Articles Posted in Construction Law

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Defendant was indicted for, inter alia, two counts of first degree premeditated murder. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence seized from his residence, ruling that the Exclusionary Rule Reform Act applied to the case despite ex post facto concerns. The jury then convicted Defendant as charged. The jury sentenced Defendant to life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders. The court of criminal appeals upheld Defendant’s convictions and sentences. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether the Court should modify the Tennessee ex post facto analysis found in Miller v. State in light of Collins v. Youngblood. The Supreme Court affirmed on separate grounds, holding (1) Miller v. State is overruled; (2) the ex post facto clause of the Tennessee Constitution has the same definition and scope as the federal ex post facto clause; (3) the application of the Exclusionary Rule Reform Act to this case was not an ex post facto violation; (4) the trial court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of a search warrant; and (5) Defendant was not entitled to relief on his remaining issues. View "State v. Pruitt" on Justia Law

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A construction company (Contractor) entered into a contract with the State to restructure an interstate interchange. The contract contained an incentive clause stating that no incentive payment would be made if work was not completed in its entirety by December 15, 2006. After the work was completed, Contractor filed a complaint alleging that the State had breached the contract by refusing to grant an appropriate time extension of the completion date, the disincentive date, and the incentive date. The claims commission (1) found that the contract contained a latent ambiguity requiring extrinsic evidence to interpret the contract, and (2) considered extrinsic evidence in concluding that Contractor was entitled to the maximum incentive payment and an extension of the contract completion date. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the contract was unambiguous and did not permit an extension of the incentive date, and (2) therefore, Contractor was not entitled to an incentive bonus. Remanded. View "Ray Bell Constr. Co. v. State" on Justia Law

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Defendant contractor entered into a contract to replace a roof. When the newly installed roof developed leaks, Defendant hired an independent contractor to make repairs. While performing the work, the independent contractor caused a fire, resulting in a large insurance claim by the homeowners. As subrogor to the homeowners' rights and claims arising out of the fire, Plaintiff insurance company sued Defendant in tort and contract. The trial court granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment on all claims, finding that because Defendant had subcontracted the work, he could not be liable. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant had an implied non-delegable duty to install the roof in a careful, skillful, diligent, and workmanlike manner. Remanded. View "Fed. Ins. Co. v. Winters " on Justia Law