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Surety Claim and Indemnification Matters

Syracuse I and Syracuse III Housing Projects, Syracuse, New York. Represented completing surety in arbitration involving extra, delay and subrogation claims against developer.

Port Authority Bus Terminal, New York City, New York. Represented performance and payment bond surety in action against Port Authority to secure contract funds and indemnity action against indemnitors on General Agreement of Indemnity.

New York Thruway Authority Sound Barrier Contract, Westchester, New York. General contractor default on sound barrier project. Represented performance bond surety.

Westchester County Airport Bunker Project and Runway Installation, White Plains, New York.Failure to complete and make payments by general contractor due to problems on other project. Represented surety. Negotiated job closeout with contract funds released to pay subcontractors.

City of Stamford Train Station Renovations, Stamford, Connecticut. Failure to complete and make payments by general contractor. Represented surety. Negotiated settlement with owner and release of contract balances to pay subcontractors.

Oak Grove Shopping Center, Edison, New Jersey. Defaulted bankrupt general contractor. Represented performance bond surety in suit brought by owner/developer.

Federal Court House and Office Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Foundation problem resulting in settlement of 24 story building. Represented performance bond surety for general contractor.

Mahwah High School, Mahwah, New Jersey. Defended general contractor's performance bond surety on claims by owner for allegedly defective and incomplete work by defaulted contractor involving cast-in-place concrete finishes, roof, tile floors and specialty entrances and electrical snow removal system. Resolved by award in favor of surety. Negotiated workout agreement between surety and general contractor's principals to indemnify surety for losses on other projects.

Hamilton High School West, Hamilton, New Jersey. Defective design and construction of outdoor running track resulting in failure of running surface related to soils conditions and water runoff. Represented performance bond surety.

1818 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Defective work, defective materials, delay and payments. Represented performance and payment bond surety in extremely complex case.

Retirement Home for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Claim for defective doors brought by owner. Represented performance bond surety for general contractor.

Route 55 Freeway Construction, Deptford, New Jersey. Delay and extra claims by general contractor related to unforeseen soils conditions. Represented financing performance bond surety in completing project and negotiating collateralized settlement with indemnitors to prosecute claims litigation against owner. Case eventually tried and won by general contractor with surety taking major part of judgment to offset losses and payments on project.

Youngs Road Reconstruction Project, Hamilton, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Represented performance bond surety and negotiated settlement with owner in general contractor's bankruptcy to secure payment of contract funds to subcontractors or surety. Project completed without litigation and surety obtained approximately 90% recovery on loss including attorneys' fees.

Princeton Medical Center Renovations, Princeton, New Jersey. Default of mechanical contractor. Represented mechanical contractor's performance bond surety on claims brought by construction manager and claims by surety against indemnitors and mechanical contractor who had filed bankruptcy. Case against surety was dismissed by agreement. Indemnity case settled by partial payment of loss by only remaining solvent indemnitor.

Southwest Sewerage Treatment Plant Central Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mechanical contractor default by public owner with contested extra work and delay claims by mechanical contractor. Represented performance bond surety in case. Developed evidence demonstrating that problems related to defective design and owner interferences. Surety refused to perform on bonds and mechanical contractor eventually settled case with public owner.

Northwest Incinerator Plant, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mechanical contractor default. Represented performance bond surety and developed evidence that project delays were associated with owner delays in payment because of dispute over claims attributed to project. Surety refused to perform and mechanical contractor eventually settled case with owner, without payment by surety.

Washington Avenue Elementary School, Pleasantville, New Jersey. Defective masonry and waterproofing work and liquidated damages claims by public owner against general contractor and performance bond surety. Represented performance bond surety. Developed evidence showing that Board of Education acted unlawfully in letting contract and otherwise concealed information material to the surety's underwriting risk. The case was eventually settled; claims against the surety were dismissed without any contribution to the settlement. The surety secured a 100% recovery for litigation fees and costs from the bonded principal.

Fischer & Porter Plant, New Roofing Project, Warminster, Pennsylvania. Defective roof. Defended roofer's performance bond surety in case brought by owner against surety and roofing manufacturer. Case against surety dismissed pursuant to summary judgment motion.

Lavallette Elementary School, Lavallette, New Jersey. Defective design involving improperly supported slab and incomplete work of defaulted general contractor. Represented general contractor's performance bond surety. Developed evidence of design defects related to missing grade beam in structural plans. Negotiated “walkaway” settlement for surety for $10,000 of retainages held by owner.

Belle Vista Senior Citizens Home, Jersey City, New Jersey. Defective window wall in high-rise. Represented performance bond surety in multiple-party case brought by court appointed receiver/trustee. Defects corrected and project completed without costs to the surety out of funds held by trustee.

Orthopedic Consultants Medical Building, Red Bank, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Represented performance and payment bond surety prosecuting subrogated contract balance and extra claims against owner and defending owner's counterclaims for defective and incomplete work and delay damages. Case settled during discovery by payment to surety by owner.

Pennsylvania School of Pediatric Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Payment bond claims by unpaid subcontractors. Represented payment bond surety in claims against indemnitors.

Church Home Retirement Community and Hospital, Wilmington, Delaware. Defective design and construction of sidewalks related to problem soils conditions resulting in failure. Represented performance bond surety for design-build turnkey general contractor. Problem corrected and settled without litigation.

Hankook Tire America Office & Warehouse, Wayne Township, New Jersey. General contractor default. Represent performance bond surety in case brought by owner. Case is presently in litigation before a special master.

Prairie Island Co-Generation Facility, Prairie Island, Minnesota. Bankruptcy of structural steel fabricator. Represented performance bond surety for fabricator. Joined all parties in fabricator's New Jersey bankruptcy proceeding by bringing adversary declaratory judgment action. Claims against surety dismissed by agreement in bankruptcy adversary action. All attorneys' fees and costs paid by personal indemnitors.

Fort Dix Computer Room, Fort Dix, New Jersey. Defended surety in Miller Act litigation; obtained judgment dismissing claim against surety after judgment order had been entered enforcing settlement agreement (for higher amount) against principal who negotiated earlier settlement then failed to pay it.

Roof Truss Replacement, Naval Weapons Station, Earle, Colts Neck, New Jersey. Defended and settled multiple payment lawsuits under Miller Act. Settlement of indemnification claims for about 90% of loss pending.

Atlantic County Fire Training Center, Atlantic County, New Jersey. Indemnification action. Case turned over to firm by surety after mishandling by two other law firms and case was dismissed by court. Had case reinstated and conducted all discovery within 30 day period. Case settled at jury trial.

Road Repaving Project, Wildwood, New Jersey. Case turned over to firm after being mishandled by another firm. Discovery period had passed although no discovery had been taken by prior firm. Settled all delay damages, performance bond claims, and all payment bond claims against defaulting general contractor for sum equaling approximately 50% of one of the payment bond claims. Summary judgment motion on the indemnity claims is pending.

Roof Remediation, River Dell High School, River Dell, New Jersey. Defective roof claim brought by school board against surety, architect and material manufacturer. The bonded roofer was in bankruptcy. Case dismissed with prejudice after surety proved school board was aware of defects causing failure but had used contract retainages for other projects without correcting conditions. Obtained judgment against indemnitors for fees and costs of defending action.

Representation in Project Completion and Takeover Matters

United States Postal Service Main Postal Distribution, Facility, New York, New York. Defaulted and bankrupt electrical contractor. Represented general contractor. Negotiated completion agreement with electrical subcontractor's performance bond surety for takeover and completion of project. Project completed without litigation.

New York Transit Authority Environmental Cleanup Contracts, Various Sites. Multiple default situation by contamination cleanup contractor who filed bankruptcy. Represented performance and payment bond surety on about 10 projects. Negotiated or secured turnover orders for project funds under auspices of bankruptcy court which were used to offset payment bond claims filed against surety.

Pennsylvania Convention Center Project, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fire protection subcontractor default. Represented financing performance bond surety in completion of work and prosecution of indemnity claims against indemnitors on General Agreement of Indemnity. Project completed. Indemnity claim settled in connection with dismissal of bankruptcy action filed by corporate and personal indemnitors.

Liberty Village Housing, Edison, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Represented surety in negotiations of takeover agreement and completion efforts. Project completed without litigation despite owner's claims for defective and incomplete work.

Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Default of mechanical contractor by general contractor. Represented mechanical contractor's performance bond surety in negotiating completion agreement with general contractor using the bonded mechanical contractor after the default was lifted. Project completed without litigation.

Fire Training Center, Mercer County, New Jersey. Default of general contractor by owner. Negotiated takeover agreement with owner and hold agreements with subcontractors for general contractor's performance bond surety. Negotiated construction of new trunk water main with local water company to obviate litigation with county when adjacent homeowners complained that delayed construction of catch basis on project destroyed local private wells. Project completed without litigation despite other multiple prime contractors' allegations of claims for delay damages.

Newark Scattered Site Housing, Newark, New Jersey. Default of general contractor. Negotiated takeover agreement with owner for performance bond surety and drafted completion agreement with completing contractor. Represented surety in conjunction with post-completion claims for extras and payment by owner and counterclaims by owner for delays and defective work relating to work of defaulted bonded principal and completing contractor. Case settled in surety's favor by payment by owner.

Mount Pocono Shopping Center, Site Work Subcontract, Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania. Claims for contract balances, extra work and delays. Represented sitework subcontractor in prosecution of claims against owner/developer and defense of subcontractor and its performance bond surety on claims for defective work and delays made by owner/developer. The case was litigated as an adversary action in the subcontractor's bankruptcy. Settled by the subcontractor's general liability carrier for nuisance value.

Burlington County Detention Facility, Burlington, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Represented completing surety in claims by completing contractor and delay related claims by owner for backcharges, additional architect's fees and other similar extra costs at end of project. Settled without litigation for monetized amount of punchlist.

Colonial Square Housing Project, Edison, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Represented performance bond surety in negotiating takeover and hold agreements. Project completed without litigation despite owner's claims for defects and delays.

Hampton Valley Apartments, Newark, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Represented performance bond surety in negotiating takeover and hold agreements and additional alleged extra costs claims made by City. Project completed without litigation.

United States Postal Service Distribution and Postal Facility, Princeton, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Negotiated takeover and hold agreements for completing performance bond surety. Project completed without litigation.

New Monmouth County Library, Freehold, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Negotiated completion, hold and takeover agreements on behalf of surety. Negotiated post-completion claims of owner, architect and design consultants. Project completed without litigation.

New Mercer County Libraries Project, Mercer County, New Jersey. Default of general contractor by owner. Negotiated takeover agreement with owner for general contractor's performance bond surety. Project completed without litigation related to bond.

Pinelands Library, Medford, New Jersey. Defaulted and bankrupt general contractor. Represented completing performance bond surety. Negotiated completion and takeover agreements. Project completed without litigation.

New Police Administration Building, Pine, Hill, New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Represented completing surety. Negotiated completion agreement. Project completed without litigation.

Port of History Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Defaulted general contractor. Represented completing performance bond surety in negotiation of closeout of project.

Medical Service Squadron Facility, McGuire A.F.B., New Jersey. Defaulted general contractor. Negotiated completion agreement for completing surety with Corps of Engineers. Project completed without litigation. Prosecuted indemnity case against indemnitor principals to judgment, but indemnitors filed for bankruptcy before the judgment could be satisfied.

Murray Hill Pump Station Replacement Project, East Rutherford, New Jersey; Holmdel Pump Station Repair Project, Holmdel, New Jersey; Independence Pump Station Project, Independence, N.J. Contract defaults and payment bond claims involving same principal. Proved that alleged subcontractor payment bond claimant was secret joint venturer with bonded principal. Secured dismissal of payment claims and obtained injunctive order from New Jersey Chancery Court ordering both principal and claimant to complete projects with all contract payments subject to approval of law firm.

Sewerage Treatment and Flood Control Project, Luzerne, Pennsylvania. Defaulted general contractor, defective specifications, completions and extras. Represented performance bond surety in relation to completion of sewerage treatment and flood control project. Developed proof that failure of 54″ main flood control reservoir was due to poor soils investigation in design stage and failure of field engineer to detect obvious poor condition in the field when he authorized the emplacement of the reservoir.

Sewerage Treatment Facility, Forty-Fort, Pennsylvania. Defaulted general contractor. Represented performance bond surety in completion efforts. Prevented discharge of indemnitor/principal in bankruptcy by developing evidence which showed that principal and completing contractor had conspired to defraud the surety by moving equipment from job to job.

Technical Equipment Shop Parking Lot Construction, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Failure of parking lot due to poor soil conditions and furnishing of non-conforming sub-base. Represent performance bond surety. Currently in litigation.

Geick Park Reconstruction, Old Bridge, New Jersey. General contractor bankruptcy. Represented performance and payment bond surety. Negotiated settlement with owner and payment of contract balances in court to satisfy subcontractor claims. Surety's subrogation and indemnity recovery is approximately 97% of any loss including costs and attorneys' fees.

Contractor Representation

IBM Office Building, 55th and Madison Avenue, New York, New York. Defaulted electrical subcontractor. Represented general contractor in suit against electrical subcontractor's performance bond surety who refused to complete and 15 re-insurers. Case settled in general contractor's favor during discovery.

Hope Creek Nuclear Power Plant, Salem, New Jersey. Defective materials and specification problem. Represented painting sub-contractor in claims for payment and extra work claim against utility owner, paint manufacturer and construction manager and defended counterclaims for extra costs, corrective work and delays. Demonstrated that painting failures were due to ambiguous specification and defective products. Case settled during discovery.

Scott Paper Equipment Painting Project, Chester, Pennsylvania. Represented painting contractor. Scope of work dispute between painting contractor and owner. Case settled after the complaint was filed when we demonstrated to the court during initial conference that the surface blast required for the product specified was inconsistent with the contract limitations on the blasting products which could be utilized.

Ikea “Incredible Universe” Project, Elizabeth, New Jersey. Contract negotiation. Represented excavation subcontractor on project built over contaminated site. Participated in negotiation and drafting of subcontract.

Deborah Heart & Lung Center, Browns Mills, New Jersey. Design defect and incorrect soils information case. Represented general contractor in prosecuting claims for extras and delays against owner. Case settled in favor of general contractor during arbitration hearings when we demonstrated that the contract soil boring logs did not accurately represent the observations in the field boring logs.

The Benedictine Abbey of Newark, Athletic Facility, Mahwah, New Jersey. Multiple claims case involving bankruptcy of general contractor. Initially represented unpaid subcontractor and subsequently represented Reorganized Debtor in wrapping up the Bankruptcy Estate and completing all litigation related to Reorganization Plan.

The Trump Castle, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Defaulted mechanical contractor. Represented mechanical contractor's payment bond surety on claims against bond by ductwork subcontractor for extra work and delays.

Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Scope of work contract dispute involving counterclaims for defective work. Represented general contractor. Arbitration award in favor of contractor against owner.

Cathedral Village, Hospital and Retirement Home, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Delay damages claim against owner and counterclaim for delays, incomplete work and extra costs. Represented general contractor. Arbitration award in favor of general contractor.

CIGNA Eagle Lodge Conference Center, White Marsh, Pennsylvania. Extra work and delay damages case. Represented general contractor in connection with prosecuting claims against owner and defending claims by dry wall subcontractor. Case settled by owner's payment of general contractor's and subcontractor's claims.

Ewing Shopping Center Project, Ewing Township, New Jersey. Claim for unpaid balances and extra costs. Represented general contractor in arbitration against owner/developer in prosecution of claim for payment of contract amount and in defending counterclaims for alleged incomplete work and defects. Award in favor of general contractor.

Hamburg State Hospital, Hamburg, Pennsylvania. Extra work and delay claims. Represented general contractor in prosecution of claims against owner. Case settled shortly after we demonstrated that the architect had been terminated by the public owner because the plans and specifications were so poorly prepared.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Camden, New Jersey. Alleged mechanical contractor default by general contractor. Represented principals of mechanical contractor on claims against indemnitors brought by completing surety. The indemnity action was resolved without litigation by showing that the surety had acted precipitously, that the surety's investigation was insufficient and that the alleged problems relating to the default were not the responsibility of the mechanical contractor.

Doylestown Memorial Hospital, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Construction failure case. This was a Surabond/Durabond defective brick panel case. Represented general contractor. Settled.

Renovations and New Work, Simpli Skandii, Princeton, New Jersey. Claim for extra work, delays. Represented general contractor in prosecution of claims under tenant fit-up contract and defending tenant's claims for defective and incomplete work and delays. Arbitration award in favor of the general contractor and dismissal of the tenant's counterclaims.

Warren County Pollution Control Facility, Warren County, New Jersey. Sealed landfill project. Represented general contractor in prosecution of contract balance, extra work and delay claims against owner and defense of owner's defective work and delay counterclaim and claims for extras, delays and subcontract balances by subcontractor. Pursuant to negotiation, case was tried before a Special Master appointed under aegis of the United States District Court. One deposition lasting two days was taken for the pre-trial discovery. Award in favor of general contractor on all counts of the claims and the counterclaims.

AT&T Energy Conservation Facility, Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Claims for unpaid contract balances and extra work. Represented general contractor in prosecution of claims against developer and defense of claims for defective work, delays and the like. Obtained judgment at trial for full amount of the claim and attorneys' fees for defense of spurious counterclaims by developer pursuant to vexatious claims statute.

Princeton Forrestal Village Shopping Center, Plainsboro, New Jersey. Claim for contract payment. Represented unpaid excavating sub-contractor in action against construction manager and owner/developer. Case settled after suit was initiated and general contractor's “pay-when-paid” motion to dismiss was filed.

Rutgers University Dormitory and Office Renovation Project, Queens Campus, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Dispute regarding terms and scope of work in design contract. Represented design architect. Settled for payment for work performed and cancellation of contract without litigation.

Owner/Project Manager/Developer Representation

Wheat Fractionalization Plant, Keokuk, Iowa. Default of general contractor by project manager/developer. Represented project manager in negotiating takeover agreement with and financing by surety of defaulted general contractor to complete project.

Dallas – Fort Worth Airport, Dallas Texas. Various claims. Represented construction manager. Cases settled.

Raleigh – Durham Airport, Raleigh, North Carolina. Various claims. Represented construction manager. Cases settled.

Acme Market and Shopping Center, Wilmington, Delaware. Lease dispute involving unlawful work and long term lease. Represented owner. Case settled by agreement to terminate long term lease after we put owner into chapter 7 bankruptcy and we brought adversary action against tenant for waste of the leasehold.

Sewerage Treatment Plant for the Hills Company, Bedminister, New Jersey. Represented owner/developer. Drafted contract, reviewed plans and specifications for legal sufficiency and negotiated contractor claims for extras and owner's counterclaims for delays with general contractor and contractor's surety. Project completed without litigation.

PAT Center, East Windsor, New Jersey. Represented owner. Drafted design and construction contracts and reviewed plans and specifications for legal sufficiency. Project completed. Represented owner in claims against general contractor and roofer for defects in roof construction. Case settled by insurance carriers.

The Hills Development, Bedminister, N.J. (Various cases). Handled all construction contract drafting and negotiations with utilities and all construction related litigation for the Hills Development Company between 1981 and 1986.

G.E. Satellite Systems Facility, East Windsor New Jersey. Tax Appeal. Negotiated substantial reduction in tax assessment of satellite construction facility by establishing that “clean room” and other specialized fixtures constituted personal property not assessable realty.

Old Bridge (South Bay) Sewerage Improvement Facility, Old Bridge, New Jersey. Dispute between County utility authority, design engineer and local municipalities involving responsibility for substantial cost overruns on sewer project. Successfully obtained agreement by all parties to try issues through ADR “Special Master” hearings since litigation would have been prohibitively expensive. Final briefing and written summations just submitted to Special Master, who has not yet rendered a judgment.

Puerto Rican Utilities Authority Fossil Fuel Power Generation Facility, San Juan, Puerto Rico.Delay claim case involving claims for delay and defects by project owner and counterclaims by Japanese design-builder for delays and contract extras. Represented project owner. Case settled after extensive discovery.

Oil Distribution Facility, Hightstown, New Jersey. New Jersey Spillage Act case. Represented oil distributor in case against lender bank, prior refinery owner of facility and others. Case settled during discovery for an amount sufficient to remediate site.

Special Area Management Plan, Hackensack Meadowlands, New Jersey. Represented developer in political and administrative processes to defeat regional environmental and land use program which targeted developer's holdings for non-economic use.

Construction Accident and Defective Construction Litigation

Roosevelt Senior Citizen Housing, West Plainsboro, New Jersey. Design defect case involving catastrophic failure of solar heating system. Represented architect/designer. Case settled for nuisance value of unpaid architect's fees of $5,000.

Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Project, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wrongful death litigation arising out of the collapse of townhouses in Philadelphia which were to be renovated as demonstration project. Successfully defended architect by arguing contractual immunity and that cause of collapse was failure of builder's inspectors and demolition contractor to enforce instructions for removal of debris from interior floors.

Medford Convalescent Home Medical Facility, Medford, New Jersey. Roof failure. Represented inspecting architect on E&O policy in case brought by owner/developer against general contractor, roofing subcontractor, roofing manufacturer and design architect. Settled for nuisance value during selection of jury by showing that owner/developer knew of condition prior to final inspection but concealed information from inspecting architect in order to draw down balance of federal and state funding grants for construction of the project.

Montgomery Estates Development, Montgomery Township, New Jersey. Construction defects case. Represent purchasers of large custom homes in $600,000 range in claims for shoddy and defective construction and failure to follow the applicable building codes and the plans and specifications. Claims are against the developer, the architect, the realtor and various subcontractors and suppliers. Case is currently in litigation. Recently obtained an arbitration award against the developer and an Appellate Division decision holding that an architect can be held liable under New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act if he is in collusion with the builder.

Private Home, Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Defective and unlawful construction. Represented homeowner in defense of claims for alleged extras and unpaid contract amounts by general contractor for renovations and counterclaims for defective and incomplete work and work performed contrary to local building codes and ordinances. Consent dismissal by both parties after one day of arbitration.

Peddie School Arts Center, Hightstown, New Jersey. Claim for extras related to correction of structural wing wall which failed and other errors and omissions in the plans and specification. Represented general contractor. Judgment for general contractor after 3-day jury trial.