In Conway Construction Company v. City of Puyallup, No. 80649-1-1 (May 4, 2020), the Washington Court of Appeals, Division 1, adopted Oregon’s Shelter Products, Inc. v. Steelwood Construction, Inc., precluding certain claims for defects in termination cases and limiting the justification for termination to those listed in the termination notice. It also held that Washington’s settlement statute protecting public owners, RCW 39.04.240, trumps an attorney fee provision in a contract.
In Conway, the City of Puyallup (“City”) contracted with Conway Construction Company (“Conway”) to construct certain roadway improvements. During the project, the City became concerned about construction defects. The City issued notices to Conway expressing its concerns. The City also observed unsafe work conditions and reported the safety violations to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. After issuing a series of notices, the City terminated Conway because of its defective work and safety violations.