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In Auburn Hills Tax Increment
Finance Authority v. Haussman Construction Co., 2018 WL 385057 (Mich. Ct.
App. January 11, 2018), the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the owner of a
construction project could not maintain a professional negligence claim against
the architect for failing to adequately review payment applications.
The Auburn Hills Tax Increment
Finance Authority (hereinafter, “the Owner”) entered into a design-build
contract with Haussman Construction Company (“Haussman”), the Design-Builder,
for the construction of a four-story concrete parking structure. In turn, Haussman and Mayotte Group, Inc.
(“Mayotte”), entered into a subcontract for Mayotte to provide professional services
for the project, including reviewing and certifying pay applications.
After Haussman was paid in full
for the project, Haussman dissolved without paying its subcontractors, leaving
the Owner exposed to the subcontractors’ claims. The Owner filed suit against Mayotte claiming
it relied upon Mayotte’s certifications of Haussman’s pay applications when it
processed each payment to Haussman. The
Owner alleged that Mayotte certified the last payment to Haussman for “the full
amount of the [Owner-Builder Agreement] contract sum, less $13,408.93 as
retainage, without any allowance for the liquidated damages specified in the