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Cozen O’Connor has more than 150 construction law professionals who regularly represent contractors, subcontractors, vendors, construction managers, materials manufacturers and suppliers, site owners, architects, engineers, insurers, and insureds. Our attorneys have experience with construction litigation concerning performance and payment disputes; mechanics liens; OSHA compliance; insurance and regulatory requirements; defective construction; substandard architectural, engineering, or design work; deficiencies in construction components; personal injury or property damage; construction-related accidents; and design errors and omissions, among other topics. In addition, the firm’s insurance litigators are also well known for their representation of underwriters in construction-related fields. They advise on liability, insurance coverage, contractual obligations, and coverage disputes, and serve as subrogation and recovery counsel to insurers seeking repayment for losses from third parties.
Cozen O’Connor’s attorneys have extensive knowledge of both construction law and the construction industry—its language, operations, culture, and technology. Our attorneys have been in the field and on construction sites representing clients’ interests for more than 30 years, so our legal advice is grounded in direct, practical experience. This allows us to anticipate problems, recommend solutions, and structure agreements to protect clients. We can quickly and efficiently analyze the substance of construction-related claims to help clients respond quickly and decisively. And we can communicate effectively with all parties, from ironworkers and masons to engineers and expert witnesses.
Because the discovery and trial process can be costly and time-consuming, construction industry participants are increasingly turning to binding and nonbinding methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). When appropriate and in the best interests of a client, Cozen O’Connor attorneys may participate in or lead ADR processes such as mediations (binding and non-binding) and arbitrations. While most disputes can be settled through various forms of negotiation, there are still cases where litigation, and potentially trial, cannot be avoided. Cozen O’Connor is a nationally known trial firm with the resources and experience to advocate successfully on behalf of clients at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts across the country.
Prosecute or defend construction and construction-related disputes involving performance and payment issues; mechanics liens; bid protests; codes and professional standards; and Uniform Commercial Code applications
Lead litigation concerning defective construction; substandard architectural, engineering, or design work; deficiencies in construction components; personal injury or property damage; construction-related accidents; building subsidence/collapse; and design errors and omissions
Handle construction-related products litigation, including industry-wide class actions
Respond to OSHA, environmental and ADA inquiries and claims
Defend against coverage claims involving all forms of insurance policies, including liability and property, course-of-construction, errors and omissions, and additional insured endorsements
Lead subrogation and recovery cases on behalf of major insurers against third parties
October 01, 2015
Brendan Winslow-Nason writes about construction defect litigation and building Information Modeling (BIM) which is being used more and more often on construction projects of all
September 15, 2015
Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 87 into law, codified at ch. 2015-165, which amends the Florida’s Construction Defect Statute. These amendments will go into effect on October 1, 2015
March 01, 2012
''Wrap'' insurance programs have become a popular alternative to traditional insurance arrangements, particularly on large construction projects. However, contractors need to be aware of some of the unique issues that arise in wrap programs - specifically, liability insurance wraps.
January 04, 2012
IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS AND PRESSURE POINTS WITH AN EYE TOWARDS THE END-GAME - Construction Litigation - Construction failures appear in many forms: fires, floods, collapses, injuries sometimes involving death to workers or third-parties. There are many varieties of construction problems leading to claims and litigation. The purpose of this discussion is not to answer every conceivable question that may arise, but to provide a basic template and methodology to approach the handling of construction claims, which are either headed to, or in litigation.
October 14, 2011
Helen McFarland authored a chapter on “The Surety Relationship and Payment and Performance Bonds” in the Oregon State Bar’s “Construction Law.”
July 01, 2011
Recovering from Construction Defect Claims - Property Casualty 360 - In the past 10 years, more than 25 states have enacted specific builder-friendly construction defect notice and resolution statutes that may affect subrogation claims.
April 01, 2011
Bid Rigging In The Crosshairs - Construction Today -
February 17, 2011
Construction Defect: New Jersey Appellate Division Leaves the Door Open for Continuous Trigger in Construction Defect Cases - Insurance Coverage Alert! - Over the past decade, courts across the country have delivered countless number of decisions on the scope of liability coverage for underlying construction defect claims. Most of these decisions focus on whether claims of faulty workmanship constitute an occurrence, and if so, whether the business risk exclusions apply to preclude coverage. Just as important, but often overlooked, is the issue of trigger.
November 01, 2010
Given the myriad of research over the last decade, it is now fair to say that drug and alcohol use in the construction industry is a significant issue to all involved: workers, unions, trade contractors, developers and owners.
May 03, 2010
Colorado Legislature Poised to Alter Landscape of Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects - Insurance Coverage Alert! - Later this week the Colorado State Legislature is expected to pass HB 1394, a bill that will dramatically change the insurance coverage available for construction professionals arising out of faulty construction. The stated purpose of HB 1394 is to reverse General Security Indem. Co. of America v. Mountain States Mut. Cas. Co., 205 P.3d 529 (Colo. App. 2009), which held that claims for damages arising from poor workmanship, standing alone, do not allege an accident that constitutes a
April 01, 2010
Winning The Bid - Construction Today Quarterly - With the proliferation of public / private partnership, the potential launching of the PPIP program as part of the Federal Government’s Stimulus Plan and the need to plug financing holes with public funds on what in the past were exclusively privately funded deals, there are many pitfalls for the unwary developer / owner. One of the more unique aspects of publicly funded projects (whether in whole or in part) is the selection of contractors.
April 01, 2010
Who's At Fault? - Construction Today Quarterly -
July 09, 2009
Chinese Drywall Litigation - Subrogation Whitepaper - In a prior Alert, Defective Drywall: The Not‐So‐Great Wall of China1, we discussed the reported problems with Chinese‐manufactured drywall (“Chinese drywall”). This whitepaper provides an overview of pending litigation
arising out of the issues associated with Chinese drywall. From 2004 through 2006, the housing boom and rebuilding efforts necessitated by various hurricanes led to a shortage of construction materials. As a result, U.S. builders and suppliers
July 01, 2009
Are You Ready For The New A1A Contract Documents - Structure Magazine -
April 01, 2009
Tips for Expert Witnesses - Structure Magazine -
March 17, 2009
Construction Defects - Colorado Court of Appeals Rules Faulty Workmanship is Not an Occurrence - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On February 19, 2009, the Colorado Court of Appeals
held that a claim for damages arising from poor
workmanship, standing alone, does not allege an
accident that constitutes an occurrence, regardless of the
underlying legal theory pled. General Security Indemnity
Company of AZ v. Mountain States Mutual Cas. Co. (Case Nos.
CA07CA2291 & 07CA2292, February 19, 2009).
February 01, 2009
Under the new Obama administration, Congress is expected to pass legislation to inject much needed capital into government projects. However, in the current economic climate, the construction industry landscape is a potential legal minefield and contractors should proceed with caution. In the words of Cozen O'Connor's F. Warren Jacoby, ''With the high cost of litigation, few contractors can weather more than one significant claim, irrespective of whether or not they are liable.''
February 01, 2009
BIM! You've Been Sued! - STRUCTURE - It has not happened yet. To date, no law- suit has been filed based upon the use of
Building Information Modeling (BIM) in a
project. But it will. It's only a matter of time.
Up until recently, BIM has mostly been used
as a design tool in experimental, high profile,
complex construction projects like the Freedom
Tower at the former World Trade Center site,
the London Hospital project, and refurbishment
January 28, 2009
Dangerous Liaisons: What to Do Before Things Go Wrong - Constructor Magazine - An indemnification or hold- harmless clause in a construction contract shifts liability and protects parties involved in the agreement.
Take a typical scenario: an owner hires an architect and a general contractor to design and build an addition. The general contractor hires various subcontractors. During construction, a collapse occurs, causing extensive damage and injuries. The injured workers file lawsuits against the owner, architect, GC and various subs.
August 01, 2008
The AIA Contract Documents... Not the Only Game in Town - Structure Magazine -
August 01, 2008
Risk Management 101 - BEST'S REVIEW - The value of customer data is recognized by all businesses. Each piece of data brings power but also risks. You can use it, sell it, update it, ignore it - even and here's the catch - lose it.
If your business possesses personal, identifiable, information such as Social Security numbers of dates of birth, customer account information such as account numbers and expiration dates, or medical records, then you have a legal duty to maintain the privacy of that information.
July 10, 2008
Construction Contract Pitfalls - ForConstructionPros.Com - Whether you have a high-priced lawyer on retainer, a lawyer friend, or no legal advisor whatsoever, before you sign on any dotted line - you must personally read the contract - the whole contract - thoroughly understand it, and ensure you can live up to its terms. Many believe that as long as the business terms are
acceptable, they do not have to pay attention to all the legal "mumbo jumbo." Nothing could be further from the truth. There are a number of boilerplate terms in construction
July 08, 2008
Hiring the Right Subcontractor for the Job - ForConstructionPros.com - A general contractor is like the head coach of a football team: the buck stops here. When there are problems on a construction project, the owner expects the contractor to fix them.
Sometimes a contractor can compel the subcontractor who caused the problem to fix it. For example, if the HVAC system isn't working properly, the contractor can have the HVAC subcontractor patch the leaking ducts or re-balance the system. But sometimes it doesn't
June 01, 2008
Emerging Risks of Green Construction - STRUCTURE - Will LEED® Lead Construction Professionals to Court More Often?
April 01, 2008
The Electronic Paper Chase: What You Don’t Save Can Hurt You - Constructor - Over the past decade, an increasing amount of business is being conducted electronically, much of it by e-mail. It's estimated that there are more than one billion business e -mails created in the U.S. each day. Less than 20% of these are ever printed, and 95% or more of all new
documents are stored electronically. Some formal structure was needed to govern this volume of data within the litigation context.
March 25, 2008
Insurance Coverage is Not One Size Fits All - ForConstructionPros.Com - Construction contractors typically secure commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policies and assume that these policies address all of their risks. However, these CGL policies may not always apply or cover all risk scenarios that a contractor may face in a construction project. In fact, there are a variety of instances in which CGL policies may not provide the protection contemplated by a contractor. Let's discuss a few.
January 01, 2008
Contract Clauses to Know and Love - STRUCTURE -
December 01, 2007
Are You Really Covered By Your Insurance? - STRUCTURE - Engineers and other entities in the construction industry must understand their policies, the extent of the coverage provided, the effects of various exclusions in the polices and the duties arising under the policies and applicable contracts (in terms of defending or indemnifying another contractor or subcontractor) in order to adequately protect themselves when a catastrophic event occurs during construction.
December 01, 2007
The Effect of Co-workers’ Actions in Scaffold Law Cases - The Defense Association of New York - The superseding actions of a third party have long been recognized in negligence cases as breaking the link between a defendant’s conduct and a plaintiff’s injury. The defense is also available when defending Labor Law § 240(1) claims, and Labor Law attorneys should keep this in mind.
October 01, 2007
The Care and Feeding of an Expert Witness - Watch Out, They May Bite! - STRUCTURE -
September 01, 2007
Sorting Out Liability after a Disaster - STRUCTURE - Architects and engineers are often involved in all aspects of planning and designing a building, perhaps supervising construction and maintaining safety standards. A person providing such professional services has the legal duty to exercise the degree of skill, care and diligence common to other professional members under similar circumstances. Because architects and engineers possess knowledge, skill and training superior to that of the ordinary person,
May 16, 2007
Pennsylvania Court Rules Insurer Has No Duty to Defend or Idemnify Home Builder Against Construction Defect Claims Under CGL Policy - Insurance Coverage Alert - In courts around the country, construction industry insureds are arguing that run of the mill contractual claims over faulty work by builders and/or their subcontractors are covered by standard commercial general liability policies.