Construction Contracts

Last Friday, April 24, we had record turnout for the first program in our webinar series with Foundation Software and we look forward to another great program this afternoon! This complimentary series provides guidance on critical issues impacting the construction industry.

You can listen to the recording and download the slides from last week’s topic

With many construction projects being deemed essential and with employees returning to construction sites, it is important to understand OSHA reporting requirements for cases of COVID-19. OSHA has issued interim guidance to its CSHOs regarding recording requirements for cases of COVID-19 as an occupational illness. To trigger these requirements, the case must meet three criteria:

On March 28, 2020, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Executive Director Cheryl Lymon circulated a letter to contractors and design professionals detailing the obligations of businesses holding OFCC contracts during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The letter reiterates the importance of employers complying with Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH’s March 22,

On Friday, March 27, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an order that would ensure every state contractor that is operating as an essential business is following best practices regarding social distancing, cleaning, etc.  DeWine also reiterated in his afternoon press conference on Saturday, March 28 that state contractors performing essential contracts should expect inspections in

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

As of Thursday, March 19, 2020, Ohio State agencies are reporting that construction projects will continue, despite the Coronavirus.  The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) directed office staff, who are able, to work remote, but confirmed to me personally on Monday March 16 that project work should continue.  Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) also reported

The COVID-19 coronavirus is impacting every aspect of the economy, and construction will not be exempt.  Materials and deliveries may be slowed, crews quarantined and unavailable, and projects delayed.  We view COVID-19 as an event beyond the control of a party (an “act of G-d”), falling within the force majeure provision of most contracts.  Some

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