Category: Construction Industry

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As COVID Continues to Cripple Businesses, New Safety Technologies Emerge

The economic ruin caused by COVID-19 is out of control.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report dated August 7, 2020, unemployment is at approximately 10.2%.  However, the economic impact of COVID-19 does not stop at America’s unemployment rates. In August 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Order that … Continue Reading

Disgorgement Liability in CA for Unlicensed Contractors Runs One Year from Completion or Cessation

In a very recently published case dealing with issues of first impression in California, here, the Second Appellate District in Los Angeles determined that the disgorgement penalty under BPC 7031(b) triggers a one-year statute of limitations given that it is a penalty, and the cause of action accrues from either the completion or cessation of … Continue Reading

When to Prepare for Project Disputes? Always.

Originally published as an Op-Ed in the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce on June 19, 2020. Whether you are an owner, contractor, or design professional, construction disputes are, unfortunately, inevitable.  Below are some tips to avoid potential pitfalls and help resolve disputes as efficiently as possible, whether before or after formal litigation (or arbitration) commences. … Continue Reading

Registration Now Open for the WSBA Construction Section’s Annual CLE Seminar (Via Webinar on June 12, 2020, on Alternative Procurement and Coronavirus Impacts)

The Construction Section of the Washington State Bar Association, in partnership with Stoel Rives, will present its annual full day seminar (via webinar) on June 12.  Co-chaired by Bart Reed (Partner at Stoel Rives), Brett Hill (Partner at Ahlers, Cressman & Sleight), and Ron English (Retired General Counsel of the Seattle Public Schools), the webinar will … Continue Reading

Latest OSHA COVID-19 Safety Tips for the Construction Industry & Guidance on Drafting a COVID-19 Policy and Administering the Job Site to Minimize the Hazard

OSHA’s General Duty Clause requires an employer to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.  In the current pandemic,  COVID-19 qualifies and contractors should draft a COVID-19 policy for their worksites implementing the latest guidance in order to minimize the hazard and protect employees. In … Continue Reading

Can (or Should) My Project Continue During the Shutdown?

Several weeks have passed since Governor Brown formally ordered all Oregonians to “Stay Home, Save Lives,” and owners, project designers, and contractors have all had the opportunity to absorb its initial impacts.  While many stakeholders were initially relieved that construction projects in Oregon could apparently continue—subject to the various social distancing and travel restrictions described … Continue Reading

Construction-Related Activity Restrictions in Select States

State and local officials across the country have responded to COVID-19 with various executive orders and restrictions on businesses to help flatten the curve of the pandemic. Each state’s response opens the door for potential impacts on projects commencing or under construction, and on the parties involved with those projects. To assist clients and friends, … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Update: Washington Governor Issues Construction Guidance Memorandum

On March 25, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a memorandum that provided members of the construction industry with additional guidance regarding the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation (20-25) issued on March 23, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Proclamation raised a number of questions in the industry, including whether all residential construction was deemed an essential … Continue Reading

Legal Insights for Canadian Product Manufacturers and Suppliers Involved in Cross-border Construction Projects

Seattle and Bellevue’s strong real estate markets present a plethora of lucrative business opportunities for Canadian product manufacturers and suppliers.  Because Washington-based developers and contractors are perhaps more litigious than their Canadian counterparts,  Canadian-based product manufacturers and suppliers should consider a full spectrum of risk management and mitigation strategies before engaging in cross-border business activities. … Continue Reading

Update on Alaska Way Viaduct Replacement

Occasional visitors to Seattle may be surprised to discover that their favorite route from the airport to downtown has changed. State Highway 99 no longer links to the Alaskan Way Viaduct into downtown Seattle.  The waterfront viaduct has been closed and demolition has begun.  The Battery Street tunnel that connected viaduct traffic to Aurora Avenue … Continue Reading

New Fall Protection Regulations Being Studied

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is considering changes to Washington’s fall protection regulations. These are rules intended to protect construction workers from injury caused by falls on a jobsite.  The Division has been interested in this topic since 2013, when the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration … Continue Reading

Cross-Laminated Timber Projects: The Pacific Northwest’s Next Big Timber Development

Cross-laminated timber (“CLT”) is a leading building technology that has been employed by European developers for decades, but the product’s use in the United States only recently took hold after its adoption by the 2015 International Building Code. A type of structural timber product composed of dimensional timber layers bonded together with structural adhesives, CLT … Continue Reading

A New Architectural Icon Opens in Seattle

The dramatic “Spheres” at the new Amazon headquarters in downtown Seattle have joined the Space Needle, downtown Seattle Library, Smith Tower, and Pacific Science Center as architectural icons of the city. The project includes meeting spaces for Amazon employees and a botanical garden with over 40,000 plants.  Information about the building and its contents can … Continue Reading

Managing Risk from Gaps in Your Construction Project

Experienced project developers know that managing risk on a major project involves initial planning, design, construction, and commissioning. These tasks call for different skill sets — making it tempting to think of them as separate — but they need to be coordinated to prevent the creation of troublesome gaps in areas of responsibility. In my latest … Continue Reading

Solar PPA Provider That Only “Arranges” Installation of System It Owns Is Not a “Contractor” in California

In the recently issued but unpublished decision Reed v. SunRun, Inc. (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. BC498002, Feb. 2, 2018), the Second District Court of Appeal ruled that a solar power purchase agreement (“PPA”) provider that only sells solar energy to homeowners is not required to be a licensed California contractor under certain circumstances.  … Continue Reading

Best Practices for Staying Off of OSHA’s “Naughty List”

Construction projects, both big and small, pose a host of safety risks and challenges and, as a result, are subject to a number of regulations designed to limit the probability and severity of jobsite accidents. In my latest article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I discuss common violations, some recent regulatory changes, best practices … Continue Reading

Microsoft Planning Large Campus Renovation and Expansion Project in Redmond

Microsoft Corporation recently announced plans to revitalize its 500-acre Redmond campus with dramatic renovation and expansion work to be completed over the next five to seven years. The project will include the addition of 18 new buildings, 6.7 million square feet of renovated office space, $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, public spaces, sports fields … Continue Reading

Doing It Differently: Portland’s Plan to Redevelop the U.S. Post Office Site and Broadway Corridor

Portland real estate is booming and Portland is now on the map for many national and international developers for the first time. This success, while enviable, is not without some negative consequences, as evidenced by increasing housing costs and congestion. As Portland anticipates the arrival of even more people, it is trying to figure out … Continue Reading

Insurers Attempt to Avoid Coverage (Mis)using the Professional Services Endorsement

Parties spend significant time negotiating insurance provisions for protection in the event they face claims related to defective construction, but those protections can be rendered worthless if the wrong insurance forms are used.  In my recent Daily Journal of Commerce article, I look at one particularly troublesome provision – the “professional services” endorsement – and … Continue Reading

Important Lessons from Record-Setting Settlement in Building Collapse Case

Having lived in Philadelphia in 2013 when the four-story “Hoagie City” building collapsed during demolition and toppled the neighboring Salvation Army thrift store, killing seven people and injuring 12 others, I closely followed the recent civil trial that resulted in a $227 million settlement of the plaintiffs’ personal injury and wrongful death claims—a reported record … Continue Reading

The Devil is in the Details: Contractual Additional Insured Requirements

Owners frequently require their contractors to name them as additional insureds. Owners and contractors often include requirements seeking to have the obligation to name them as additional insureds “flow down” to parties with whom they lack a direct contractual relationship (e.g., subconsultants, subcontractors, and suppliers).  Despite the simplicity and appeal of this arrangement, contractual additional … Continue Reading

“Blurred Lines”: Important Caveats to Consider with Integrated Project Delivery

The shared risk/reward concept of an integrated project delivery (IPD) arrangement is an increasingly attractive collaborative approach to construction projects.  But IPD is still a relatively new concept with unique risks and challenges.  In my recent article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I discuss some key points that should be considered before undertaking any … Continue Reading

Design-Build Certification

One should never stop learning, so next week I will attend a three-day seminar presented by the Design-Build Institute of America. If I complete the seminar and pass a test, I will become a Designated Design-Build Professional.  The DBIA has an informative page about certification on its website. In preparation for the seminar, I completed … Continue Reading
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