Construction & Public Contracts

In 5 Walworth, LLC v. Engerman Contracting, Inc., 2023 WI 51, the Wisconsin Supreme Court addressed insurance coverage for damages allegedly caused by the deficient construction of an inground swimming pool. The pool cracked, causing water to leak into and destabilize the surrounding soil. Attempts were made to fix the cracks, but ultimately the entire pool structure had to be demolished and replaced. The homeowner then sued the general contractor who constructed the defective pool and its two insurers.
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Integrated Systems Analysis Does Not Apply to Evaluating Insurance Coverage Under a CGL Policy

There are a variety of situations where construction litigation may be necessary to address issues such as shoddy workmanship, defective materials, or other problems that lead to property damage. One factor that played a role in Wisconsin construction litigation cases was known as the “integrated systems rule.” This rule stated that insurance coverage for property damage would only apply if damage occurred to “other property.” However, a recent ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected this rule. This
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Addresses Integrated Systems Rule in Construction Litigation

The recent shared revenue bill negotiated, passed, and signed by the Wisconsin State Legislature and Governor Evers made statutory changes to regulating nonmetallic quarry operations. These changes balance local authority and the need for construction materials (e.g., gravel, crushed stone, and sand) while ensuring safety and regulatory consistency.
Local Regulation
Local political subdivisions may still enact nonmetallic mining ordinances requiring a conditional use permit or a nonmetallic mining license. Any new regulation requiring such permit or license will not
Continue Reading New Law Addresses Nonmetallic Mining Regulations

By: Attorney Chris Strohbehn and Law Clerk Nancy Cattani

Few things are more terrifying than the idea of being inside a building that collapses. People in this situation may be injured by falling rubble or could be pinned under debris, such as collapsed walls and ceilings. Collapses of large, multi-story buildings are likely to be even more dangerous, as people could experience serious or fatal injuries in falls, and rescuers may need to dig through tons of debris before
Continue Reading Who Can Be Held Liable for Losses in a Building Collapse?

Building codes are something most of us don’t hear much about (unless you binge-watch HGTV reno shows like I do). Created to establish minimal life safety requirements for the construction/renovation of buildings, they can vary from state to state and even town to town. Building codes first became part of the American legal landscape in the 1800s, driven in large part by fears of fires spreading through cities.

As federal, state, and local governments deal with the damage done
Continue Reading What Engineers and Architects Need to Know about Building Codes and Climate Change

Less than one day after the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominiums in Surfside, Florida, the first lawsuit was filed. Two days after the tragic collapse, at least one law firm launched a “Florida Building Collapse” website. While we have our own thoughts about these efforts, our focus has been on early detection and prevention of these tragedies. We have been studying and writing about construction defects involving shoddy steel and concrete for years.

Despite the apparent rush
Continue Reading Building Collapse – Defective Concrete, Steel and/or Design

The risks presented by unknown site conditions are difficult to identify and evaluate, and the costs to address them can be very substantial. Saul Glazer discusses the necessity of using DSC – differing site conditions – clauses in construction contracts.

The basic purpose of the contracting process is to allocate risks among the various parties.

Many risks are easy to identify and evaluate. For example, a contractor can evaluate the risk of labor cost changes or material prices. Similarly,
Continue Reading Construction Contracts: Differing Site Conditions