Construction Law Report, Spring 2013


Recent Washington Cases Could Open the Door to Increased Liability by Wendy J. Paris. It is well established in Washington, that a tort claim for negligent construction is not allowed. A plaintiff is limited to whatever remedies might be available under contract. Whereas, in Oregon, Courts recognize the tort of negligent construction allowing plaintiffs to bring negligence claims against a builder/contractor. Read more.

Oregon Court of Appeals Rules on Statutes of Limitations and Ultimate Repose by Robert W. Wilkinson. The Oregon Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of Ball Janik’s client, the Sunset Presbyterian Church, that provides guidance on the statutes of limitations and ultimate repose where an AIA contract is used. Read more.

D & O Insurance: Directors and Officers Coverage or Dead and Obsolete Coverage? by James L. Guse. Homeowners associations routinely purchase Directors and Officers (“D&O”) insurance. At first blush, purchasing D&O insurance is a wise risk-management tool. Upon close inspection, however, associations may be surprised by the limitations of D&O policies. Read more.

Timing is Everything: What is the Statute of Limitations for Negligent Construction Claims in Oregon? by Adele J. Ridenour. Oregon courts have recently struggled with a very important and complex issue in construction defect cases: just what is the statute of limitations for negligent construction claims? Until a few years ago, most trial courts ruled that the statute of limitations was six years from when an owner discovered or reasonably should have discovered he/she/it had a claim. Read more.

Construction Contracts—Five Tips for Owners by Christopher M. Walters. In a typical construction contract negotiation, the contractor starts with an advantage over the owner. It has negotiated dozens of contracts, typically using the same form, and knows what that form says. Owners often are not in as enviable a position. Read more.

High Deductible Liability Insurance Policies Pose Potential Problems for Policyholders and Claimants by Kevin S. Mapes. In recent years, the construction industry has seen an increase in the number of commercial liability insurance policies that are subject to significant deductibles or self-insured retentions. In some cases, the increased deductibles represent an effort by the policyholder to reduce the costs of insurance premiums. In others, the large deductibles or self-insured retentions are required by carriers issuing project-specific “wrap-up” insurance policies. Read more.

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