Category Archives: Public Works

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Contractors May Benefit by Taking Equity in the Project They are Constructing

Contractors may benefit in making a small equity investment in the projects they construct. The financial benefit can arise from the investment itself and from improved understanding and communication with the owner during construction itself. In the past, it was not unusual for construction companies to make small equity investments in the projects they worked … Continue Reading

Charter Cities Are Not Required to Pay Prevailing Wages on Local Public Works Projects

Labor unions have long been at odds with California charter cities over whether such cities must pay prevailing wages on public works projects. While many charter cities have either not exempted themselves from state prevailing wage laws, or have passed their own prevailing wage laws, other charter cities have no prevailing wage laws for public … Continue Reading

Court Broadly Defines Subcontractors Who Qualify For Payment Bond Claims

Can a supplier of construction materials be considered a “subcontractor” for purposes of enforcing its claim on a public works payment bond? The answer is “yes” according to a recent decision of the California Court of Appeal. In Eggers Industries v. Flintco, Inc., et al., 201 Cal. App. 4th 536 (3d Dist. 2011), rev. denied … Continue Reading

Public Private Partnership Upheld For Construction of Presidio Parkway

In 2009, the California legislature amended Section 143 of the Streets and Highways Code and greatly expanded availability of the public-private partnership (“P3”) as a mechanism to finance transportation infrastructure projects. In early 2010, under the authority of the newly amended Section 143, the California Department of Transportation (“CalTrans”) began to implement part of the … Continue Reading

The Year 2010 In Review: Public Works Projects

This article is the fifth in a series summarizing construction law developments for 2010. By Candace Matson, Harold Hamersmith & Helen Lauderdale A. Bidding Great West Contractors Inc. v. Irvine School District, 187 Cal. App. 4th 1425 (4th Dist. Aug. 2010) In Great West Contractors, the Fourth District held that a public agency’s rejection of a … Continue Reading

Congress Increases False Claims Liability for Public Works Contractors

By Bram Hanono The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA)[1] was signed into law in May 2009. Among other significant changes, FERA expanded the grounds for liability under the False Claims Act (FCA).[2] Public works contractors who work on projects funded with federal funds now stand an increased risk for potential liability under the FCA. … Continue Reading

Contractors Can Recover for Public Agency’s Failure to Disclose Material Information

By Edward Lozowicki In a recent decision the California Supreme Court expanded the implied warranty of specification suitability to include claims for a public agency’s failure to disclose material information. In doing so it resolved a split in the decisions of the lower appellate courts. Notably, the Court adopts virtually the same rationale recognized by … Continue Reading

Modified Total Cost Method of Proving Damages: Approved For California Public Works

By Edward B. Lozowicki and Bram Hanono Dillingham-Ray Wilson v. City of Los Angeles, 182 Cal.App.4th 1396 (opinion modified by 106 Cal.Rptr.3d 691, (April 16, 2010, No. B192900)) In Dillingham-Ray Wilson v. City of Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeal signaled its holding in the first sentence of its opinion: "The City of Los … Continue Reading

Federal Court Holds “No Damage for Delay” Clauses Are Per Se Enforceable on Federal Public Works Projects in California

By Robert T. Sturgeon Harper/Neilsen-Dillingham, Builders, Inc. v. United States, 81 Fed. Cl. 667 (2008) California has long followed a public policy which limits the enforcement of so-called "no damage for delay" clauses in construction contracts on public projects. The policy is embodied in part by section 7102 of the Public Contract Code, which limits … Continue Reading

General Contractors’ Liability to Subcontractors’ Employees On Public Infrastructure Projects

By Edward B. Lozowicki As residential and commercial construction markets evaporate and contractors fight for survival, new opportunities are appearing in the form of public infrastructure projects. The federal government is pouring money into public infrastructure and construction projects, to the tune of about $143 billion in total. Of that total, about $14 billion is … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Affirms That Certain Types of Public Contributions Do Not Make Development a “Public Work” Under Former Version of Statute

Greystone Homes, Inc. v. Cake37 Cal. Rptr. 3d 183 (2005) By Matthew W. Holder The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a 2004 Supreme Court decision that impacts when prevailing wages need to be paid on projects where the contract was signed before January 1, 2001. At issue in Greystone Homes, Inc. v. Cake, 37 … Continue Reading
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