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    Home Builders & Remo Assn of Fairfield Co
    Local # 0780
    433 Meadow St
    Fairfield, CT 06824

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    Local # 0740
    20 Hartford Rd Suite 18
    Salem, CT 06420

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    Local # 0720
    2189 Silas Deane Highway
    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

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    Rocky Hill, CT 06067

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    Local # 0710
    110 Brook St
    Torrington, CT 06790

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    Bloomfield, CT 06002

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    Legislation Update: S-865 Public-Private Partnerships in New Jersey Passed by Both Houses-Awaiting Governor’s Signature

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    FAIRFIELD CONNECTICUT BUILDING CONSULTANT
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    Leveraging from more than 7,000 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Fairfield, Connecticut Building Consultant Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Fairfield's most acknowledged construction practice groups, CGL carriers, builders, owners, and public agencies. Drawing from a diverse pool of construction and design professionals, BHA is able to simultaneously analyze complex claims from the perspective of design, engineering, cost, or standard of care.

    Building Consultant News & Info
    Fairfield, Connecticut

    A Primer on Suspension and Debarment for Federal Construction Projects

    August 10, 2020 —
    We’ve all heard the expression that those who deal with the government must turn square corners. This is because the government has a broad array of tools at its disposal to motivate, coax and cajole contractors and federal grant recipients to play by the rules. Those tools include harsh measures such as criminal prosecution and civil false claims act enforcement on the one hand and poor CPARS ratings on the other. A seemingly less severe administrative option available to the government is suspension and debarment. However, any entity that has been suspended or debarred knows that these measures can prove harsh and disruptive. While the numbers of suspensions and debarments have declined from the all-time high in 2011, there is still significant activity. In its FY 2018 report, the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee reported 2444 referrals, 480 suspensions, 1542 proposed debarments and 1334 debarments. The number of referrals for suspension and debarment in FY 2018 is almost exactly the same as the number of GAO bid protests filed that year. WHAT IS SUSPENSION AND DEBARMENT? Suspension and debarment are the government’s tools to avoid entities it views as a high risk for poor performance, fraud, waste and abuse. Suspension and debarment preclude a business entity or individual from contracting with the government or from receiving grants, loans, loan guarantees or other forms of assistance from the government. A suspension is a temporary exclusion when the government determines immediate action is necessary pending the completion of an investigation or legal proceeding. A debarment is an exclusion for a defined, reasonable period of time—often three years. Reprinted courtesy of Hal J. Perloff, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Mr. Perloff may be contacted at hal.perloff@huschblackwell.com

    Jury Trials and Mediation in Philadelphia County: Virtually in Person

    July 27, 2020 —
    When will the trial court in Philadelphia County be open for jury trials in civil actions? While a precise prediction, given the current state of our trial courts in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, is difficult to make, what is known is that the use of virtual technology is likely permanently changing the landscape of civil litigation, including depositions, mediation, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Even civil jury trials, at least in the near term and during the pandemic, are being conducted virtually, either by private agreement, or through the courts, as is occurring in Texas and most recently in Florida with its pilot virtual trial program in five of its trial courts. While it is necessary at present for the parties to consent to a virtual trial, courts may ultimately compel the parties’ participation. Regardless, litigants and their counsel are well advised to understand the complexities and manner of a virtual trial. Seasoned trial attorneys have long experienced and are comfortable with virtual depositions bringing distant counsel, parties and witnesses together through technology to present testimony. The use of virtual technology as a means for court arguments and hearings, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution, while novel and emerging as the new normal, is territory where a comfort level can be achieved. And while distinctions most assuredly exist, recent experience has demonstrated that court arguments, mediations and depositions can be conducted effectively remotely and virtually. Legal issues certainly do remain in the context of the deposition of parties to a civil action regarding whether a lawyer’s physical presence in the same room with a party-witness can be demanded, and whether courts would compel a virtual deposition during the COVID-19 pandemic where such physical presence of a party and their attorney could not be achieved. Undoubtedly these issues will be resolved, likely sooner than later, given the scope of the pandemic in certain areas. Reprinted courtesy of White and Williams LLP attorneys Andrew F. Susko, Robert G. Devine and Daniel J. Ferhat Mr. Susko may be contacted at suskoa@whiteandwilliams.com Mr. Devine may be contacted at deviner@whiteandwilliams.com Mr. Ferhat may be contacted at ferhatd@whiteandwilliams.com Read the court decision
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    Michigan Finds Coverage for Subcontractor's Faulty Work

    August 24, 2020 —
    The Michigan Supreme Court held that under a CGL policy, an "accident" may include unintentional subcontractor work that damages the insured's work product. Skanska USA Building Inc. v. M.A.P. Mechanical Contractors, Inc., et al., 2020 Mich. LEXIS 1194 (Mich. June 29, 2020). Skanska USA Building Inc. was the construction manager on a renovation project for a medical centre. The heatng and cooling portion of the project was subcontracted to M.A.P. Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (MAP). MAP installed a steam builder and piping for the heating system. The installation included several expansion joints. After completion, Skanska learned that MAP had installed some of the expansion joints backward. This caused significant damage to concrete, steel and the heating system. The medical center sent a demand letter to Skanska, who send a demand letter to MAP. Skanska did the repairs and replacement of the damaged property. Skanska then submitted a claim of $1.4 million for its work to Amerisure Insurance Company. The claim was denied. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Chinese Telecommunications Ban to Expand to Federally Funded Contracts Effective November 12, 2020

    September 21, 2020 —
    In our previous alert, we discussed the Federal Government’s Ban (the “Ban”) on certain Chinese covered telecommunications and video surveillance equipment and services in federal government contracts. The ban prohibits government contractors and subcontractors from supplying to the Federal Government or using in their own internal operations certain telecommunications or video surveillance equipment or services produced by Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company, as well as their subsidiaries and affiliates. The Ban currently applies to companies contracting directly with the Federal Government. Soon, however, the Ban – at least in part – will expand to contractors and subcontractors who are awarded certain federally assisted contracts and subcontracts. On August 13, 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) published Final Guidance revising its grants and agreements regulations (2 CFR Part 200) to prohibit recipients and subrecipients from using loan or grant funds to purchase or obtain covered telecommunications and video surveillance equipment or services. Effective November 12, 2020, recipients and subrecipients are prohibited from obligating or expending loan or grant funds to:
    1. Procure or obtain;
    2. Extend or renew a contract to procure or obtain; or
    3. Enter into a contract (or extend or renew a contract) to procure or obtain equipment, services, or systems that use covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system.
    Reprinted courtesy of Lori Ann Lange, Peckar & Abramson and Sabah Petrov, Peckar & Abramson Ms. Lange may be contacted at llange@pecklaw.com Ms. Petrov may be contacted at spetrov@pecklaw.com Read the court decision
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    Another Exception to Fraud and Contract Don’t Mix

    January 18, 2021 —
    Here at Construction Law Musings, we’ve discussed the fact that, in Virginia, the “economic loss rule” generally renders claims of fraud and construction contracts like oil and water. This is true in most states, including Florida. What this means is that as a general rule where any party is supposed to perform under a contract, and fails to do so, the Virginia courts will dismiss a fraud claim out of a desire to avoid turning any breach of contract (read “broken promise”) case into a claim for fraud. As you have likely gathered by the title of this post, there are exceptions. One is a properly plead Virginia Consumer Protection Act (“VCPA”) claim. Another, found in a recent Loudoun County, VA Circuit Court opinion in Madison v. Milton Home Systems Inc., is so called fraud in the inducement (in other words, inducing a person to enter the contract under false pretenses). In Madison the Court analyzed several counts based upon a modular home contract and so called “performance agreement” guarantying that the home would be installed by the manufacturer in the event that it’s installer failed to perform. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at chrisghill@constructionlawva.com

    Hunton Insurance Coverage Group Ranked in National Tier 1 by US News & World Report

    December 21, 2020 —
    The Hunton Andrews Kurth Insurance Coverage Practice Group has been awarded Tier 1 ranking by US News Media Group and Best Lawyers, placing them among the top practitioners nationally for policyholder insurance coverage representation. In addition to its Tier 1 ranking nationally, the Firm also received a regional Tier 1 ranking in Washington, DC and a Tier 2 ranking in Atlanta, GA. Reprinted courtesy of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP Read the full story... Read the court decision
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    David McLain Recognized Among the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© for Construction Law

    October 19, 2020 —
    David McLain is a founding member of Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell. Mr. McLain has over 22 years of experience and is well known for his work in the defense of the construction industry, particularly in the area of construction defect litigation. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the CLM Claims College - School of Construction, which is the premier course for insurance, industry, and legal professionals. Law Week Colorado recently named Mr. McLain as the 2019 People’s Choice for Best Construction Defects Lawyer for Defendants. HHMR is highly regarded for its expertise in construction law and the litigation of construction-related claims, including the defense of large and complex construction defect matters. Our attorneys provide exceptional service to individuals, business owners, Fortune 500 companies, and the insurance industry. The firm is experienced in providing legal support throughout trials and alternative dispute resolution such as mediations and arbitrations. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David McLain, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell
    Mr. McLain may be contacted at mclain@hhmrlaw.com

    Subcontract Should Flow Down Delay Caused by Subcontractors

    December 21, 2020 —
    A general contractor’s subcontract with its subcontractor should include a provision that entitles it to flow down liquidated damages assessed by the owner stemming from delays caused by the subcontractor. Such a provision does not mean the general contractor does not have to prove delays caused by the subcontractor or can arbitrarily allocate the amount or days it claims the subcontractor is liable. The general contractor still will need to reasonably establish the delays the subcontractor caused the critical path of the schedule, i.e., delayed the job. In addition to the right to flow down liquidated damages, the subcontract should also entitle the general contractor to recover its actual extended general conditions caused by the subcontractor’s delays (regardless of whether the owner assesses liquidated damages). The objective is that if the subcontractor delays the job, the subcontractor is liable for liquidated damages the general contractor is liable to the owner for in addition to the general contractor’s own delay damages. This is an important subcontractual provision so that the risk of delay caused by subcontractors is clearly flowed down to them in the subcontract. In a 1987 case, Hall Construction Co., Inc. v. Beynon, 507 So.2d 1225 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987), the subcontract at-issue contained language that stated, “The parties hereto agree that a supplier who delays performance beyond the time agreed upon in this Purchase Order shall have caused [general contractor] liquidated damages in the amount required of [general contractor] by their contract per day for each day such delay continues which sum the supplier hereby agrees to pay.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris, P.A.
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com