Current Events in Construction Archives

Bad Faith

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Bonding and Surety on Sep 28, 2017.

On September 28, 2017, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in Rancosky v. Washington National Insurance Company, held that in order to recover in a bad faith action against an insurer under 42 Pa.C.S. §8371, the plaintiff must “present clear and convincing evidence (1) that the insurer did not have a reasonable basis for denying benefits under the policy and (2) that the insurer knew of or recklessly disregarded its lack of a reasonable basis.” Further, the Court held that proof of an insurance company’s motive of self-interest or ill-will is not a prerequisite to prevailing in a bad faith claim under Section 8371, observing that evidence of the insurer’s knowledge or recklessness as to its lack of a reasonable basis in denying policy benefits is sufficient.  

Launch of Enforcement of the Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction Standard, 29 CFR § 1926.1153

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Industry News on Sep 25, 2017.

On September 23, 2017, OSHA will begin enforcement of the new respirable crystalline silica standard for construction (“new silica rule”). OSHA announced that during the first 30 days of enforcement of the new silica rule, it will consider good-faith efforts by employers in their attempt to comply with the new silica rule. OSHA will offer outreach and assistance to help ensure employers are fully and properly complying with the new requirements. The memorandum issued by OSHA on the subject can be found under the following link: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=31292

Pittsburgh Airport Shrinkage Spurs Substantial Construction Project

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Industry News on Sep 20, 2017.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pittsburgh International Airport will receive a $1.1 Billion facelift, ironically spurred by a downsizing of the airport facility. The consolidation of U.S. Airways, a major tenant at the airport, with American Airlines resulted in a substantial reduction in capacity at the airport over the last several years. A 600 person operation center at the airport was closed, as were other facilities. The plan recently unveiled is essentially a makeover for a terminal opened as a US Airways hub in 1992, but which now serves only ½ the traffic it once did. The project includes a new building for ticketing and security, a new parking garage and a streamlined boarding facility. Under the proposed modernization, the current landside building would be abandoned, the tram that hauls people from it to the X-shaped boarding facility, or airside, terminated, and the number of gates will be reduced to 51 from 75. Constructed in their place will be a $783.8 million landside building located between airside’s C and D concourses with new security and baggage facilities, a reconfigured international arrivals area, a 3,000-space parking garage, and other features designed focused on the needs of modern travelers. The Post-Gazette also reports that private developers have expressed interest in commercial development of vacant space at the airport for tenants interested in locating their businesses near the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration would likely have to approve any redevelopment of the vacant airport space. Andrew B. Cohn can be reached by email […]

U.S. MODULAR CONSTRUCTION ON THE RISE

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Construction Industry News on Aug 10, 2017.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that two European developers are planning a mixed-use development that could include up to 20,000 modular homes on the former site of a U.S. Steel plant in Chicago. A division of Irish firm WElink Group and Spain-based Barcelona Housing Systems (BHS) has entered into an agreement to purchase the 440-acre site. WElink builds energy-efficient modular housing, and BHS uses solar power and recycled materials in its homes. Closing on the property is to occur within five months. It is anticipated that the development would likely include low- and mid-rise buildings, parks and a marina. Developers are increasingly using modular and offsite construction to speed up construction and overcome skilled-labor shortage. Modular factories offer efficiencies which produce either whole rooms or room segments concurrently with site work and other site operations. This efficiency can significantly streamline the project schedule. A number of commercial developers, including Marriott, have made public commitments to use modular construction to reduce costs and achieve overall efficiency. It recently announced that it planned to incorporate modular in approximately 13% of its total North American hotel deals this year. That would translate to approximately 50 hotels that will include some element of modular building. Although most of the growth in modular in the U.S. has come from the multifamily and hospitality sector, some single-family builders are also using the method. Entekra, An Irish developer, Entekra, plans to build volume modular housing in the U.S. It claims that its model can produce the components for […]

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BREAKING NEWS: Ironworkers Union Boss Sentenced to 19 Years in Prison

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Current Events in Construction on Jul 20, 2015.

Joseph Dougherty, 73, former head of Philadelphia’s largest ironworkers union, was sentenced Monday to 19 years and two months in federal prisonafter being convicted of overseeing a campaign of sabotage and intimidation of nonunion contractors including the 2012 torching of a Quaker Meetinghouse in Chestnut Hill. In addition, Dougherty will have to pay over $500,000 in restitution.

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UPDATE: PA House Passes Transportation Bill

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Current Events in Construction on Nov 20, 2013.

We reported yesterday that the Pennsylvania House failed to pass Governor Corbett’s proposed transportation legislation. In what can only be described as a surprisingly quick turn of events, the House voted on largely the same bill on Tuesday evening and passed it. The vote was 104-95.

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UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court Takes Certification On EPA Regulations

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Current Events in Construction on Oct 18, 2013.

On October 13th, we reported that new Environmental Protection Agency regulations regarding carbon emissions might have an impact on Pennsylvania’s construction economy. At the time, we reported that those regulations, which are based on a finding by the EPA that carbon emissions are harmful “greenhouse gases”, were subject to a legal challenge. That legal challenge has now been taken up by a number of groups interested in the issue.

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New EPA Emissions Rules Could Hurt Pennsylvania Construction

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Current Events in Construction on Oct 13, 2013.

In June of this year, President Obama announced his plan to address climate issues. The EPA has announced a number of new regulations that are scheduled for public comment and finalization in the fall of 2014 in furtherance of the President’s agenda. Some of these new regulations have the potential to significantly impact the coal and Marcellus Shale industry, as well as the construction infrastructure that goes along with it, in Pennsylvania.

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CITY OF PHILADELPHIA DEBARS SUBCONTRACTOR BASED ON MINORITY PARTICIPATION VIOLATIONS

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Current Events in Construction on Jul 3, 2013.

A subcontractor debarred by the City of Philadelphia has lost its legal fight to dispute the debarment for violations of minority participation rules. The City previously debarred JHK, Inc., because it had allegedly misrepresented its minority work volume. JHK formally disputed the debarment and its claim was heard by a special Debarment Panel under the auspices of the City Finance Department.

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BREAKING NEWS: Building Collapse in Center City Philadelphia

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in Current Events in Construction on Jun 5, 2013.

News reports in the last several hours indicate that a building at the corner of Market and 22nd Streets in Center City Philadelphia has collapsed and buried between 8-10 people.  There was construction work going on in the area, including demolition work to bring one of the buildings down.  It is assumed, but officially unknown, whether the demolition work was the cause of the building collapse.

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