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Design-build is increasingly showing up in public works projects in the Washington State. This method allows the price to be established based on a conceptual design rather than through the competitive bid process. Offsetting the lack of competitive bid, the price can be set after construction documents are completed and all the subcontracts work can be put out for bid. Design-build has unique challenges. It leads to fundamental changes in the relationships between owners, designers…
ServPro filed a single lien on a condo for water damage remediation work in the amount of $183,945.09 but did not allocate proportionally the amount of its billing among the 20 units impacted. This mistake illustrates the difficulties in getting a lien filed correctly on a condo and the consequences of doing it wrong. Pursuant to RCW 60.04.081, the condo owner filed a motion to seek to have the lien invalidated. Finding it both frivolous…
Nova, a public works contractor, filed a claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, based entirely on the City’s untimely and repeated rejection of submittals to perform culvert work in Olympia. The Supreme Court held that the contractor was barred from seeking damages because it failed to give written notice of protest “immediately” when the rejections occurred rather than waiting until the City terminated the contract. Under Section 1-04.5 of…
On July 26, 2018, the Washington Supreme Court issued a new decision addressing public bidding in Specialty Asphalt & Constr., LLC v. Lincoln County. Specialty Asphalt was the winning bidder on a paving project for Lincoln County. After not requiring a performance bond typically required by statute in the bid, the County asked that Specialty post one as part of the contract award. Specialty refused and the project was delayed, resulting in damages to Specialty. Later,…
Governor Jay Inslee recently signed into law Washington House Bill 1538 which authorizes subcontractors on public projects to request the prime contractor submit to the public owner a bond to release its portion of the retainage before the public project is complete. The bond needs to be in a form acceptable to the public body and it can only be rejected for “good cause.” This retainage bond should serve to relieve the cash flow burden on…
It has been generally assumed that only licensed contractors were entitled to file lien claims in the state of Washington for work they performed on real property for which they were not paid in full.1 That assumption has now been discarded in the recent decision Guillen v. Pearson, decided August 16, 2016. In Guillen v. Pearson, ABSI Builders, Inc., a framing subcontractor, was hired on an apartment construction project by the project’s owner and general…
Large businesses operating in multiple states received the green light to litigate their civil disputes in their home jurisdiction regardless of where the construction project is located. This decision could likewise serve as a serious threat to mom-and-pop subcontractors that provide most of the labor and materials for a project but typically lack any negotiating leverage to reject an unfavorable forum-selection clause.…
Six years ago, building information modeling was for cutting-edge contractors who wanted their projects to ride the technology curve. In 2007, only 28 percent of contractors, architects, owners, and engineers reported using BIM on their projects. By 2012, the percentage had grown significantly, and the same group reported a BIM adoption rate of 71 percent . . . …