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Philadelphia Construction Law Blog

Did You Know OSHA Requires You To Post Job Related Injuries and Illnesses?

Posted by:  Josh Quinter  (jquinter@kaplaw.com)

OSHA's record keeping requirements include multiple rules requiring that employers post safety related information for employees to see. Companies who have been through an OSHA citation process are aware that citations often are accompanied by a demand that the alleged violation be posted by the employer in one or more conspicuous places. There is another requirement often overlooked by construction companies.

By rule, employers are required to post an OSHA 300 form listing job related injuries and illnesses for the prior year from February 1 to April 30 of the following year. The form, which can be found here, must be displayed in a common area for the allotted time frame. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees are exempt from this rule, and there are other exemptions based on the danger levels of the industry. Most construction trades, however, are bound by the requirement.

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New Project to Come on Line in Philadelphia

Posted by:  Sandy Feltes  (sfeltes@kaplaw.com)

Realen Properties is partnering with New Orleans developer HRI Properties, a company that specializes in renovating historic structures, to convert the Liberty Title & Trust building at 101 N. Broad St. into a hotel. Realen presented plans on Wednesday to the Philadelphia Art Commission for a 179 room hotel under Starwood Hotels & Resorts' Aloft flag at the 21-story 1920s building. The building will have direct access to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Completion is expected in spring of 2017.

Mediation: What is it and how does it work?

Posted by:  Josh Quinter  (jquinter@kaplaw.com)

Alternative dispute resolution was introduced to the legal system years ago as a way to get cases to final resolution faster and contain costs. While these two objectives are not always accomplished with alternative dispute resolution in the modern system, the idea is still inserted into construction contracts and widely used. The concept is seen in two forms: mediation and arbitration.

Mediation Cartoon.jpgSimply stated, mediation is facilitated settlement discussions. The parties to a lawsuit or potential lawsuit agree to meet together with a mediator to try to negotiate a resolution to the case. The process is not binding and the parties are not required to share any information that they do not wish to divulge. Conversely, the discussion is undertaken under the auspices of settlement negotiations so that parties can talk candidly without fear that what they say will be used against them in court.

The logistics of the process most often include an opening session in which the parties and the mediator meet together so that the opposing sides can generally outline their cases and give each other the benefit of understanding how each party sees the case. Most often, the parties are then separated into separate rooms with the mediator shuttling between the rooms to try to broker a deal.

Kaplin Stewart Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by:  Josh Quinter  (jquinter@kaplaw.com)

We pause on this Monday, January 18, 2016, to honor the life and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  A truly great man, Dr. King saw an injustice and sought to make things right.  His leadership and character will endure forever.

In honor od Dr. King, we are publishing his "I Have a Dream Speech" here in full.  We encourage you to take a few moments to read one of the greatest speeches ever given and to remember Dr. King.

Address of Dr. Martin Luther King to Protesters at the Lincoln Memorial, Delivered August 28, 1963:

Dr. Martin Luther King.pngI am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Procolomation  This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

Join Us!

Kaplin Stewart's Spring Seminar Series Presents:

 

Josh Quinter.jpgKarin Corbett.jpgManaging Risk with 5 Key Contract Provisions

Presented by:

Joshua C. Quinter, Esquire &

Karin Corbett, Esquire

When: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 8-9:15 a.m.

Where: Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C.

910 Harvest Drive, Suite 200

Blue Bell, PA 19422

Email dborzor@kaplaw.com to register at no charge

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

From our family to yours...

Thanksgiving.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our clients, friends, colleagues, and neighbors!

Kaplin Stewart Construction Law To Offer Spring Seminar Series

Posted by:  Josh Quinter (jquinter@kaplaw.com)

The Kaplin Stewart Construction Law Department is excited to announce its newest program offering. Starting in January, our attorneys will present our Spring Seminar Series to help our clients and friends prepare for the upcoming busy season. Designed to provide invaluable information to help construction firms plan their new projects, the programs will be approximately an hour long and held at Kaplin Stewart's main offices in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The program list is as follows:

Payment Claims and the 5 Key Construction Contract Clauses

Shifting Liability through Insurance and Indemnity Clauses

Change Order Clauses and Claims

Surety Bonds and Insurance Coverage Issues

More information on the dates and times for each program will be available soon. Stay tuned for more information.

Is a State Wide Plumbing Licensure Structure On Its Way In Pennsylvania?

Posted by:  Josh Quinter  (jquinter@kaplaw.com)

Pennsylvania House Bill 1357 is presently before the Professional Licensure Committee in the House of Representatives. The legislation, which is scheduled for a committee hearing next month, would impose a state wide licensure system on the plumbing trades in Pennsylvania if passed.

As a general matter, the aim of the bill is to create a standardized set of criteria for performing plumbing work throughout the Commonwealth. Proponents of the legislation maintain it will ensure that plumbers know what they are doing and provide assurances to consumers that the plumbers they hire are properly trained and will perform the work safely. Many also support the bill because it potentially creates an opportunity to establish reciprocity with other states on the issue. This should, in theory, make it easier to work in neighboring states who have licensing requirements.

Leaking Pipe.jpgThe bill is not without its problems or detractors either though. Large cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Allentown have often enjoyed some independence from certain state wide requirements imposed on the construction industry. In some instances they can have a separate set of rules; but in many instances, these large municipalities can impose more strict rules over and above those created on a state wide level. This bill lacks clarity on how these "exceptions" might apply in this case if at all. Opponents of the current legislation also maintain that if there are exceptions it will deprive the bill of one of its major goals of creating one standard for everyone. This could be particularly problematic in the area of fees charged for licenses.

WHEN RENEWING YOUR INSURANCE POLICY IS NOT RENEWING YOUR INSURANCE POLICY

Posted by:  Josh Quinter  (jquinter@kaplaw.com)

Although regular risk assessments and re-evaluations of insurance coverage are generally a good idea, it's not uncommon for construction companies to take the approach of renewing their existing insurance policy when it comes up for renewal. Some policies - particularly specialty policies - have renewal clauses in them that sophisticated companies should be aware of when renewing their insurance though. A recent decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia sheds some light on this issue.

Insurance Policy.jpgIn Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. F&M Equipment Company, the Court held that a policy provision stating that the policy would be renewed upon its expiration required that the insurance carrier offer the insured substantially the same policy as the one about to expire. To do otherwise, according to the Court, would violate the intent of the parties in agreeing to the renewal clause.

In Indian Harbor, the insurance company issued a policy providing for $10 million in pollution and remediation coverage over a 10 year term. The policy covered 12 different sites, including locations that a predecessor company to F&M was required to remediate. The coverage limits of the policy were subsequently increased to $14 million in exchange for additional premium. When Indian Harbor made its offer to renew, it reduced the coverage to $5 million and the term to one year. The only site for which a claim was made on the previous policy was also excluded from coverage.

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