Archives: Construction

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Opening the Door to Owner and General Contractor Liability Under Oregon’s Employer Liability Law

General contractors and other employers (even some owners) have greater exposure under Oregon’s Employer Liability Law (the “ELL”) to injured workers based on the recent Oregon Supreme Court decision in Yeatts v. Polygon Northwest Co. The ELL imposes liability on all “owners, contractors or subcontractors and other persons having charge of, or responsibility for,” work … Continue Reading

Not So Fast! Oregon’s New Negligent-Construction Statute of Limitations May Have Insurance Implications

Last Thursday, the Oregon Supreme Court issued its opinion in Goodwin v. Kingsmen Plastering, Inc., 359 Or 694 (2016), holding that the deadline to file a negligent construction-defect claim is two years from the time a plaintiff knew or should have known of damage resulting from the defect—not six years, as applied by the lower … Continue Reading

Portland Commissioner Saltzman Proposes New 1% Construction Excise Tax

Today Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman, whose bureau assignments include the Portland Housing Bureau and the Bureau of Development Services, proposed a new excise tax on residential and commercial development equal to one percent of the total permit valuation, revenue from which would be dedicated to build and preserve affordable housing. The tax is estimated to raise … Continue Reading

New Property Owners, Beware: Possible Shortened Time to Bring Defective-Construction Claims

The Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision on February 19, 2016, affirming a decision to dismiss a homeowner’s claim against a builder for defective construction. In Shell v. Schollander Companies, Inc., 350 Or 552 (2016), defendant, a builder, began construction on a “spec” home in 1999. When the home was approximately 95 percent complete, plaintiff … Continue Reading

If Your Company Uses Subcontracted Labor, the NLRB May Find You to Be a “Joint Employer”

A new decision by the National Labor Relations Board defining joint employers for the purposes of collective bargaining is a good reminder to employers and contractors to make certain that policies and contracts precisely define who and who is not an employee in other contexts, such as worker’s compensation and tax withholding laws. Under the … Continue Reading

Narrowing the Scope of Subcontractor Indemnity

Owners, developers, and general contractors, beware: the protection afforded by a subcontractor’s responsibility to pay for lawsuits arising from its work (what is known as “indemnity”) might not be as broad as originally thought. A recent Oregon Court of Appeals decision significantly narrows the scope of a subcontractor’s indemnity obligations in construction-defect cases. Under most … Continue Reading

(3 of 3) Time Limitations on Claims Arising From Construction Contracts: Best Practices in Light of Recent Court Rulings

Introduction. As a result of recent Oregon court decisions relating to the statute of limitations and statute of ultimate repose for construction related claims, contractors and developers must adjust their current practices in order to restore some measure of security based on the time limitations on claims. Best Practices. Contractors and developers should now include … Continue Reading

(2 of 3) Time Limitations on Claims Arising From Construction Contracts: Best Practices in Light of Recent Court Rulings

Introduction.  In the past, contractors and developers could feel secure that any claim arising from a construction contract would be barred after ten years from completion of the project. A recent line of Oregon appellate court decisions issued in 2014 cast doubt on that long-standing assumption. Statute of Ultimate Repose (ORS 12.135). ORS 12.135 establishes … Continue Reading

(1 of 3) Time Limitations on Claims Arising From Construction Contracts: Best Practices in Light of Recent Court Rulings

Introduction. In the past, contractors and developers could feel secure that certain claims arising out of construction contracts would be barred after six years from completion of the project. A recent line of Oregon appellate court decisions issued in 2014 cast doubt on that long-standing assumption. Statute of Limitations (ORS 12.080(3)). ORS 12.080(3) establishes a … Continue Reading

Southwest Washington Contractors Association’s Risky Business Seminar Series: Contracts

The Southwest Washington Contractors Association (SWCA) will be presenting the latest in their Risky Business Seminar Series on September 18, 2014, at 1:30 PM at the Vancouver Community Library. The Risky Business Seminar Series is a specialty risk management series designed to arm attendees with the knowledge needed to protect their business. The upcoming seminar … Continue Reading

Minimizing Risk in a Construction Contract: From a Contractor’s Perspective

Based on a survey of case law, several key areas often lead to disputes between owners and contractors on a construction project. Careful drafting of the construction contract can benefit both sides by clearly defining expectations, eliminating ambiguity, and reducing the risk of delay of performance or payment. Click here to read the full article.… Continue Reading

Why You Need More Than Just a Certificate of Insurance

It is common practice for entities such as owners, contractors and design professionals to contractually require another party to provide insurance. The most common method of providing information related to this requirement is through a certificate of insurance. A certificate is usually issued on a form copyrighted by an organization named ACORD (Association for Cooperative … Continue Reading

Loan Guarantors Remain Liable After Foreclosure

In a decision announced this week, Division I of the Washington State Court of Appeals held that a lender who has non judicially foreclosed on a deed of trust securing a commercial loan retains the right under Washington law to thereafter pursue an action for any deficiency against the loan’s guarantor.… Continue Reading

Lender Beware: Make Sure That Your Deed of Trust Covers Latecomer Fees

In a recent Washington State Court of Appeals case, a developer of a residential subdivision built sewer facilities to serve its project, and was entitled to latecomer fees for building more than what it required. Other developers, who received the benefit of the sewer facilities, would be required to pay latecomer fees to reimburse the … Continue Reading

Next Dispute Headed Out of State? Better Check Your Forum-Selection Clause

Large businesses operating in multiple states received the green light to litigate their civil disputes in their home jurisdiction regardless of where the construction project is located. This decision could likewise serve as a serious threat to mom-and-pop subcontractors that provide most of the labor and materials for a project but typically lack any negotiating … Continue Reading

Oregon Department of Transportation Releases Report to Green-Light the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project

On January 7, 2014, the Oregon Department of Transportation released its analysis concluding that tolling a new I-5 bridge would generate enough revenue to finance the construction of that bridge. This positive analysis paves the way for the State of Oregon (without Washington funding) to continue its Columbia River Crossing planning project.… Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Announces the Death of Contracts: Donatelli v. D.R. Strong Consulting Engineers, Inc.

OPINION:  In the world of construction, Washington has historically been a “chain of contract” state, in which contracts governed the duties and liabilities of those involved in a project, and parties were generally free to limit by contract both their responsibility and their risk for any purely economic damages. Essentially, if nothing broke and no … Continue Reading

BIM There, Done That: Creating Contracts That Capitalize on New Technology

Six years ago, building information modeling was for cutting-edge contractors who wanted their projects to ride the technology curve. In 2007, only 28 percent of contractors, architects, owners, and engineers reported using BIM on their projects. By 2012, the percentage had grown significantly, and the same group reported a BIM adoption rate of 71 percent … Continue Reading

Cause vs. Convenience: New Court of Appeals Decision Suggests That Choice in Termination of Subcontract May Limit Ability to Recover for Defective Work

A general contractor cannot offset the cost of defective work performed by a subcontractor if the subcontractor sues to recover unpaid fees after being terminated for convenience. According to a new Oregon case, termination for convenience denies the subcontractor an opportunity to cure any defects before it has completed its work and therefore cuts off … Continue Reading

AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter Summer Convention

As many of you know, the AGC’s Oregon-Columbia Chapter Summer Convention is this week at Salishan in Gleneden Beach, Oregon. The convention provides an opportunity for the AGC to continue its mission to provide members with a forum for the exchange of ideas and services designed to enhance the professionalism of the construction energy. It also … Continue Reading

Five Reasons Why Not to Rely on a Certificate of Insurance

In case you missed Stacey Martinson’s Portland Business Journal article on “Five Reasons Why Not to Rely on a Certificate of Insurance,” here’s an excerpt and a direct link . . . It is common practice for property owners, contractors and design professionals such as architects or engineers to contractually require each other to provide insurance on … Continue Reading

Convention Hotel: Big Boost, Low Taxpayer Risk

OregonLive.com Guest Article by Elisa J. Dozono MERC Commissioner and Miller Nash partner. Tourism is one of the engines of our region’s economy, and conventions fuel that engine. We can increase the prosperity conventions bring to our community if we build convenient and accessible hotel rooms adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center. Read Elisa’s full article … Continue Reading
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