Monthly Archives: May 2012

Philadelphia’s Green Stormwater Plan Will Bring More Work to Contractors

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2012.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently approved an ambitious $2 billion plan by the City of Philadelphia to drastically transform how stormwater and sewer overflows are managed. Known as the “Green City, Clean Waters” plan, Philadelphia’s initiative will implement the use of innovative green solutions to address the persistent problem of excessive and unsanitary stormwater runoff and sewer overflow. It also involves a substantial investment in green construction over the next two and a half decades.

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Elephants in Mouse Holes: OSHA Record Keeping Citations Barred After Six Months

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Safety Issues on May 28, 2012.

In what could be seen as a far reaching decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently held a firm line in enforcing a 6 month statute of limitations for on-site injury record keeping violations under 29 C.F.R. § 657. The decision – a significant one for those in the construction business – was a firm reminder to the Department of Labor about the principals of separation of powers and its limited power to enforce safety at the project.

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Who Has Lien Priority Under the Pennsylvania Mechanic’s Lien Law – Contractor or Lender?

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Mechanic's Liens on May 24, 2012.

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Superior Court for the first time issued some very important analysis of the lien priority amendments to the Mechanic’s Lien Law in Commerce Bank/Harrisburg, N.A. v. Kessler.

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UCC Review and Advisory Council Declines to Adopt revisions in 2012 ICC Code

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Pending Legislation on May 21, 2012.

Earlier this year, the UCC Review and Advisory Council (“RAC”) in Pennsylvania declined to adopt the proposed revisions set out in the 2012 ICC Code.

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Pennsylvania Contractor Held Personally Liable for Defective Construction

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Defect on May 17, 2012.

In a very recent case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has held that a residential construction contractor who personally guaranteed that defective work would be corrected could be held personally responsible for the cost of repairs required to correct defective construction. The case, Bennett, et al. v. A.P. Masterpiece Homes offers an object lesson to contractors on how not to communicate with their customers.

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BREAKING NEWS

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Events in Construction on May 15, 2012.

In a May 14, 2012, Memorandum Opinion, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia struck down an NLRB rule that was designed to significantly change the manner in which elections over union representation in businesses would take place. The rule was published on December 22, 2011, and went into effect in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and every other state in the union on April 30th of this year.

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Refresher on PA’s Construction Workplace Misclassification Act

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Independent Contractors on May 14, 2012.

I recently attended a legislative breakfast hosted by one of the construction related organizations in which I participate. A number of state legislators were present, as was a representative of the District Attorney’s office in Montgomery County. Because the District Attorney is an elected position in Pennsylvania, this has a certain amount of logic to it. That being said, it is something that is not done very often and caught my attention.

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Contractor Subject to Criminal Prosecution for Set-Aside Violations

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Projects on May 10, 2012.

A subsidiary of Skanska avoided criminal prosecution by agreeing to pay a $19.6 million settlement over allegations that Skanska improperly took advantage of government set-aside programs. In conjunction with that settlement, it entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan. At the time of the settlement, Skanska was the low bidder on a large subway construction project and risked not having the contract awarded to it by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

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New Jersey Courts Recognize Arbitration Demands as “First Filings”

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Arbitration/Mediation on May 7, 2012.

A demand for mediation or arbitration based on a contractual agreement may qualify as a “first filed action” according to the Appellate Division in New Jersey. In a matter of first impression, the court considered whether a demand for mediation or arbitration may be viewed as a first filed action in CTC Demolition Company Inc. v. GMH AETC Management/Development, L.L.C.

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Pennsylvania HVAC Contractors Are Immune – Except When They Are Not

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Pending Legislation on May 3, 2012.

It seems legislative bodies are taking notice. With the increase of claims regarding mold and mold remediation, state legislatures are starting to look at the issue more closely. While a policy debate about whether state governments should wade into these waters is perfectly fair, many legislatures are doing it nonetheless. Pennsylvania is no exception.

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