Construction Claims and Litigation

Landale-Cameron Court, Inc. v. Ahonen (Oct. 10, 2007, B190309 [2nd Dist., Div. 2]), ___ Cal. App. 4th ____; http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/opinions

By Thomas B. Snyder and Andriana Ledesma

In Landale-Cameron, the homeowner’s association of a condominium complex ("HOA"), discovered various water leaks to the building and subsequently sued the builder-developers Arnold and Helen Kaufman ("Kaufman") and Petri Ahonen dba Riteway Decking and Flooring ("Riteway") for negligence and contract causes of action.  Riteway moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the complaint was barred because it was filed after the expiration of the three-year statute of limitations for actions involving injury to real property under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 338.Continue Reading Court Of Appeal Finds That A Tolling Agreement Between An HOA And Developer Tolls The Applicable Statute Of Limitations Even As To A Non-Party Subcontractor.

McCrary Construction Company v. Metal Deck Specialists, Inc., California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, November 14, 2004

In McCrary, a general contractor sought indemnity from two of its subcontractors for damages arising from the death of a construction worker who fell through a hole in the metal roof of the project. One subcontractor, Metal Deck Specialists, Inc., was responsible for installing the metal deck system on the roof, and had cut the hole in the roof and left it uncovered. The other subcontractor, Horizon Sheet Metal Co., covered the hole with plywood at the request of the general contractor, but failed to secure the plywood to the metal decking. The accident occurred when the worker lifted the plywood up, and not realizing there was hole beneath it, stepped into the hole and fell to his death.
Continue Reading Court Of Appeal Holds General Contractor Is Not Entitled To Indemnity From Subcontractors Under General Indemnity Clause Because General Contractor Was Actively Negligent

United States ex. rel. Bettis v. Odebrecht Contractors of California, Inc.
393 F.3d 1321 (D.C. Cir. 2005)

A contractor entered into a contract with the Army Corp of Engineers for construction of the Seven Oaks Dam in San Bernardino County, California. The plaintiff was an alleged “whistleblower” who worked for one of the contractor’s consultants. Plaintiff alleged the contractor had violated the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”) by fraudulently inducing the government to enter into the contract by knowingly submitting a bid that was too low, with the intent of later making up for the loss by requesting change orders for extra work.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Court Rejects Claim That Contractor Violated The False Claims Act By Allegedly Submitting A Fraudulently Low Bid With The Intent Of Later Making Up For The Loss By Submitting Change Orders For Extra Work