Blending of Public and Private Construction – Proceed With Caution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditionally, New York Construction Law sets separate rules of engagement for public projects (where the owner is a public entity) and those that are private construction projects (where the owner is a private individual or corporation). Given these two distinct camps, it has been easy to classify a project as either a public project or a private one. For contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, knowing which rules of engagement pertain to them is essential to avoid making costly mistakes.

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Protections Provided to Contractors and Architects Under New York’s Economic Loss Rule

In a nutshell, the  “economic loss rule” is a rule that courts use to prevent a plaintiff from against a defendant for a tort (usually negligence) when the essence of the claim is for failure to live up to the terms of a contract.

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NY Supreme Court Strikes Contractor Liability Limitation Provision

                                  Image: (J. Scott Applewhite/AP) 2019.

Many contractors and subcontractors go about their work feeling protected from claims for damages because their agreements contain certain exclusions. Some of these agreements will even have language stating ‘Not responsible for [X, Y, and Z]’. But the ruling handed down February 14, 2012, by the Supreme Court, Nassau County serves as a reminder that contractual indemnity provisions are more of a privilege than a right, and are not subject to enforcement automatically.

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Construction Contract Document Conflict

 

Given the large number and variety of documents required to administer a construction project today (plans, specifications, contracts, etc.), the likelihood of discrepancies arising between these different sources is almost unavoidable.

Do you know how these documents rate in terms of their authority? Continue reading “Construction Contract Document Conflict”

Homeowner Court Ruling Serves as a Reminder to New York Contractors

A recent ruling issued by the Supreme Court, County of Nassau, serves as a reminder to New York contractors performing residential work of the importance and necessity in having a home improvement license if you need legal action to pursue payment on the project.

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Protections Provided to New York Architects and Contractors under the Economic Loss Rule

THE ECONOMIC LOSS RULE IN NEW YORK CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS:

WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT MAY BENEFIT CONTRACTORS AND ARCHITECTS

The “economic loss rule” is a rule that New York courts use to prevent a plaintiff from recovering against a defendant for a tort (usually negligence), when the essence of the plaintiff’s claim is for failure to live up to the terms of a contract.

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Architect and Contractor Liability for New York Building Code Violations

CAN I BE SUED FOR VIOLATING THE BUILDING CODE?

CLAIMS AGAINST CONTRACTORS AND ARCHITECTS FOR CODE VIOLATIONS

 In my construction law practice, I’m often confronted with instances of building code violations and questions of whether building code violations should subject a contractor or architect to liability.

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Violation of the New York Prompt Payment Act Does Not Bar Defenses

General Business Law Section 756 (and the sections that follow it), commonly known as the Prompt Payment Act, establish requirements for how soon a construction contractor or subcontractor must be paid and allow expedited arbitration in the event that prompt payment is not made for qualifying projects.

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The Top 5 Avenues of Architect Liability in New York

Architects in New York can be found liable for damages in various situations, depending on who claims damage, and the basis of the claim itself. For example, where an owner has a direct contract with the architect, the owner could bring forth a simple claim based on the contract or a claim based on a tort action. Such a tort action, based on negligence, is a claim for malpractice.

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Top 5 Mechanic’s Lien Waiver Pitfalls for Contractors and Subs

For contractors and subcontractors in New York, Mechanic’s Lien Waivers are a part of life, but the potential risks to the contractor in waiving more than intended or understanding of the terms are not always as common. Owners (and often their lender) require that the project be kept lien free through progression of the work to final completion.

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