In the weeks leading up to the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, a number of construction attorneys and I were feverishly reviewing submissions for Division 10’s annual Construction Law Update. The document is a compilation of cases and legislation affecting the construction industry. The updates are provided throughout the year by attorneys all over the country. This year, Division 10 is pleased to report that we received updates from 51 jurisdictions, as well as a number of Federal laws and regulations.
The following are examples of the types of information that you will find in the Construction Law Update: Cases and Legislation Affecting the Construction Industry (2009-2010):
- In Holcim (US), Inc. v. Ohio Casualty Ins. Co., __ So.2d __ (Ala. Nov. 13, 2009), in responding to a certified question from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Alabama Supreme Court took the opportunity to discuss the current state of Alabama law on indemnification. The case arose from a construction site injury to the employee of a genera! contractor which had agreed to indemnify the owner. The Court repeated the principle that Alabama law permits parties to enter into valid indemnity agreements allowing indemnitees to recover indemnity even for claims resulting solely from the negligence of the indemnitee. Moreover, as a new matter, the Court held that parties may validly agree to an indemnity agreement based upon proportional fault, even though Alabama common law does not permit contribution among joint tortfeasors
- Ark. Code Ann. § 18-44-113, Assignment of Liens. Previously, assignments of liens were not enforceable against a property owner unless the owner had actual notice of the assignment. The statute was amended to state that the owner shall be considered to have actual notice if, within thirty (30) days of an assignment, a copy of the assignment is hand-delivered to the owner, mailed to the owner (as evidenced by a return receipt signed by the addressee, or a returned envelope showing a refusal of delivery or that the item was unclaimed), or delivered by any other means that provides written, third-party verification of delivery at any place where the owner maintains an office, conducts business, or resides.
- In Weydert Homes, Inc. v. Kammes, 2009 WL 3153041, No. 2-08-0768 (2nd Dist. September 30, 2009) the court ruled that a contractor’s sworn statement pursuant to Section 5 of the Mechanics Lien Act, which was not notarized, rendered that contractor’s claim for lien unenforceable.
There are updates from all over the country. In addition, we have included references to recent federal regulations and administrative rulings that affect the construction industry. If you would like a copy of the Construction Law Update, please send me an email.