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Construction Law


The infliction of emotional distress is a cause of action in tort that seeks damages for a person’s mental anguish and suffering without any physical injury or harm. The infliction of the emotional distress may be intentional or it may be negligent. Traditionally, courts have not allowed an owner to recover damages for emotional distress in actions regarding construction defects. However, more and more courts are beginning to consider these damages in litigation involving construction defects.

Construction Employee Safety and Health

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires all employers to provide their employees with a safe and healthful environment for working. Given the varied and potentially severe hazards that can be present at a construction site, construction employers must pay special attention to safety standards. In addition to the general guidelines applicable to all industries, the construction industry must follow regulations specifically geared to address hazards peculiar to the construction environment.

Default Termination in Private Construction Contracts

The termination of a private construction contract can occur when either party defaults under the contract. Generally, the contract will contain a default provision stating that the violation of an express condition in the contract will constitute a default. Construction contracts usually outline the specific contractual conditions that, if violated, will authorize the non-defaulting party to terminate the contract.

Designation of Property as “Historical”

In order for a property to be officially recognized as “historical” by the federal government, with all the attendant benefits and responsibilities that come with such a designation, the property must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Waiver of Written Authorization for Extra Work

Generally, extra work on a construction contract, i.e. work not covered in the scope of work contained in the contract between the owner and contractor, requires written authorization by the owner. Without such authorization, a contractor runs the risk of not being paid for the extra work performed. However, an owner can waive the written authorization requirement.

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