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May 2011 Construction Law Newsletter

May 2011, vol. 1, no. 1

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In This Issue…

Related Court Cases

Mechanic's Lien Act
GX Chicago, LLC v. Galaxy Environmental, Inc.
Dispute over mechanics liens arising from construction project to develop real property owned by Plaintiff. Court correctly construed language of Section 30 of Mechanics Lien Act that "the court shall find the amount due from the owner to the contractor" to refer to the amount due from owner to lien claimants' immediate contractor. Court correctly found that outstanding amount owed on contract between general contractor and subcontractor limited funds recoverable from Plaintiff and general contractor to satisfy liens of that subcontractor and its subcontractors. When parties to relevant contract have agreed as to amount owed on contract, there is no longer a triable issue of material fact as to that amount, even if a non-party contends otherwise. It is consistent with liberal construction of Mechanics Lien Act to permit court, in its equitable discretion, to require deposit of funds and thus extinguish liens of subcontractors. (CONNORS and HARRIS, concurring.)

Construction Contracts
O'Gorman v. F.H. Paschen
Plaintiff was injured while supervising a construction project at which Defendant company was operating as general contractor, and sued Defendant company on theory of common-law negligence. Court properly found that Defendant had not retained control over masonry subcontractor whose employees left a piece of wood with nail in it near roof hatch. Plaintiff stepped on nail and then fell through roof hatch. Defendant delegated duty for safety of work to subcontractor, and contract did not prohibit delegation.Defendant company did not retain control over subcontractor's conduct. In absence of evidence as to actual or constructive knowledge of subcontractor's allegedly unsafe work methods, no direct liability against Defendant, and thus court properly entered summary judgment for Defendant. (PALMER and McBRIDE, concurring.)

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