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Construction Law

Poyner Spruill has a knowledgeable and experienced Group of attorneys whose practices are concentrated in the area of construction law. They represent lenders, developers, architects, engineers, owners (private and governmental), sureties, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in all phases of construction law. Services include the negotiation and drafting of construction- related documents and arbitration, mediation and litigation involving construction disputes. The firm has defended multi-million dollar delay claims on multi-prime construction projects, represented contractors and designers before licensing boards and defended against OSHA citations. The partner who chairs this Group has been selected by the American Arbitration Association as an Arbitrator of Construction Disputes and is a certified mediator.
Our recent representative experience includes: 

Representation of General Contractors

  • Representation of general contractor on delay claims arising on a North Carolina highway construction project.
  • Representation of general contractor on extra work and breach of contract claims against the North Carolina Department of Transportation arising out of a highway construction project. 
  • Representation of a general contractor in pursuing amounts owed to the general contractor and defending claims for defective work by the owner which arises out of the rehabilitation of an apartment complex owned by a public/private partnership. 
  • Representation of a general contractor in a delay damages and extra work against a co-prime contractor and the owner in a claim involving the construction of a large public aquatic center in Charlotte. The case went through full discovery and was eventually resolved after one week of a trial. 
  • Representation of a general contractor to recover $600,000 for additional work performed on a three story parking deck owned by a hospital. Additional work was required due to defects in the plans and specifications. Suit involved claims against owner, engineer and construction manager.
  • Representation of a general contractor against delay claims from an HVAC contractor on an eight story, multi-million dollar library project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Case is reported at Bolton Corp. v. T. A. Loving Co., 94 N.C. App. 392, 411, 380 S.E.2d 796, 808 (1989).
  • Defended a general contractor against a defective construction claim for the subsidence of a slab on grade portion of the Walter Davis Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The owner alleged that the subsidence was due to defective compaction by the general contractor. Case was decided in favor of the general contractor at the trial level, and was the subject of an appeal, see University of North Carolina v. T. A. Loving Co., 417 S.E.2d 795 (S. Ct. 1992).
  • Defended a general contractor against a million-dollar delay and extra work claim by a dredge subcontractor on an expansion of the Berth #9 of the Wilmington Port, owned by the North Carolina State Ports Authority. Dredge subcontractor sued the general contractor, who was required to sue the owner since a pass through claim was not allowed statutorily at that time. Case was resolved in favor of the general contractor at the trial level and upheld on appeal.
  • Representation of a general contractor and subcontractors in lawsuits by area homeowners for problems arising from exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS), more commonly referred to as "synthetic stucco." These type construction cases are often complex, involving a substantial number of defendants and numerous cross-claims that are asserted between them.

Representation of Subcontractors and Material Suppliers

  • Representation of subcontractor on a North Carolina highway construction project on disputes arising from soil borings and alleged defects in subsurface information. 
  • Representation of an architect/engineer in defending bad faith claims brought by a general contractor arising out of the construction of a wastewater treatment plant.
  • Representation of national material supplier with respect to product defect claims on a North Carolina bridge construction project.

General Construction Litigation

  • Representation of national airline company with respect to defects in construction of airport terminal.
  • Representation of major medical center in design and construction defects disputes arising out of new hospital construction.
  • Representation of a municipal corporation in prosecuting claims against a contractor for defective work and liquidated damages associated with the $30 million construction of a wastewater treatment plant. We are also defending claims that the contractor has brought against the municipality. 
  • Obtained multi-million dollar recovery against the designer of the HVAC system on a hospital addition.

Construction Contract Negotiation

  • Regularly represents owners and contractors in contract negotiations for large projects and is currently involved in contract negotiations on behalf of the owners for a large proposed theme park located in North Carolina and the construction of a $29 million dollar church located in Charlotte.
  • Represented an owner in connection with negotiation and drafting of the architectural and construction contracts for Ericsson Stadium.
  • Negotiated and drafted construction contracts for $64 million warehouse facility and office building for a national TV shopping network and a drug manufacturing facility for a national drug company.
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