Construction Law

Construction Law

Our construction lawyers represent contractors and builders, subcontractors, suppliers, and owners in all types of commercial construction disputes. Given our experiences, both as attorneys and before becoming attorneys, we bring an uncommon understanding and perspective to our construction law practice.

We have successfully represented owners, general contractors and subcontractors in disputes involving every facet of the construction industry, including:

• competitive bidding and public contracts,
• contract negotiation and troublesome contract provisions,
• scope of work, extra work and change orders,
• delay, acceleration, liquidated damages,
• performance and payment bonds,
• home construction issues,
• mechanic’s liens, and
• construction claims.

A Primer on Ohio Construction Law

We recently hosted construction seminars to assist owners, contractors and suppliers in dealing with issues faced on a daily basis. Specifically, we addressed the different types of contracts and contract provisions, and we will focus on troublesome contract provisions, including pay-when-paid and pay-if-paid clauses, no damage for delay clauses, liquidated damage clauses, and indemnification clauses. We also addressed the methods of preserving, perfecting, prosecuting, and defending mechanic's liens, performance and payment bond claims, and other contract and payment dispute topics.

In the event that you want a copy of the seminar manual, let us know and we'll send it out to you.

Construction Law FAQ Pages

A primer on construction bonds
Issues for contractors with performance or payment bonds.

Liens; defense options

Liens; limiting lien rights

Liens; lawsuit to foreclose

Union salting campaigns

Union salting objectives
objectives goals of a union salting campaign

Union salting: Employee Q&As
Answers to Employee Questions During a Union Salting Campaign; Q&A; FAQ

Construction Law Articles

Ohio's Fairness in Contracting Law
The Fairness in Contracting Act governs the use of the following contract provisions in construction contracts, for both public and private contracts. No damage for delay clause. The Fairness in Contracting Act prohibits no damages for delay clauses, when...

Prompt Payment Act Damages
The prompt payment law requires contractors to pay lower tier subcontractors or suppliers that portion of the payment to the contractor that represents the work done by the contractor or the supplies provided by the supplier, minus retainage, within ten d...

Child Labor Law restrictions on Construction Sites
Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") regulates the employment of children under 18 years of age in certain types of employment. Generally, children aged 15 and under may not be employed in a number of occupations, including construction. 29 CFR §§ 570.33 ,...

Claims on Performance and Payment Bonds in Ohio
Public Improvements Prime contractors on a public improvement project must furnish a payment bond to the public authority, and thereby agree “to pay all lawful claims of subcontractors, materialmen, and laborers for labor performed or material furnished...

Presenting payment claims on Federal projects in Ohio (The Miller Act)
Presenting payment claims on Federal projects in Ohio (The Miller Act). What remedy does a subcontractor or supplier have for payment on a federal project in Ohio? Federally owned property and projects cannot be the subject of a mechanic's lien. However, ...

Schedule and Delay Clauses in Construction Contracts
The schedule for completion of the contract work is an essential component of the contract, and a frequent focus of construction litigation. In a perfect world, the contract will incorporate a detailed computer generated completion schedule, with mileston...

Indemnification Clauses in Construction Contracts
Clauses in construction contracts where the promisor indemnifies "against liability for damages arising out of bodily injury to persons or damage to property . . caused by the negligence of the promisee" are against public policy and void. Ohio Revised Co...

Enforcing an agreement to arbitrate
One party to the arbitration agreement may initiate a court action over an arbitrable dispute. The other party to the arbitration agreement must then either: (1) agree to the court's authority to rule on the controversy; or (2) assert the party's right to...

Articles Index - Ohio Mechanic's Liens
Ohio Mechanic's Lien Article Index Enforcing "No-Lien" Contract Clauses Preserving and Perfecting Ohio Mechanic's Lien Claims Requirements of a Notice of Commencement Requirements of a Notice of Furnishing Requirements of a Lien Affidavit Requirements of ...

Invoicing, Lien Waivers and Failure to Pay Invoices
Developing a schedule of values A schedule of values is typically required by the contract with the owner. The schedule should be prepared carefully, with specific and accurate values attached to each component of the work. The schedule should be submitte...

Contractor's Reliance on Plans and Specifications
The Ohio Supreme Court recently limited a contractor’s ability to rely on the accuracy of plans and specifications provided by an owner. In Dugan & Meyers Construction v. Ohio Dept. of Administrative Services, the Court significantly limited the sco...

No Damage for Delay Clauses in Ohio
Pursuant to Ohio statutory law, "no damage for delay" clauses are enforceable in Ohio, unless the reason for the delay is the result of the owner's [or contractor's] act or failure to act. Ohio Revised Code §4113.62. The Franklin County Court of Appeals ...

Notice of Commencement
In order to protect the owner and mandate notice to the owner of potential lien claimants, the Notice of Commencement must be prepared and filed before the project commences. The Notice of Commencement must be in affidavit form and include: (a) The legal ...

Notice of Furnishing
Potential lien claimants may be required to prepare and provide to 1) the owner, through its designee as noted on the Notice of Commencement, and 2) the original contractor a notice of furnishing in order to protect their lien rights. The Notice of Furnis...

Lien Affidavit
Requirements of a Lien Affidavit In the event that the contract is breached and payment is not received, an affidavit for mechanics’ lien may be filed to place a lien on the project. The affidavit of mechanics’ lien must include (a) the amount due ove...

Articles Index - Construction Articles
Contract Issues Contract dispute provisions Construction Contract FAQ Construction Contract Clauses FAQ Types of Construction Contracts Components of a Written Negotiated Construction Contract Indemnification Clauses in Construction Contracts No Damage fo...

Article Index - Union Salting Issues
Union Salting Issues Union Salting Campaigns FAQ Objectives of a Union Salting Campaign Union Salting Objectives Union salting: Winning a Union Salting Campaign Union salting: Combating a union salting campaign Union salting: Supervisor do's and don'ts Qu...

Limitations on Subcontractor Claims for Unjust Enrichment
Ohio courts have uniformly held that a subcontractor does not have a claim for unjust enrichment against an owner, if the owner fully paid the contractor for the work performed by the subcontractor. In order to establish unjust enrichment against an owner...

Economic waste and limitations of damages for construction defects
Ohio law on contract damages provides that the damages for defective construction are limited to the cost of the repair of the defective construction, unless the cost to repair is grossly disproportionate to the benefit obtained by the repair. Ohio cases ...

Insurers have an obligation to defend and indemnify resulting construction damages.
Some courts have adopted a mantra that commercial general liability insurance policies are not “performance bonds” and, as such, do not to insure the risks of an insured causing damage to the insured's own work. This narrow view focuses on the perceiv...

Preserving and perfecting lien claims against Ohio oil and gas wells
The Ohio legislature has adopted a mechanics' lien law specifically for labor, work, or materials performed on oil and gas wells and facilities. The law states that "Every person who performs any labor or work upon or furnishes material for digging, drill...

The Scope of Insurance Coverage for Defective Construction
The Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision on October 16, 2012 in Westfield Insurance Co. v. Custom Agri Systems, Inc. solidifying the law in Ohio that coverage does not exist for claims of defective construction under a commercial general liability policy ...

Asbestos Notification and Inspection Requirements for Demolition and Renovation Work.
Asbestos Notification and Inspection Requirements for Demolition and Renovation Work. Prior to performing demolition and renovation work on commercial structures and certain multi-residential structures, the law requires a thorough inspection by a certifi...

Ohio Appellate Court Finds $277,900 Liquidated Damages Award Unenforceable
The Fourth District Court of Appeals of Ohio, in the case of Boone Coleman v. Village of Piketon , held that a liquidated damages provision of $700 per day that totaled $277,900 was unenforceable because the provision amounted to a penalty, and because th...

Employer May Not Count Discretionary Payments to Employees as Prevailing Wage
Under Ohio law, employers may not count discretionary payments to employees against the prevailing wage. Only wages that are required by agreement may be counted against the prevailing wage. In a recent Ohio case an employer tried to count discretionary w...

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Michael Fortney Mike_R_Fortney
Michael Fortney
Construction Law, Employment and Labor Law, Business Law, Litigation, Arbitration