Construction Law Insights

JES Constr., LLC v. Bd. of Contrs., Dep't of Prof'l & Occupational Regulation, 2018 Va. App. LEXIS 361, 2018 WL 6738972 (Va. App. Dec. 26, 2018)

On February 19, 2015, JES Construction, LLC (“JES”) contracted with a homeowner to make certain foundation repairs to the home (the “Contract”). The Contract provided that JES would obtain a permit for its work. On April 23, 2015, six days into the project, the homeowner contacted JES and inquired about whether a permit was obtained. JES said that it had requested a permit, but it had not been delivered. On April 24, 2015, the homeowner learned from Henrico County that JES had not yet applied for a permit. The next day, JES applied for a permit, but the request was rejected. JES corrected the deficiency and Henrico County issued the permit on May 15, 2015.

Loch Levan Land L.P. v. Bd. of Supervisors, No. 181043, 2018 Va. LEXIS 204 (Va., Dec. 18, 2018)

In the early 1990s, the plaintiffs (collectively “HHHunt”) built an upscale housing development known as “Wyndham” in northern Henrico County (the “County”), abutting the Hanover County line. The Chickahominy River marks the border between the counties. To access the development, HHHunt also constructed Dominion Club Drive, a “spine” road connecting Wyndham with surrounding arteries. HHHunt’s original plans showed Dominion Club Drive extending into Hanover County, where it also owned several non-contiguous parcels of land. The physical road however, terminated in a cul-de-sac on the Henrico County side of the river. Since 1991, Henrico County’s Major Thoroughfare Plan has included Dominion Club Drive as built, but not the planned extension into Hanover County. In 1992, HHHunt posted a separate bond to extend Dominion Club Drive to the Chickahominy. Over the next 25 years, HHHunt updated the bond several times, but never constructed the road. In the interim, as a cost-saving measure, HHHunt split the plat for the unbuilt extension of Dominion Club Drive into two pieces.

Mobilization Funding, LLC v. W.M. Jordan Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202748, 2018 WL 6257109 (E.D. Va. Nov. 28, 2018)

Riverside Retirement Services (“Riverside”) contracted with W.M. Jordan (“Jordan”) to build the Apartments at Patriots Colony in Williamsburg, Virginia. Jordan’s project manager, Jerry Barthelemy (“Barthelemy”), approved payments to subcontractors. On December 12, 2016, Jordan and Mexarg Contractors, LLC (“Mexarg”) entered into a subcontract (the “Subcontract”). On January 10, 2018, Mexarg’s subcontractors complained that Mexarg had not paid them. On January 20, 2018, Mexarg submitted a payment application to Jordan. Barthelemy approved Mexarg’s payment application, but did not notify Mexarg that he had approved the payment application. On January 30, 2018, Mexarg entered into a loan agreement with Mobilization Funding, LLC (“Mobilization”) for up to $361,155.00 and was secured by contract assignments, among other collateral (the “Loan Agreement”). On January 31, 2018, Jordan entered into a Joint Check Agreement (“JCA”) with Mexarg and Mobilization. During the JCA and Loan Agreement, Mobilization did not know about Mexarg’s failure to pay subcontractors.

A.E. v. Ashford Gateway TRS Corp. Grp., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198948, 2018 WL 6106375 (E.D. Va. Nov. 21, 2018)

A.E. (a child) and her family were attending a family reunion in a Marriott Hotel ballroom in Arlington, Virginia. During the reunion, a large light fixture fell from the ceiling on A.E.’s head. Prior to the incident, Marriott, Humphrey Rich Construction Group, Inc. (“Humphrey”), and Cabling Solutions of Rutherford County, LLC (“Cabling Solutions” and collectively the “Defendants”) all participated in the design, installation, and/or inspection of the ballroom as part of a renovation. Two days before the incident, Cabling Solutions removed the lenses in the ballroom’s lighting in order to gain access to the work above the ceiling, negligently reinstalling them without properly securing them. A.E. filed a lawsuit against the Defendants in the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond. Cabling Solutions removed the case to Federal District Court and moved to transfer venue form the Richmond Division to the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia.

JK Moving & Storage, Inc. v. Winmar Constr., Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194932, 2018 WL 5985678 (E.D. Va. Nov. 13, 2018)

JK Moving & Storage, Inc. (Plaintiff) is a Virginia corporation in the moving, storage, and relocation industry sued Winmar Construction, Inc. (Defendant), a commercial interior and hospitality construction company. The lawsuit was originally filed in Virginia state court and removed to Federal District Court. After a two-day trial, a jury awarded Plaintiff just over $74,000, the full amount of its complaint. Plaintiff then filed a bill of costs in the amount of over $12,000, and attorney’s fees of $399,915.50. Defendant objected to the requested attorney’s fees as well as the costs.

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