The Importance of Client Education

As construction attorneys, we relish the opportunity to vigorously defend our clients in the courtroom.  As risk management lawyers, however, we work very hard to make sure clients can avoid litigation.  A key component of our risk management practice is to educate our clients about the intricacies of construction law in such a manner that the material is accessible and easily put into place on a variety of construction projects.  Most contractors know their area, but could be completely unfamiliar with the minutiae and complexity of contracts, zoning boards, risk management, OSHA regulations, and other potential construction risks. At Manion Stigger, we take the time to educate our clients on how best to navigate these matters so the client can be in control of their project while still getting expert guidance.

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OSHA Violations Attorney on the Importance of Workplace Safety

It is important for a job site to promote a culture of safety and put a premium on preventing injuries in the workplace. An unchallenged or upheld citation exposes a contractor to a future “repeat” violations and tougher penalties.  If a company is routinely cited for OSHA violations, it could lead to more substantial punitive fines. Ashley Furniture, for instance, faces a $1.4 million fine to settle various OSHA violations incurred over the past 36 months, including at least two workers who have suffered finger injuries (one worker lost three fingers while another lost part of one) while operating machinery. The company denies the violations. This hefty fine is a powerful reminder that companies need to promote safety in the workplace.

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How Can a Risk Management Assessment Improve my Projects’ Productivity?

Construction projects are extremely complicated endeavors. They often involve multiple contractors and suppliers, a variety of state and local building codes, as well as a rigorous schedule with which all parties must comply. With so much going into every project, it can be easy to overlook an important project component or have something fall through the cracks.  While some of these mistakes might be forgettable, others may create serious problems through the life of the project.  The experienced attorneys at Manion Stigger, LLP can help you organize your contract administration and prevent such slip-ups from occurring on your project.

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Kentucky Trial Court Rules Provision in MSD’s Construction Contract Violates Kentucky Fairness in Construction Act

G. Bruce Stigger and Jean M. Terry of the construction law firm of Manion Stigger successfully argued before the Jefferson Circuit Court that the “No-Damages-For-Delay” clause contained in the Louisville Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District’s (“MSD”) Standard Construction Contract was against public policy and unenforceable.

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Sustainable Design and the Evolving Standard of Care

“Green,” “sustainable design,” and “high performance” are merging in the design/construction context as terms synonymous with a process that is intended to benefit the environment, offer health and well-being to end users and provide long-term cost savings.  New certification systems attempt to define, and often place different parameters around, what is “sustainable.” Many of these requirements are finding their way from being voluntary to mandatory as they are being incorporated into various infrastructure projects, regulations, planning codes, and design requirements.  For example, in 2014, the District of Columbia adopted the 2013 D.C. Green Construction Code and 2013 D.C. Energy Conservation Code, which increased the types of projects subject to green requirements and heightened the green standards these projects must meet.

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Manion Stigger attorney certified Construction Insurance & Risk Specialist

Ask any contractor – liability insurance carriers are more than happy to accept premium payments for insurance policies.  But, then, what happens when the contractor has a claim that the contractor thinks should be covered by insurance?  More and more contractors learn after the fact that their insurance program does not provide the extent of coverage that they expected.  With industry lingo being tossed around like “your work exclusion,” “third-party over action exclusion endorsement,” “products and completed operations,”“exceptions to exclusions,” and “multiple Additional Insured endorsements through ISO”(can I still get broad form coverage?), it is little wonder that insurance coverage decisions frustrate and confuse many construction contractors and lead to insurance coverage disputes.  Don’t worry, contractors, you are in good company – many attorneys do not understand how CGL policies and the like work either.

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Kentucky Court Re-affirms The Existence of A Cause of Action For Negligent Breach of Contract

When there is a dispute between two parties, it can be difficult to determine whether the dispute is based on breach of contract or negligence.  Typically, this determination rests on the type of damages claimed.  Damages resulting from personal injury and or damage to property, other than the improvements themselves, are non-economic damages.  Damages to the work itself or ordinary contract damages are considered economic damages.  A plaintiff making a negligence claim resting on economic loss (not personal injury or property damage) can generally not recover.

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