Jason N. Smith and Edward V. Arnold authored a chapter in The Legal 500: Construction Country Comparative Guide, “United States: Construction.” The Chapter provides a comprehensive overview of legal issues in the US construction industry. You can read Seyfarth’s chapter of this year’s guide here.

CHALLENGE

The Port of Anchorage Intermodal Expansion Project was envisioned to be a $1 billion project that would replace outdated infrastructure at the Port of Alaska, but defective management, design, and construction derailed the Project. Seyfarth was tasked with prosecuting claims and recovering money spent by the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) for the

With the exponential spread of COVID-19, owners, contractors, and design professionals are recognizing the substantial impact this pandemic will have on the construction industry. Several states issued shelter-in-place orders, resulting in the suspension of some construction work.[1] In some states, this has resulted in work stoppages on some of our nation’s largest infrastructure projects. The financial impact of these work stoppages will be significant. As a result, parties to construction agreements have looked to their force majeure clauses for guidance on how these issues should be addressed.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Pandemic: My Construction Agreement Has a Force Majeure Clause, So Now What?

The indemnity clause is one of the most scrutinized, negotiated, and litigated terms of any construction contract. The indemnity clause is a risk-shifting provision that requires the contractor to defend, reimburse, and “hold harmless” the owner and architect from claims and liability “arising out of” the contractor’s work. The indemnity clause is focused on bodily injury and property damage suffered by third parties seeking recompense against the owner. Indemnity clauses share the same core purpose, but can have varying reach, depending on the language used.
Continue Reading What Does the Indemnity Clause Cover and When Does the Claim Accrue?

The economic loss doctrine is widely misunderstood and often misapplied. The premise of the economic loss doctrine is that a party cannot recover purely economic losses in a tort action. To understand the rationale behind the economic loss doctrine, attorneys must simply recall that joyous moment when they first set their eyes upon Hadley v. Baxendale.[1] The Hadley decision stands for the proposition that, in a breach of contract action, a party may only recover the damages that naturally flow from the breach, or that were of the type within the reasonable contemplation of the parties at the time of contracting. In other words, economic losses such as lost profits, diminished bonding capacity, and loss of use are not recoverable in a breach of contract action unless such damages were contemplated by the parties at the time of contracting. 
Continue Reading Understanding the Economic Loss Doctrine is Critical for Construction Professionals