Construction Related Issues

Ohio and Kentucky statutes require residential builders to provide certain notice to home buyers.  While there is no new law on this, the construction attorneys of Ulmer & Berne LLP have seen this issue come to light many times this past year; thus, prompting this refresher alert on Ohio and Kentucky notice statutes.

Both Ohio and

 

New rules promulgated under Ohio’s Public Construction Reform (the “Reform”) have been released by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.  The new rules include:   (1) Rules for Prequalification of Prospective Bidders on Subcontracts; (2) Rules for Best Value Selection of Construction Manager and Design-Build firms; and (3) Rules for the Form

The Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 153 on May 5, 2011. H.B. 153—a budget bill—which includes significant changes for Ohio’s public construction projects. Some changes will become effective on September 28, 2011, but others are forecast to become effective in early 2012. As such, we will have to wait a while longer to experience the full effect

Has modular construction finally come of age ?  The Modular Building Institute thinks so.  Modular construction is no longer just for preparation of walls and roof joists.  Today, contractors are using prefabrication and preassembly in construction of steel framed structures, multi-story structures, health care and education facilities.  The benefits of modular construction positively affects:  

The Associated General Contractors of America’s and Navigant’s recent industry-wide survey "Finds More Construction Firms Plan to Hire than Lay Off in 2011."  Read the AGC article with more links to state-specific data for the industry-wide Survey.  Included are numbers for Illinois and Ohio.  Survey results in both Illinois and Ohio indicate that the construction market should begin to grow again

The Situation:

Certain covered dwellings that are not designed or constructed in strict compliance with the Fair Housing Act are increasingly subject to suit, with strict liability befalling developers, designers, and contractors alike.  In fact, contractors are strictly liable for FHA violations even if they correctly follow a designer’s noncompliant drawings.  Further, courts across America are consistently holding that potentially liable parties cannot sue each other for alleged contribution for a FHA defect, which enhances exposure for those sued directly by FHA protected class  members.  Needless to say, the financial risk of FHA noncompliance is grave.   

      

 


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Green building is quickly becoming the "norm" across America, and those who are not familiar with it could be missing important opportunities in today’s construction climate.  The United States Green Building Council ("USGBC") is a non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone.   USGBC developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental

 The Situation:

Certain covered dwellings that are not designed or constructed in strict compliance with the Fair Housing Act are increasingly subject to suit, with strict liability befalling developers, designers, and contractors alike.  In fact, contractors are strictly liable for FHA violations even if they correctly follow a designer’s noncompliant drawings.  Further, courts across America are consistently holding that potentially liable parties cannot sue each other for alleged contribution toward an FHA defect, which enhances exposure for those sued directly by FHA protected class members.  Needless to say, the financial risk for FHA noncompliance is grave.   

FHA Coverage:

The FHA applies strict liability to developers, designers, and contractors who participate in the design or construction of a covered dwelling.  Under the FHA, each participant in the design and construction of covered dwellings has an independent obligation to comply with the FHA.  The term "covered dwelling" is construed broadly and applies to points of access in popular mixed-use commercial, retail, and residential properties. 

Those held liable for FHA non-compliance risk more than a "slap on the wrist."  Rather, FHA damages include (1) the cost to rebuild a covered dwelling; and (2) the prevailing party’s attorney’s fees.  Thus, developers, architects, engineers, and contractors must take caution and ensure their own compliance with the FHA. 


 


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In the much-publicized "Kenwood Towne Place" litigation in Cincinnati, which involves over $40MM in lien claims, presiding Judge Beth Myers issued a Decision and Entry that disposed of subcontractor claims against the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati (the Public Authority involved with the project).  The Court dismissed the subcontractors’ claims for takings and negligence. 

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