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    Labor Under the Miller Act And Estoppel of Statute of Limitations

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    FAIRFIELD CONNECTICUT BUILDING CONSULTANT
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    The Fairfield, Connecticut Building Consultant Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 7,000 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Fairfield's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    Fairfield, Connecticut

    Massive Danish Hospital Project Avoids Fire Protection Failures with Imerso Construction AI

    December 23, 2023 —
    Ensuring regulatory compliance of firewall constructions is getting a high-tech boost. Over the past 16 months, the construction team responsible for the iconic new Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland near Copenhagen used Imerso construction AI technology to achieve remarkable results. By using Imerso, the team enhanced work productivity while preventing costs and delays worth €5.2 million during the construction of the superstructure. Inspired by this success, the team led by Project Manager Anders Kaas has since been eager to explore the potential of the technology in other areas. The opportunity arose to address a topic that has traditionally posed significant challenges and expenses in numerous construction projects – ensuring regulatory compliance of fire barriers and firewall constructions. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at aec-business@aepartners.fi

    6 Ways to Reduce Fire Safety Hazards in BESS

    January 02, 2024 —
    Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, are projected to generate 44% of all power in the U.S. by 2050, which is increasing the need for battery energy storage systems (BESS).1 BESS are electrochemical devices that collect energy from a power grid, power plant or renewable source, hold it, and then discharge that energy later to provide electricity on demand. “A BESS does not itself create or produce energy, it is a storage system. The energy is produced by other means, including different types of renewable sources. Think of a cellphone – you charge it overnight and then it runs throughout the day off that battery power,” says Stacie Prescott, head of energy for middle and large commercial at The Hartford. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of The Hartford Staff, The Hartford Insights

    Retainage: What Contractors Need to Know and Helpful Strategies

    June 04, 2024 —
    Introduction Most, if not all, construction contracts contain a provision for “retainage.” The origin and concept of retainage dates back to the railroad boom that embraced Great Britain in the 1840s. In its simplest terms, retainage is a mechanism by which an owner or general contractor withholds disbursement of funds from the payment of a requisition in order to secure future performance of a contract and/or to pay for repair of defectively performed work. Retainage typically ranges from five to ten percent, with the amount being reduced as the project progresses to substantial and final completion. One of the reasons for withholding retainage is to incentivize a contractor to complete its work in accordance with the contract terms and conditions. While this may be well-intentioned in concept, it all too often leads to abuse that impacts project cash flow and raises tension between the parties. This typically happens on projects that have delay issues, deficient drawings, and/or claims of defective work. When a project has “gone bad,” the withholding of retainage is one of the first things that an owner will latch onto in order to leverage its position against a contractor. In order for a contractor to put itself in the best position possible, the following negotiation techniques and protective measures should be kept in mind. Know Your Applicable Statute Every state except West Virginia has statutes in place that govern the payment of retainage on public projects. On federal projects, the amount of retainage withheld shall not exceed ten percent as set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”). The common thread running through these statutes is the payment of interest as a remedy when the retainage is not timely paid. Historically, most retainage statutes were applicable only to publicly funded projects. This has recently changed with a substantial number of state legislatures recognizing that the payment of retainage on private projects was a serious enough problem to warrant regulation. These include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Vermont. New York’s retainage laws relating to private projects were enacted only this past November. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Gerard J. Onorata, Peckar & Abramson
    Mr. Onorata may be contacted at gonorata@pecklaw.com

    Design, Legal and Accounting all Fight a War on Billable Hours After the Advent of AI

    June 10, 2024 —
    Billable hours have long been the professional services standard by which architects, engineers, lawyers and accountants all get paid. But What if that effort wasn’t from human toil at all? Artificial Intelligence is already chipping away at the venerable billable hours business model, completing in just minutes or seconds tasks that would take humans hours. As these tools grow more efficient and accurate, many firms are having to reevaluate how they allocate their resources, and project delivery practices may have to evolve as well. Reprinted courtesy of Jeff Yoders, Engineering News-Record Mr. Yoders may be contacted at yodersj@enr.com Read the full story...

    Collapse Claim Fails Due To Defectively Designed Roof and Deck

    May 28, 2024 —
    The insured's claim for collapse of his roof and deck failed due to defective design and other exclusions under the policy. Dudar v. State Farm & Cas. Co., 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52706 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 6, 2024). The insured submitted a claim to State Farm for damage to the roof ("Roof Claim"). State Farm's adjuster placed a ladder on the deck to access the roof and a portion of the deck collapsed. The insured then reported a claim to State Farm for damage to the deck ("Deck Claim"). The claims were denied and suit was filed. The roof had leaked on several occasions prior to submission of the Roof Claim. On February 25, 2022, the insured discovered that a branch had cut a hole in the tarp, causing water to leak into the home. The insured performed repairs on the roof. On March 8, 2022, a storm caused more water to seep through the tarp into the ceilings and walls. Thereafter, the Roof Claim was submitted. The damage from the leaking roof and the deck collapse were caused by rotting. The rotting, in turn, was caused by a combination of defective building design and resulting water damage from rain and storms over the years. The roof and deck were constructed to provide mutual support to one another. The roof did not contain an adequate slope, which caused water to seep down into the walls and flooring rather than to flow downward and away from the property. Over time, penetrating water caused portions of the roof, the floor, and the supporting wall between the roof and deck to rot. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Best Practices: Commercial Lockouts in Arizona

    March 19, 2024 —
    If a tenant defaults under a commercial lease, Arizona law permits the landlord to re-take possession of the premises by locking out the defaulting tenant. However, if the landlord’s lockout is wrongful, the landlord may be liable for the damages the tenant sustains because of the wrongful lockout. To minimize such liability, here are some general best practices to follow when locking out a defaulting tenant:
    • Do Not Breach the Peace. It is vital when performing a lockout to not breach the peace. What constitutes a “breach of the peace” depends on the particular circumstances at hand. For example, if a tenant arrives during the lockout and becomes angry or threatens violence, the landlord should stop performing the lockout and return at a later time. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to perform lockouts in the early morning hours or in the late evening hours when the landlord is less likely to encounter the tenant.
    • Provide A Notice of Default. Many commercial leases require the landlord to provide a notice of default before the landlord can lock out a defaulting tenant. Check, double check, and triple check that the landlord followed the lease’s notice of default provisions correctly, including that the landlord sent the notices to all required parties in accordance with the time requirements set forth in the lease.
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Patrick Tighe, Snell & Wilmer
    Mr. Tighe may be contacted at ptighe@swlaw.com

    Blog Completes Sixteenth Year

    January 29, 2024 —
    Insurance Law Hawaii completes its sixteenth year this month. We began posting in December 2002, 1761 posts ago. The year 2023 has added 105 new posts. The goal is to keep readers in tune with new developments in insurance-related cases from Hawaii and across the country. This year included a big case handled successfully by our office regarding insurers attempt to gain reimbursement of defense costs for uncovered claims. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., et. al v. Bodell Construction Co., et. al, 2023 Haw. LEXIS 194 (Haw. Nov. 14, 2023). We will continue posting important coverage developments in the next year. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Illinois Court of Appeals Addresses Waiver and Estoppel in Context of Suit Limitation Provision in Property Policy

    February 05, 2024 —
    In Naperville Hotel Partners, LLC v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 2023 IL App (3d) 220440-U the Illinois Third District Court of Appeals addressed whether failure to include reference to a limitations provision in reservation of rights correspondence to an insured can be deemed a waiver of the provision or otherwise estop the insurer from relying on the provision. The claim involved water damage sustained at the Insured’s motel as a result of numerous rain events that occurred between 2015 and 2020. Liberty Mutual issued an insurance policy that covered several buildings including the subject hotel. The policy required that any legal action based on the coverage had to be brought "within two (2) years after the date on which the physical damage occurred, extended by the number of days between the date you submitted the statement of loss to us and the date we deny the claim in whole or in part." Plaintiffs filed their claim with Liberty Mutual in May 2019. In June of 2019 Liberty Mutual sent a reservation of rights letter to the Insured which requested more information and listed the "immediate written notice of loss" provision as a potential basis for excluding coverage but did not list the two-year time-limitation on legal action. Liberty Mutual also did not mention the provision in subsequent communications with the Insured. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of James M. Eastham, Traub Lieberman
    Mr. Eastham may be contacted at jeastham@tlsslaw.com