Construction Law Insights

Afresh Church v. City of Winchester, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109975, 2019 WL 2746757 (W.D. Va. July 1, 2019)

Afresh Church (“Afresh”) has a leasehold interest in a building (the “Building”) owned by Farmont Avenue Holdings, LLC (the “Owner”) and located in an area designated as a “limited industrial district.” The City of Winchester (the “City”) has cited the Owner several times for allowing church services to be held in the Building because the area is not zoned for churches. While church uses are not expressly prohibited by the ordinances, they are not included in the list of allowed businesses and activities. Afresh sought a declaratory judgment that the City’s zoning ordinance and its enforcement action against the Owner violates Afresh’s rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) and to enjoin the City from pursuing any enforcement or other action against the Owner that would affect Afresh’s ability to continue to use the Building.

L-3 Communs. Corp. v. Serco, Inc., 926 F.3d 85 (4th Cir. 2019)

In 2004, the United States Air Force Space Command (“Air Force”) awarded Serco, Inc. (“Serco”) an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract (the “Prime Contract”). The Prime Contract required Serco to provide testing and upgrading services to certain Air Force facilities to protect those sites from high altitude electromagnetic pulse (“HEMP”) events. Under the Prime Contract, the Air Force would periodically provide Serco with a statement of work that outlined the requirements for a specific HEMP-related project. If Serco could not complete the work itself, Serco would issue a request for proposal (“RFP”). Serco entered into a subcontract for HEMP-related work (the “Subcontract”) with Titan Corporation, a predecessor to L-3 Applied Technologies, Inc. (“L-3 ATI”). The Subcontract stated that Serco was not required to issue any work to L-3 ATI and that L-3 ATI was still required to bid on HEMP-related work. Between 2004 and 2009, Serco awarded

Morris v. DSA Roanoke, LLC, 2019 Va. Cir. LEXIS 204 (City of Roanoke Cir. Ct. May 31, 2019)

The Court granted Thomas Builders, Inc.’s (“Thomas Builders”) demurrer as to Count I of the Amended Complaint of Third-Party Plaintiff DSA Roanoke, LLC (“DSA”) because “a grant of demurrer is appropriate in an instance where an indemnification provision in a construction contract can only function to indemnify a party from damages caused by its own negligence.” Although the court held that the indemnification provision did not on its face violate Virginia Code § 11-4.1 (i.e. Virginia’s anti-indemnity statute) dismissal of the claim “accords with the public policy goals behind Virginia’s restriction against provisions that provide such indemnification.”

Myers Controlled Power, LLC v. Gold (Truland Grp., Inc.), 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88127, 2019 WL 2251704 (E.D. Va. May 24, 2019)

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA”) engaged Clark Construction Group, LLC (“Clark Construction”) to serve as the prime contractor on the Orange and Blue Lines project. Clark Construction subcontracted with Truland Walker Seal Transportation, Inc. (“TWST”), one of several affiliated companies performing electrical contracting work under the name “Truland.” The subcontract between Clark Construction and Truland included a “flow-down” provision requiring TWST to pay all subcontractors and suppliers. TWST decided to use Myers Controlled Power, LLC (“Myers”) as a second-tier subcontractor to provide electrical equipment and switches. Myers did not contract with TWST directly; rather, it signed a supplier subcontract with Nationwide Electrical Services, Inc. (“NES”), a disadvantaged business enterprise. Myers sent all but one of its invoices to NES, but took its directions exclusively from TWST.

Hyde Park Free Will Baptist Church v. Skye-Brynn Enters., 2019 Va. Cir. LEXIS 163 (City of Norfolk Cir. Ct. May 24, 2019)

On May 14, 2015, Hyde Park Free Will Baptist Church (“Hyde Park”) contracted with Skye-Brynn Enterprises, Inc. (“Skye-Brynn”) for Skye-Brynn to install a liquid roof membrane system on top of the existing church roof to repair the leaking roof. Around October 2015, Skye-Brynn informed Hyde Park that the roof was completed and Hyde Park paid Skye-Brynn the remainder of the contract price. However, some of the roof’s existing leaks were worse than before and some new leaks developed. Hyde Park notified Skye-Brynn of the leaks shortly after its completion of the roof work and provided Skye-Brynn with the opportunity to correct the roof leaks.

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