News & Insights

Practice Area: Architects and Engineers

SIXTH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON CONTRACTUAL INDEMNITY CLAIM UNDER THE TENNESSEE STATUTE OF REPOSE

Highlighting the importance of the statute of repose in relation to construction and design indemnity claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment based on the Tennessee statute of repose in favor of a third-party defendant subcontractor.  Hinman v. ValleyCrest Landscaping Development, Inc., 89 F.4th 572 (6th Cir….
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COURT OF APPEALS OF LOUISIANA UPHOLDS CITY’S AGREEMENT TO ARCHITECT’S MODIFIED CONSTRUCTION DESIGN PLAN CHANGE ORDER DESPITE ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD AND DURESS

The recent decision by the Louisiana Court of Appeals in City of Ruston v. Womack & Sons Construction Group, Inc., 374 So. 3d 311 (La. App. 2 Cir. 2023) underscores the critical need for architects to meticulously draft and review contracts, contract conditions, and change orders in construction projects. The City of Ruston (the “City”)…
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FLORIDA DISTRICT COURT RULES DESIGN PROFESSIONALS ARE SUBJECT TO FOUR YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR CONSTRUCTION BASED MALPRACTICE CLAIMS

In American Automobile Insurance Company v. FDH Infrastructure Services., LLC, 364 So.3d 1082 (Fla. 3d DCA 2023), The Court of Appeals of Florida, Third District (“Court of Appeals”) held all construction-based claims against design professionals are subject to a four-year statute of limitations, not the two-year statute of limitations. Tower King II was contracted to…
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GEORGIA RULE OF EVIDENCE PRECLUDES ENGINEERING MALPRACTICE CLAIM

Expert testimony is an essential element of any claim of professional engineering malpractice. However, Munro v. Dep’t of Transportation, 890 S.E.2d 349 (Ga. App. 2023) demonstrates that a Georgia Rule of Evidence regarding expert testimony in professional malpractice cases can make proving design malpractice very difficult in some circumstances. On November 10, 2017, twenty-four-year-old Ashley…
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Architect’s Failure To Report Safety Issue Prevents Summary Judgment

In Bonilla v. Verges Rome Architects, 2023 WL 3371559 (La. App. 5th Cir. 2023), the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an architect could be liable to an injured worker for failing to address a known safety issue, despite contractual language establishing site safety as solely a contractor responsibility. The City of New…
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Arbitration Award Affirmed By Alabama Supreme Court

Arbitration in construction and design disputes can be a tempting alternative to resolving disputes outside of the traditional setting of a courtroom. However, once an arbitration award is issued, there is a high bar to be cleared should a disgruntled party move to have it vacated. Escapes! To the Shores Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Hoar…
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Alabama Passes Dam Safety Legislation

Until recently, Alabama was the only state that had yet to enact legislation ensuring that dams and reservoirs were safely constructed and maintained to protect downstream water users and upstream property owners. With the introduction of Alabama’s new Dam Safety legislation, the Alabama legislature has given professional civil engineers across the state a new role…
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Florida Amends Condominium Inspection Statute

On June 9, 2023, Florida Governor Ron Desantis signed legislation amending the inspection requirements for condominium buildings that reach thirty years of age and for condominiums the control of which is turned over from the ownership association to the owners themselves.  See 2023 Fla. Sess. Law Serv. 203.  Some of the changes directly impact inspection…
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