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Taft Construction Practice Group

Creating the foundation for a solid future


Taft has been helping clients build their futures for more than 125 years. We are business attorneys who see the big picture. Our Construction Team has broad experience in the construction industry and can provide a solid legal foundation for the work you do. We can assist you with every aspect of your project, from start to finish, whether you are an owner, developer, design professional, contractor or supplier. Our construction team is as multifaceted as you are.

Let us provide the legal framework for all stages of your project so that you can concentrate on what you do best - building your future.

Watch Out for the Economic Loss Rule

Earl K. Messer

(513) 357-9652


The economic loss rule plays an important role in the allocation of liability for damages incurred by parties on a construction project. Often, the party harmed and the party causing the injury are not parties to the same contract - owner/subcontractor or general contractor/owner-retained design professional are two common examples. The general rule is that a party canrecover economic losses for breach of contract butcannot for a claim based on negligence, absent physical injury. More specifically, in Ohio, one party cannot recover "economic losses" from another (1) absent a contract between the two, or (2)  absent a "nexus" between the parties that substitutes for a contract, or (3) absent tangible, physical injury to the body or property of the party. This rule was just recently applied again in Ohio to deny recovery to the intended tenants of a new building who had suffered economic losses of almost $300,000 in the form of expenses incurred due to a delay in the construction of the new building caused by a subcontractor with whom they had no contract. Some important lessons can be drawn from this case. Federal Ins. Co. v. Fredericks, Inc., 2015-Ohio-694 (Montgomery County Ct. App.).


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If the NLRB Had No Quorum, Did the Union Really Win the Election?

Kerry P. Hastings

(513) 357-9380


When the NLRB loses its quorum, there are significant implications for employers. (See " Quorum Call - Will the NLRB Continue to Function After 2011?" and " If the NLRB Lacked a Quorum, Did 2012 Really Happen?"). One very significant implication is that any union election occurring after Jan. 4, 2012, and before early August 2013 may be void because the NLRB lacked the quorum needed to certify the election result.

The NLRB is supposed to have five members. A quorum consists of three members. Without a quorum, the NLRB is unable to exercise its statutory powers. 


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Construction Statute of Repose Affected as Governor Quinn Signs Public Act 098-1161 Into Law

Jeffrey M. Schieber

(312) 836-4169


On December 19, 2014, outgoing Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Public Act 098-1131 into law. The Act amends the Illinois construction statute of repose in a way that exposes architects and builders operating in Illinois to new and substantial liability.

The construction statute of repose provides that "[n]o action based upon tort, contract or otherwise may be brought against any person for an act or omission of such person in the design, planning, supervision, observation or management of construction, or construction of an improvement to real property after 10 years have elapsed from the time of such act or omission." 735 ILCS 5/13-214(b). Before passage of the Act, section 214(b) applied without limitation, giving builders, architects and others involved in construction management a strong defense in any action arising more that ten years after completion of a building project.  


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March 2015 Issue
Watch Out for the Economic Loss Rule
If the NLRB Had No Quorum, Did the Union Really Win the Election?
Construction Statute of Repose Affected as Governor Quinn Signs Public Act 098-1161 Into Law

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