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Litigation

What was the Most Important Kansas Construction Case in 2012? (Hint: Can you say “Economic Loss Doctrine?”)

It is not often that the Kansas Supreme Court reverses Kansas judicial precedent and offers new avenues for plaintiffs to pursue claims. What does this mean for contractors? In short, it means a residential home owner can now make claims against a contractor for breach of contract and/or negligence.

Zombie E-mails and the Death of Your Construction Case

You don’t know it yet, but there are e-mails stored on your computer that can be taken completely out of context in litigation. Frightened? You should be. Zombie e-mails are out to destroy your business.

EPA Issues Fine to Nebraska Contractor: Are you Notifying Homeowners of Lead Risks in Remodel Projects?

Last week, Albracht Perma-Siding and Window Co., of Omaha, Nebraska, agreed to pay a $6,188 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it failed to notify an Omaha couple about lead-based paint risks before the company or its subcontractors performed renovation work in their pre-1978 home. The company also failed to keep records of lead safe practices for work it performed at 10 pre-1978 homes in Lincoln, Bellevue, and Omaha, Nebraska

Colorado Court of Appeals Finds Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel May Apply to Ambiguous Construction Contracts

As a matter of first impression, the Colorado Court of Appeals in Extreme Construction Company v. RCG Glenwood, LLC has found that the Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel may be applied to an ambiguous construction contract. Some of you may be asking “what is the Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel and why should my company care about it?”

Missouri Court of Appeals Affirms Judgment Holding Knowing Misstatements; Invalidates Mechanic’s Lien

A recent decision from the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District examined a couple of interesting items in the world of Missouri mechanic’s liens. Of interest to Midwest Construction Law Blog readers are two items: (1) what does a contractor need to prove in a breach of contract claim; and (2) how can a misstatement in a mechanic’s lien invalidate the entire lien? In R.K. Matthew Investment, Inc. v. Beulhah Mae Housing, LLC, the Court of Appeals offered us some guidance on these two important topics.

Demolition crew accidentally destroys 18th century French Chateau. Do you think there is any insurance coverage?

I have been thinking about dedicating a portion of Midwest Construction Law Blog to the Construction Hall of Shame. Look for this in the future but I think we may have its first entry with this story out of France.

Five Simple Tips to Avoid Litigation on Construction Projects

These are just a few simple tips designed to help avoid litigation. The goal here is to have enough evidence that you can convince the other side it is not worth going to battle.

Pavement without Permit=Payment: Asphalt Company Pays $36K to Settle Violation of Clean Air Act

An Idaho paving and asphalt company agreed to pay $36,360 to settle a complaint by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Missouri Supreme Court Clarifies How to Determine Priority Between Mechanic’s Lien and Purchase Money Deed of Trust

The ever complex world of Missouri mechanic’s lien priority was given a shot of clarity on September 11, 2012, when the Supreme Court of Missouri in Bob DeGeorge Associates, Inc., KD Christian Construction, Co., v. Hawthorn Bank outlined whether or not a purchase money deed of trust will always have priority over a mechanic’s lien.

KS Court of Appeals Explains Role of Initial Decision Maker in AIA Contracts

One of the nice things about using the American Institute of Architect’s (“AIA”) construction documents is that courts have given us ample guidance on how to construe the various clauses within each family of documents. On August 3, 2012, the Kansas Court of Appeals in Neighbors Construction Co, Inc. v. Woodland Park at Soldier Creek, LLC offered us a little more insight into how the AIA General Conditions work in regards to settling payment disputes between the owner and the general contractor.

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