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 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

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

On October 23, 2019, the Ohio House of Representatives introduced a bill (H.B. No. 380) that would amend Ohio’s Prompt Pay Act (ORC Section 4113.61) to provide general contractors with payment protection similar to that currently enjoyed by subcontractors under the Act. Specifically, the proposal would require project owners to pay contractors within 35 days

The most common types of “differing and changed conditions” in construction contracts deal with subsurface issues such as inadequate support, unanticipated groundwater, or unanticipated natural or artificial subsurface obstructions. But what happens when an unusual differing and changed condition, such as an endangered species, or even an unexpected burial ground, impacts your project?
Continue Reading What to Do When Your Employees Are Dive Bombed By Falcons

Unit pricing and other confidential information contained within your bid documents may be recognized as a trade secret under Ohio’s Uniform Trade Secret Act and similar federal laws. What does that mean? In simple terms, it means that even on a public project subject to applicable public records laws, contractors can prevent disclosure of their trade secrets to the world, including their competitors.

Continue Reading Contractors – Protect Your Confidential Information from Wrongful Disclosure

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

Steel and other construction material tariffs necessitate careful evaluation and allocation of project cost and schedule risks. For example, when steel costs increased suddenly based solely on presidential executive orders, the building trades and owners saw drastic increases in costs, shop drawing review times and delivery dates. In many instances, contract documents failed to account for such risks.

Another factor that can significantly increase the price of material, and even the market price for labor, include catastrophic weather events. When bad weather occurs, contractors may no longer be able to obtain the material at originally budgeted pricing, or secure necessary labor forces to perform the work. Labor and material shortages domino into project delays, potential liquidated damages and claims.

Continue Reading Contract Risk for Escalation Costs

While electronic funds transfer is considered a convenient and quicker way to process payments and receive funds on construction projects, this practice presents significant risk to project participants. Contractual and processing controls are necessary to prevent fraud, which is on the rise locally and nationally.

Continue Reading Owners and Contractors Beware! Electronic Payments in Construction Are Subject to Increased Fraud