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Construction Law Newsletters


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.

Interpretation of Construction Contracts - Course of Dealing

The "course of dealing" between parties to a construction contract encompasses their past actions in conducting business on other matters and is regarded as the basis for a common understanding between the parties. Essentially, their conduct in carrying on past business affairs with one another may be used to interpret a contractual provision in their current business endeavor. When the parties have neglected to include a term in their current contract, courts may look to their course of dealing to supply the missing term.

Bidding on Public Contracts

For public construction projects, competitive bidding is utilized to obtain the best price for the work required from a responsible contractor. Although specific bidding procedures vary by locality, the essential character of the process remains the same. In a nutshell, the successful bid will generally be the one that is submitted by a responsible contractor for the lowest price and that is most responsive to the project specifications outlined by the public entity.

Owner's Selection of Architect and Contractor

Among the owner's chief concerns to ensure the successful completion of a construction project is the selection of the project's architect and general contractor. Without such key personnel in place the project would never get off the ground. Further, ensuring the quality of workmanship on the project starts with the architect's design of the plans and specifications and carries forward through the actual construction process under the auspices of the contractor.

Preparing for a Home Improvement Project - Homeowner Tips

The time spent in preparation for a home improvement project is critical to obtaining a satisfactory outcome. From conceptualizing the finished project to choosing a contractor, the more prepared a homeowner is, the better. Following are tips for homeowners who are planning a home improvement project.