China’s Belt and Road Initiative Is Changing the World

In 2013, China announced its plan to fund and construct a global transportation and infrastructure network known as the Belt and Road Initiative (“BRI”). Since that time, BRI projects have helped China to become a rival to the United States and European Union on the geo-political scene. They have also allowed Chinese companies to close the gap with their western counterparts in the global construction, engineering, advanced manufacturing, and logistics sectors. Western companies and governments need to take notice or risk being left behind. (more…)

Eleventh Circuit Case Delivers Big Win for Contractors Seeking Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued an important opinion that is good for contractors making claims on general liability policies, and not so good for the insurers issuing those policies.  Specifically, the Eleventh Circuit reversed the District Court’s decision in favor of the insurer, and directed that judgment be entered in favor of the contractor establishing that the insurer was obligated to satisfy a $350,000 judgment entered against the contractor and in favor of the property owner in a separate lawsuit. (more…)

Force Majeure Clauses: Protecting Against the Unforeseeable

Force majeure clauses are a very important, but often overlooked, provision in all contracts, and are particularly important in construction and supply contracts.  Whether a force majeure clause is included in a contract, and the precise language of the clause, will determine the enforceability of the contract and the parties’ obligations thereunder if certain uncontrollable outside events—a “force majeure”—prevents performance.  Accordingly, contracting parties are well-advised to negotiate the terms of a force majeure clause to protect their interests and prevent excessive exposure to liability in the event of a force majeure. (more…)

No Need of Injury to Others’ Property to be an “Occurrence” under a CGL Insurance Policy

In an opinion last week that could have far reaching ramifications in the construction industry in the insurance coverage context, the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that an “occurrence” under a standard Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy may be based on a breach of warranty claim and does not require damage to work or property of someone other than the insured. This holding removes one commonly used rationale for insurers to deny coverage in the construction context based on lack of an “occurrence”, although insurers may still be able to deny coverage for other reasons.  The case is styled Taylor Morrison Services, Inc. v. HDI-Gerling American Insurance Company. (more…)