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Doug Hanson

The Punch List provides you with a review of current state and federal cases, as well as legislative and regulatory changes, affecting the construction industry. Some of the topics include contracts, classification of workers, construction bidding, independent contractors, negligence, construction defects, liens, insurance claims, and various other important topics in the industry.  Click on the subscription button below to customize your updates.
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Determining Duty to Defend Under Insurance Policy

Friday, 18 October 2013 09:47


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Standard commercial liability insurance policies contain exceptions as to when an insurance company is not contractually obligated to pay a third party and/or defend its insured in a lawsuit. If an insurance company informs its insured that it will not be defending the insured in a pending lawsuit, then the insured is normally forced to hire counsel to defend itself. Often, once the underlying lawsuit has been resolved, the insured will then file a lawsuit against the insurer for breach of the insurance contract.  The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion regarding this type of claim and addressed the obligations imposed upon an insurer upon receiving notice of a claim against its insured.

   

Economic Loss Doctrine Crumbles Homeowners’ Hopes and Concrete

Monday, 07 October 2013 13:10


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The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently reaffirmed its position that the economic loss doctrine prevents a homeowner from suing a subcontractor in tort for purely economic loss.

   

Scorpions, Sagging, and Spreading – Just a Few of the Problems with Homeowners’ New Log Home

Friday, 04 October 2013 12:59


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As recently discovered by a Tennessee couple who hired a builder to construct a log home, Tennessee has an implied warranty of habitability that extends to sales of recently completed dwellings, which guarantees that the dwelling meets certain criteria.  These criteria are that the dwelling is free from major structural defects and is constructed in a workmanlike manner.  As a result of poor workmanship, a jury awarded the couple $50,000 in their lawsuit against the builder. The Tennessee Court of Appeals subsequently upheld the award on appeal.

   

Connecticut Supreme Court Holds Director of a Corporate Entity Can Be Held Personally Liable for Negligent Misrepresentation

Monday, 23 September 2013 14:20


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After a corporation failed to pay a contractor for his work on a commercial construction project, the contractor brought a lawsuit in Connecticut against both the corporation and one of the corporation’s directors. In addition to other allegations, the contractor alleged the director was personally liable for the tort of negligent misrepresentation in their dealings related to the construction project. Specifically, the contractor alleged the director and the director’s construction manager, who oversaw multiple projects, concocted a scheme that ultimately resulted in the commercial construction project’s failure and financial harm to the contractor. The issue of whether a director of a corporation could be personally liable for the tort of negligent misrepresentation eventually made its way to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

   

Economic Loss Doctrine May Not Bar Claims by Secondhand Purchasers against Builders

Thursday, 12 September 2013 08:19


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The Supreme Court of Arizona recently held that a second-hand purchaser of a property may be able to sue a builder directly, even when they never entered into a contract with the builder themselves. The court held that the economic loss doctrine, which can be used to bar tort claims like negligence and limit contracting parties to their contractual remedies, may not always stop a plaintiff from recovering against a builder.

   

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