Payment Bond Fraud in Pennsylvania – Why Subcontractors Should Request Copies of Payment Bonds When Signing Subcontractors for Public Projects

The News Story The Times-Tribune reports that a Lackawanna County insurance agent recently pleaded guilty to fraud for accepting premiums for payment bonds from contractors but never actually procuring those payment bonds from a surety.  This resulted(…)

Pennsylvania Construction Notices Directory Experiencing Growing Pains

As this Blog previously reported, Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Law underwent significant changes beginning January 1, 2017.  Among those changes was the introduction of an online Construction Notices Directory (the “Directory”) which owners, contrac(…)

Legal Insights into Oil and Gas Infrastructure Projects and Additional Insureds in Property Damage Claims

An August 21, 2017 article in the The Legal Intelligencer, co-authored by Babst Calland Attorneys Dave White and Esther Soria Mignanelli, addresses the impacts of the new Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien State Construction Notices Directory on oil and gas(…)

Bill Seeking to Amend Pennsylvania’s Private Project Prompt Payment Act Passes House Vote

On June 20, 2017, Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 566, which proposes amendments to Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (“CASPA”), by a 168 to 26 vote.  The bill introduced by Representative Santora is very(…)

Bill Seeking to Amend Construction Payment Act Introduced in Pennsylvania’s Legislature

On May 18, 2017, Representative David S. Maloney, Sr. (R., Berks County) introduced House Bill 1387, which seeks to amend Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (CASPA).  The changes include the inserting language amending CASPA to st(…)

AIA B101-2007 Supports Architect’s Copyright Infringement Claim against Contractor, Subcontractors

In a case of first impression, in April 2016 the Northern District of Ohio held in Eberhard Architects, LLC v. Bogart Architecture, Inc., 314 F.R.D. 567 (N.D. Ohio 2016), that a contractor and its subcontractors may have committed copyright infringeme(…)

Eastern District of PA Declines to Broaden Bilt–Rite Exception to Economic Loss Doctrine

In an unreported decision handed down this summer, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Elliott-Lewis Corp. v. Skanska USA Bldg., Inc., 2015 WL 4545362 (E.D. Pa. July 28, 2015), declined to extend the Bilt–Rite(…)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Affirms Contractor Cannot Maintain a CASPA Claim against Owner’s Agent

On September 28, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the Pennsylvania Superior court that held an owner’s agent cannot be individually liable under the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act, 73 P.S. §§ 501-516 (“CASPA”), unl(…)

PA Superior Court Suggests Service of Mechanics’ Lien Impermissible by Mail in Non-precedential Opinion

In a January 18, 2017 decision, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued a non-precedential decision in Babich v. Buffalo Wild Wings suggesting that service of a lien claim by mail upon an out-of-state owner in accordance with Pennsylvania Rules of C(…)

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Holds that Contractor Must Enter into Written Contract with Worker Prior to Injury to Classify Injured Worker as Independent Contractor for Workers’ Compensation Purposes

Pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Construction Workplace Misclassification Act “an individual who performs services in the construction industry for remuneration is an independent contractor only if: (1) The individual has a written contract to perform such(…)

A subcontract term that conflicts with the Miller Act is ineffective in a suit against the surety on the payment bond. But, that right may be waived.

In United States ex rel. Marenalley Constr., LLC v. Zurich American Ins. Co., et al, Civil Action No. 14-4581 (E.D. Pa. March 13, 2015), a subcontractor filed suit under the Miller Act to recover against the prime contractor’s payment bond for additio(…)

Authorized Agents of a Property Owner Are Not Subject to Individual Liability Under CASPA

It is not uncommon for contractors and subcontractors to be verbally directed to perform extra work on construction projects without written change orders. Construction attorneys frequently deal with payment claims for such work if payment for that ex(…)

Pennsylvania Amends Mechanics’ Lien Law to Protect Home Owners from Double Jeopardy and Clarify Priority Given to Open Ended Mortgages

On July 9, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law legislation amending Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 (the current Mechanics’ Lien Law in Pennsylvania).  The stated primary purpose of the amendments is to protect homeowners who pay the(…)

AIA General Conditions Mediation Clause Covered Contractor’s Mechanics’ Lien Claim

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland recently interpreted the mediation clause in the AIA A201 -2007 “General Conditions of the Contract for Construction” to require mediation before proceeding with a mechanics’ lien claim.  K(…)

United States Supreme Court Delcares Choice of Forum Clauses Enforceable

In June of 2013 we reported that the United States Supreme Court agreed to decide In re Atlantic Marine Construction Co. to resolve a split between the United States Courts of Appeals regarding whether a federal court must honor a forum selection clau(…)

Mechanics’ Liens: Labor Unions’ Right to File a Lien as a Subcontractor

In Bricklayers of Western Pa. Comb. Funds, Inc. v. Scott’s Development Co., 41 A.3d 16 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2012), the Superior Court held that (1) the substantive provisions of the Lien Law (as opposed to its procedural provisions) must be liberally const(…)

General Contractor’s Use of a Subcontractor’s Quote Does Not Create a Contract

In Ribarchak v. Monongahela, 44 A.3d 706 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2012), the Commonwealth Court held that a subcontractor (Ribarchak) could not assert a breach of contract claim against a general contractor (or the owner) based on the fact that the general con(…)