Jesse is a litigator, licensed in Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. His practice focuses on resolving disputes in the construction, real estate, employment, and financial services environments. He represents many different clients, ranging from publicly traded companies to specialty construction contractors. Jesse has been listed as an Ohio Super Lawyer Rising Star.

 

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

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

A federal lawsuit in New York that involves Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO") claims is one of the latest developments in the United States Green Building Council’s ("USGBC") development and administration of the LEED™ building ratings system.  The lawsuit appears highly contentious to say the least.  Plaintiffs Henry Gifford and Gifford Fuel Saving, Inc. initiated a class

The Ohio Housing Council (the "Council") recently issued the following alert: "Sales tax must be listed separately on invoices or the buyer may be charged by the State of Ohio for the tax."  According to the Council, the State of Ohio has been assessing sales tax and penalties to contractors and property management companies for tax services they purchased when the invoice did not break out sales tax as a separate line item.  Thus, per the Council, invoices for taxable services, such as landscaping or painting, must contain a separate sales tax line item instead of the simple phrase "sales tax included."  The Council advises contractors and property managers to review all invoices to make certain that property tax is listed separately.


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Insurance Coverage Update

In TMW Enterprises, Inc. v. Federal Insurance Company, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a “construction defects” exclusion in an “all risk” insurance policy barred coverage for water damage caused by faulty construction, even though the policy covered water damage and the exclusion did not

Pursuant to a new rule passed by the Environmental Protection Agency, all contractors, landlords, and property managers performing or hiring for painting projects that disturb lead-based paint must now become "lead-safe" certified before performing work on houses built before 1978.  The new requirement also applies to weatherization projects, and to schools, day care facilities, or other commercial properties occupied by children. 

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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