Construction Law Insights

Faneuil, Inc. v. 3M Co., No. 181202, 2019 WL 4891274 (Va. Oct. 3, 2019)

Plaintiff Faneuil, Inc. (“Faneuil”) entered into a subcontract with 3M Company (“3M”) to provide customer services in support of 3M’s contract with Elizabeth River Crossings Opco, LLC (“ERC”) to assess and collect tolls at facilities between Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. Under the contract between Faneuil and 3M, 3M agreed to pay Faneuil $2.52 million in annual base compensation in equal monthly payments; 3M could reduce those base payments for a fiscal quarter if the previous quarter included fewer than expected toll transactions; 3M must reimburse Faneuil for

James River Stucco, Inc. v. Monticello Overlook Owners’ Ass’n, No. CL16-408, 2019 Va. Cir. LEXIS 468 (Cir. Ct. Sep. 30, 2019)

In the case-in-chief, plaintiff, James River Stucco, Inc. (“James River”), alleged that defendant, Monticello Overlook Owners’ Association (“Monticello”), breached their Agreement (“Agreement” or “Contract”) by failing to pay its outstanding balance. Monticello counterclaimed that James River had itself breached first by hiring subcontractors, thereby failing to staff the job with a sufficient number of appropriately skilled “employees” as the Contract provided. Id. The Court held that the Contract did not require James River to use only workers who were on its own payroll.

W. C. English, Inc. v. Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP, 934 F.3d 398 (4th Cir. 2019)

W.C. English, Inc. (“English”) contracted with Virginia Department of Transportation (“VDOT”) to construct a bridge over Interstate 81 near Lexington, Virginia. English subcontracted with Rummel, Klepper, & Kahl, LLP (“RK&K”) to provide project quality assurance services and with CDM Smith, Inc. (“CDM”) to provide project quality control services.

Cacheris v. City Council of Alexandria, 2019 Va. Cir. LEXIS 443 (Cir. Ct. City of Alexandria Aug. 13, 2019)

The Alexandria School Board (“School Board”) decided that the City of Alexandria’s (“City”) T.C. Williams High School’s (“School”) athletic stadium needed improvement, including the addition of stadium lighting and a new speaker system. The City Council of the City of Alexandria (“City Council”) approved a Development Special use Permit (“DSUP”) that allowed the School Board to install and use the lighting and speaker systems. The Zoning Ordinance approval process mandated that the City Council, acting upon the DSUP, consider the effects of the improvements on neighboring properties and act to minimize any adverse effects the use provided for in the DSUP may have on those properties. Homeowners with properties adjacent to the stadium sought declaratory and injunctive relief to challenge the granting of the DSUP, arguing that the Council failed to consider the factors set forth in the Zoning Ordinance that provide for the protection of neighboring properties. The defendants demurred.

White Oak Power Constructors v. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Sys. Americas, Inc., No. 3:17-CV-00355- JAG, (E.D. Va. Aug. 8, 2019)

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (“Old Dominion”) entered into an engineer, procure, and construct (“EPC”) contract with White Oak Power Constructors (“White Oak”) to design and build a natural gas power plant in Maryland. The EPC contract’s choice of law provision identified Virginia law as the governing law. White Oak encountered several delays during its performance of the EPC contract related to property damage caused by fire, freezing water, and windstorms. The EPC contract required White Oak to achieve substantial completion of the project by May 1, 2017. Due at least in part to delays, White Oak did not achieve substantial completion until April 11, 2018. In response, Old Dominion assessed over $50 million in liquidated damages against White Oak.

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