News and Insights

Court Finds General Contractor Owed Duty of Care to Sub-subcontractor Employee

General contractors need to be cautious in the language of project agreements as to not assume a duty of care to employees of subcontractors and sub-subcontractors. In April this year the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in Ryan v. TCI Architects/Engineers/Contractors Inc. that, even if a duty of care...

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Court Awards $23 Million for Failure to Release Expired Oil and Gas Lease

Last Friday (June 2, 1017), Louisiana’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s award of more than $23 million, plus attorney fees, to Gloria’s Ranch, LLC, for damages incurred by the defendants' refusal to release their oil and gas lease after it expired according to its terms in...

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BREAKING: Secretary of Labor Acosta Withdraws Obama-Era Administrative Interpretations Regarding Independent Contractors and Joint Employment

Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), announced today the withdrawal of the Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) administrative interpretations (AI) on independent contractors and joint employment, which were issued in 2015 and 2016, respectively. These Obama-era ...

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Zoning Contingencies in Commercial Real Estate Purchase Agreements

While it is commonly held that land use and zoning analysis for a new development - or new use of an existing development - should begin during the site selection process, there is a common misconception that only the owner of a property can seek a rezoning or other land use approvals.  Actually, a ...

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U.S. Supreme Court Reinforces Right to Arbitration

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the legality of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and employer arbitration agreements in Kindred Nursing Centers, Inc. v. Clark.  This ruling from the nation’s highest court is undoubtedly a positive one for employers who wish to arbitrate disputes rath...

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Are You Covered? The Importance of Insurance Requirement Provisions in Commercial Contracts

Although often considered an afterthought, insurance requirement provisions are one of the most critical topics to be addressed in a commercial contract. A well-drafted insurance requirement provision can help a party decrease the risk associated with a particular project, or shift the consequences ...

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Indiana Court of Appeals Upholds Worker’s Compensation Board’s Longtime Policy

The Indiana Court of Appeals has issued what, in this author’s humble opinion, could become a landmark decision in the area of Indiana worker compensation law.  In Masterbrand Cabinets v. Waid, the Court ruled that an injured employee is entitled to TTD (temporary total disability) benefits even tho...

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EPA’s Mercury Rule in Limbo After D.C. Circuit Order

Last Thursday, the D.C. Circuit granted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s motion to delay oral arguments scheduled on May 18 for litigation filed by an assortment of coal producing companies, which are challenging the agency’s “Supplemental Finding That It Is Appropriate and Necessary To R...

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Court Expands Municipal Power to Require Connections to Public Sewer System

To avoid penalties and unwanted litigation, individuals and businesses operating private septic systems may be required to apply for permits to connect to public sanitary sewer systems to comply with the Indiana Court of Appeals’ recent interpretation of Indiana Code § 36-9-23-30 in Town of Clear La...

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