date: May 17th, 2012

Today the Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on a case that the construction contractor industry has not only been watching carefully, but also directly participated in. Ashbaugh Beal’s John Riper (together with John Ahlers of Ahlers & Cressman) briefed and argued the case … Read More »

WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS LIMITS THE LIABILITY OF OWNERS AND DEVELOPERS FOR SAFETY VIOLATIONS

Date: May 8th, 2012
Categories: Contracts, Safety

In Washington, a general contractor can be sued by any project employee for failure to comply with WISHA regulations. Likewise, project owners and developers can be sued for failing to comply with WISHA regulations to the extent they act like general contractors on a project. … Read More »

NEW SUPREME COURT DECISION MAY UNDERMINE WASHINGTON CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS

Date: February 29th, 2012
Categories: Contracts, Indemnity

Indemnity provisions are one of the primary and most easily recognized tools used in allocating risks in a construction contract. There are others, of course, like provisions addressing delay, unforeseen conditions, or consequential damages. But none of those provisions allocates the breadth of risks that … Read More »

DIVISION I OF THE COURT OF APPEALS HOLDS THAT THE PROPERTY OWNER NEED NOT BE JOINED AS A PARTY TO A LIEN FORECLOSURE ACTION

Date: September 28th, 2011

In a surprising decision, the Court of Appeals decided, in the case of Diversified v. Johnson, 161 Wn App 859 (2011), that a lien claimant is not required to join the owner of the property as a party to the claimant’s lien foreclosure action. The … Read More »

SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUS: STATUTORY LIEN FORM SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH CLAIM OF LIEN

Date: September 15th, 2011

Washington’s lien statute provides contractors a sample form to use when recording a lien claim against private property. The statute assures contractors that following the form will be sufficient for establishing a valid lien. In a unanimous decision today, the Washington Supreme Court upheld these … Read More »

A LITTLE ‘GREEN THINKING’ AT THE BEGINNING OF A PROJECT CAN HELP CONTRACTORS AVOID PROBLEMS DOWN THE ROAD

Date: June 13th, 2011

The demand for projects that are “green” in one way or another is exponentially increasing. Among other driving forces, this increase is the result of new requirements for building certification and performance at the federal, state, and local levels. These requirements can expose contractors to … Read More »

PROPOSED LIEN BILL IN RESPONSE TO WILLIAMS V. ATHLETIC FIELD

Date: February 9th, 2011

The Washington State Legislature is currently considering proposed legislation intended to remedy the defect in the mechanics lien statute highlighted by the recent decision in Williams v. Athletic Field. The proposed legislation – House Bill 1708 – seeks to amend RCW 60.04.091 by eliminating language … Read More »

IMPACT CLAIM AWARD UNDONE BY CLAIM WAIVER

Date: December 15th, 2010

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently vacated a contractor’s impact and delay award of over $4,000,000 because of waiver language in a signed change order. The case, Bell BCI Co. v. United States, arose from the construction of a $63,663,745 federal laboratory. … Read More »

IMPORTANT CHANGES TO 2010 WSDOT STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS

The 2010 WSDOT Standard Specifications for Road, Bridge and Municipal Construction contain numerous changes from the 2008 version. WSDOT’s 2010 changes focus on enhanced safety and environmental protection and attempt to address issues associated with the presently high unemployment rate in the construction industry. Before … Read More »