Construction

Clark Hill is one of the largest construction law practices and is routinely involved in every facet of the construction process, from real estate acquisition and project financing, through drafting of contract documents and project administration, to claim preparation and dispute resolution. With a diverse clientele consisting of:

  • Public and private owners
  • Developers
  • Lenders
  • Sureties
  • General contractors
  • Design professionals
  • Specialty contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Suppliers

The construction group is comprised of attorneys with engineering degrees, contracting backgrounds, and experience in countless construction claim and professional liability matters involving a variety of commercial, industrial, heavy, and highway projects.  Members of the construction group are frequently contacted to lecture and/or write on various construction law topics and are actively involved in several industry and specialty organizations, including Associated General Contractors of America and the American Bar Association - Construction Forum.

 

Experience

Christopher Hossack and Heather Seiferth, with the assistance of paralegal, Therese Mayo, defeated a wrongful death claim filed against one of Clark Hill’s national architect/engineer clients in which the Plaintiffs demanded $3,000,000 to settle our client’s alleged liability. The final settlement demand against all defendants in this litigation was $20,000,000, as the deceased was a young man who left minor children behind at his passing.  

Clark Hill’s client was responsible for drafting, auditing and enforcing safety programs during construction administration work for a mine owner preparing to re-open a copper mine in rural Arizona.  As the construction work was winding down, our client’s services were reduced and the mine owner assumed more responsibility for the completion of construction. On a day when our client’s safety technicians were directed by the mine owner to stand down, the deceased, a rookie miner who had only worked six days in this mine allegedly stepped into an un-barricaded chute and fell to his death.  Plaintiffs sought to hold our client, along with the mine owner and its other contractors, jointly and severally liable for failing to enforce safety rules and MHSA mine safety standards on the day of the accident. The mine owner also demanded indemnification from our client under its contract.  

Shortly before trial was due to start, Chris and Heather persuaded the trial court to reconsider a summary judgment motion that had previously been denied. The motion argued that our client could not have proximately caused this accident because the chute was properly barricaded and marked on the client’s last site visit, and no employee of our client was present on the day of the accident.  After the second argument, the trial judge ruled from the bench to dismiss all claims against our client.  Not only was this architect/engineer firm spared the expense and risk of a three week jury trial, but also the mine owner’s indemnity claim was extinguished by this ruling.

In a pro bono case, Nicole Tersigni (under the supervision of Jordan Bolton and Stuart Schwartz) successfully prosecuted our clients’ primary breach of contract claim, and successfully defended our clients’ fraud claims through summary disposition proceedings. In short, our clients hired the defendant contractors to remodel our clients’ modest 900 square foot home, so the main level would be accessible to their severely disabled son. The defendant contractors took our clients’ money, completed a portion of the work, then walked off the job, claiming fraud in the inducement. After taking a significant supporting role in discovery, and a lead role in getting the defendant contractors’ counterclaims dismissed as a sanction for their discovery abuses, Nicole took a lead role in the briefing related to competing motions for summary. The Court dispensed with oral argument, granted our clients’ motion on their breach of contract action, and denied the defendant contractors’ request to dismiss our clients’ fraud claims.

Newsletter Alerts
Dangers When a Contractor Agrees to Indemnify or Name an Architect/Engineer as an Additional Insured on an Insurance PolicyDown Payments Issued Without a Sworn Statement May Result in Owners and Lenders Paying More than Their Contract PriceOwners and Developers Beware: Federal law preempts your remedies against design professionals for ADA violations Federal False Claims Act (FCA) Actual Damages for Non-Compliant Goods or Services That Cannot Be Remedied Contractors Beware: Avoid Loss Payable TrapsContracts 101 for Design ProfessionalsYour Place or Mine? Drafting Forum Selection Clauses in the Wake of Rieth-RileyPrevention Through Design OverviewMichigan Supreme Court Addresses Claims Involving Unlicensed Residential BuildersFederal Contractors Must Amend Employee Handbooks to Add Fair Pay ProvisionArizona Court of Appeals Deals Win To Contractors, Subs and Design Professionals in Subsequent Homeowner Negligence ClaimsFederal Contractor Alert: White House Planning Another Executive Order -- This Time Mandating Paid Sick LeaveAmerican Arbitration Association Issues Revised Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures Effective July 1, 2015Arbitration Agreements: For Better or For WorseChange to Garnishment Law, Effective April 2015Michigan Prevailing Wage LawMichigan Court of Appeals Reinforces Limitations on "No Damages for Delay" and "Pay-If-Paid" ProvisionsRecovery of Attorney Fees under Construction Lien ActMichigan Court of Appeals Rejects Insurer's Effort to Expand Contractual Liability Exclusion to Claims Arising Out of Insured's Performance of its Own ContractFair Pay and Safe Workplace Executive OrderPresident Obama Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender IdentityFolk & Associates Join Clark Hill PLCUnited States Supreme Court Once Again Affirms the Strong Federal Public Policy Favoring ArbitrationSupreme Court of Michigan Rules in Favor of General Contractor and Clarifies the Accrual of Indemnification Claims in the Construction Industry New MISS DIG Law, Effective April 2014 Personal and Successor Liability Against a Principal and His Newly Formed Entity for Debt Incurred by the Principal's Previous, Bankrupted CompanyChanges to the Michigan Court of ClaimsSixth Circuit Upholds Michigan's Ban on Project Labor Agreements on Public ConstructionIllinois Governor Signs Tough New Amendments to Construction Industry Independent Contractor Misclassification Law - Personal Liability IncludedAnti-Indemnification Statute Applicable to Construction Contracts Expanded By Michigan LegislatureSubcontractors BewareMichigan Pay to Play Law Targeting Service Providers to Public Employee Pension Plans Takes EffectHealth Care Reform Special Transitional Relief for 2014 Measurement Periods -- Are You Prepared?Key Small Business Provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013Bid Requirements for Public Projects Under the Iran Economic Sanctions Act of 2012Michigan Passes the Uniform Arbitration ActNew Law Limits Indemnification Provisions in Construction ContractsMichigan Court of Appeals Provides Guidance as to What Constitutes an Improvement to Real Property Triggering the Application of the Statute of ReposeUpdate on Right-to-Work Legislation and Union Requests to Extend Agency Shop Via Letter of AgreementMichigan Supreme Court Upholds Strict Enforcement of Governmental Notice RequirementsAn Update on the "Disappointed Bidder" DoctrineProject Labor Agreement Law Resurrected
News
Clark Hill Attorney Douglas Folk to Present “Limiting The Unintended Duty to Defend: An Analysis of State Law” at Victor O. Schinnerer, Inc. 56th Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys in Chicago, Illinois on May 26, 2017 Clark Hill PLC Receives National Rankings in the 2017 Edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms”Twenty-Eight Clark Hill Attorneys Named to DBusiness Magazine's 2017 Top Lawyers ListSixty-Four Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaTwenty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Named to Pennsylvania Super Lawyers & Rising Stars 2016 ListClark Hill Paralegal Valerie J. Lawver to Present at Institute for Paralegal Education Probate Seminar in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 9, 2016Sixty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for the 2015 Super Lawyers Business EditionTwenty-Eight Clark Hill Attorneys Named to DBusiness Magazine's 2016 Top Lawyers ListSixty-Five Clark Hill Attorneys Named to Michigan Super Lawyers 2015 ListClark Hill PLC Receives National and Metropolitan Tier 1 Rankings in the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers in America's “Best Law Firms”Sixty-Two Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Paralegal Valerie J. Lawver to Present at Institute for Paralegal Education Event on November 19, 2014Clark Hill Attorney P. Douglas Folk to Present at the American Council of Engineering Company’s 2014 Annual Convention and Legislative Summit – April 28Clark Hill Attorney P. Douglas Folk to Present at the APLS Annual Conference – April 10Clark Hill Attorney P. Douglas Folk to Present at the Leadership in Engineering Administration Program hosted by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona – April 4Clark Hill Attorney P. Douglas Folk to Present a Webinar for the Arizona Builders’ Alliance – January 16Clark Hill Attorney P. Douglas Folk Presented with a Presidential Commendation by AIA Arizona at the 2013 Arizona Design AwardsClark Hill Attorney P. Douglas Folk to Present at the ACEC Fall National Conference – October 29Clark Hill Attorney P. Douglas Folk and James B. Wright to Present In-House Education Program to Architectural Resource Team, Inc. – October 24Clark Hill Attorney Jeffrey Gallant Awarded 2013 Engineering Society of Detroit Outstanding Committee/Council/Leadership AwardClark Hill Attorney David M. Cessante to Present Legal Requirements for Temporary, Leased and Independent Contractors SeminarAmerican Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry Presents “Sticks & Bricks” in Ann Arbor on November 11, 2010Clark Hill Attorneys David M. Hayes and Matthew R. Rechtien Featured in American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Construct! NewsletterAttorney Kevin Hendrick to Speak at Michigan Construction Industry’s Professional Development DayAttorney Matthew T. Smith to Speak at the West Michigan Chapter of Air Conditioning Contractors of America