By Bruce Jervis
It has long been controversial: Should design professionals be directly liable to construction contractors for deficiencies in the drawings and specifications? There are arguments on each side. On one hand, contractors necessarily rely on the design documents when bidding and performing the work. And, the architect or engineer knows there will be reliance on these representations. On the other hand, the design professional contracts with the project owner, not the constructors. The designer’s responsibilities – and liabilities – are to the owner.
The Texas Supreme Court recently came down on the latter side of this argument. Contractors cannot recover in negligence from design professionals for economic losses caused by errors in the drawings and specifications. The court said risk and responsibility on construction projects is customarily allocated by a chain of contracts. Liability in negligence to non-contracting parties would upset this carefully negotiated balance. A contractor “must look to its agreement with the owner for damages if the project is not as represented.” ... Read more.
Featured in this Week’s Construction Claims Advisor:
- Contractor Can’t Sue Designer for Drawing Errors
- Settlement Agreement Should Not Have Been Disclosed
By Steve Rizer
A pair of recent developments taking place at the federal level could change the collective contribution that public-private partnerships (P3s) make to the U.S. construction industry for many years to come. One of those developments is the introduction of President Obama’s Build America Investment Initiative, which is designed to expand the market for P3s. In addition, a coalition of several high-profile construction groups has drafted and presented for congressional consideration a proposal whose partial goal is to grow federal P3s while ensuring that small businesses can work on such projects “without fear of non-payment.” ... Read more.
By Steve Rizer
When senior leaders in construction projects support the use of the earned value management technique, and when that technique is implemented properly, “it enables owners and contractors alike to have a strong command of performance and productivity problems, and mitigates the need for disputes.” This is one of the key messages that Synchrony Principal Laurie Bowman emphasized during a presentation that he helped deliver at AACE International’s Annual Meeting last month in New Orleans. But, what does “implemented properly” mean? Click here to read some of what he believes makes for an appropriately carried out earned value management system.
By Steve Rizer
July 2014 Download Library Addition
As new webinar recordings are made available to the ConstructionPro Network free member Download Library on a monthly basis, ConstructionPro Week will provide a brief summary of each event for the benefit of its readership. Here is the summary for the July 2014 addition:
Significant improvement in construction productivity does not simply require changes in willingness and ability at the crew level; it requires changes in leadership at every level, Michael Casten, founder of Construction Concepts, told professionals attending WPL Publishing’s “Traditional Productivity Improvement Techniques” webinar, a recording of which recently was added to the ConstructionPro Network (ConstructionProNet.com) Download Library free of charge for members. ... Read more.