On March 24, the Ohio Department of Transportation released a “Statement Regarding COVID-19 Response” in an attempt to provide guidance for contractors working on ODOT projects. A copy of the Statement is available here. The major takeaway from the Statement is that ODOT confirmed its position that “specific circumstances directly caused by the COVID-19/Coronavirus
Matthew K. Grashoff focuses his practice on commercial litigation and has experience in the areas of insurance coverage, appellate practice, oil and gas, and real estate litigation. He has represented clients through all stages of litigation, including participating in a jury trial and obtaining reversal of an adverse judgment on appeal. Since 2015, Matthew has served as counsel to the Appellate Rules Committee of the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure.
The Seventh District Court of Appeals’ decision in Union Local School District v. Grae-Con Construction is another important victory for the Ohio construction industry in the ongoing debate over the proper application of Ohio’s construction statute of repose, R.C. 2305.131. The Seventh District Court of Appeals, applying the Supreme Court of Ohio’s July 2019 decision in New Riegel Local School District v. Buehrer Group Architecture & Engineering, Inc., et al., reaffirmed dismissal of stale breach-of-contract claims under Ohio’s construction statute of repose. The Seventh District rejected three separate arguments advanced by Union Local, which was attempting to overturn the trial court’s rejection of Union Local’s breach of contract claims against contractors and other project participants. The Union Local opinion is yet another example of Ohio courts interpreting and applying the construction statute of repose to prevent prosecution of stale claims many years after project completion.
Union Local’s first argument was that the construction statute of repose did not apply to breach of contract claims. The Union Local appeal had been stayed pending the outcome of New Riegel, so the Seventh District was able to swiftly dispose of Union Local’s argument based on the Supreme Court of Ohio’s July 2019 holding that Ohio’s construction statute of repose bars breach of contract claims as well as tort claims filed more than 10 years after project substantial completion. (Hahn Loeser previously summarized the impact of New Riegel here.) …
Continue Reading Ohio Court of Appeals Applies Supreme Court’s New Riegel Decision; Rejects School District’s “Accrual” Argument to Resurrect Claims
On July 17, 2019, the Supreme Court of Ohio announced a major victory for the Ohio construction industry in the ongoing battle over whether Ohio’s construction statute of repose, R.C. 2305.131, bars claims for breach of contract as well as tort claims. In New Riegel Local School District v. Buehrer Group Architecture & Engineering, Inc., et al., the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the construction statute of repose does apply to breach-of-contract claims as well as tort claims.
Continue Reading Ohio Supreme Court Rules that Statute of Repose Applies to Contract Claims
Hahn Loeser’s Construction Team is a proud leader in a major victory for Ohio contractors and their sureties. The Fifth District Court of Appeals of Ohio issued a recent decision confirming that Ohio’s construction statute of repose, R.C. 2305.131, applies to breach of contract claims. It also confirmed that sureties are entitled to rely on the statute of repose as a defense to claims under the bond.
Continue Reading Ohio Court of Appeals Confirms Applicability of Statute of Repose to Contract Claims and Sureties
Many of us have heard the old saying that “decisions are made by those who show up.” The Ohio Facilities and Construction Commission (“OFCC”) is currently giving design and construction professionals involved in the construction of public schools the opportunity to show up, or more accurately speak up, to provide comments on contract general conditions and specifications of OFCC, including those in the Ohio School Design Manual (“OSDM”), as well as on the materials and methods of design used in the OSDM. This comment period offers industry professionals an important chance to provide input on the construction documents that control school construction projects throughout Ohio. It is crucial that design and construction professionals take this opportunity to give its opinion on current issues, as well as potential issues that may impact the industry in the coming years. Interested parties have until February 15, 2019 to submit comments on materials and methods of design used in the OSDM, and until March 1, 2019 to provide comments on OFCC’s contract documents.
Continue Reading The Contracting Community Has a Say in OFCC Contracts
The Ohio Department of Transportation recently announced significant changes to the On the Job Training Program (“OJT Program”) that will take effect on January 1, 2019. Because these changes will impact on-going multi-year projects as well as new ODOT projects that will begin construction in 2019, all Ohio contractors are advised to review and familiarize themselves with the new changes. The complete OJT Program manual is available on the ODOT website here. The following is a brief summary of the major changes and how they will impact Ohio contractors in the years ahead.
Continue Reading New ODOT On-The-Job Training Rules Take Effect January 1, 2019