Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Constructing In Accordance With All Applicable Laws...

Provisions requiring contractors to comply with "all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances" are found in most construction contracts (and probably all that have an attorney advising the owner), and they seem to be accepted without difficulty by contractors. Similar provisions are frequently found in design contracts, and while these seem to get a bit more scrutiny by the designer these, too, are usually accepted.

A lawsuit filed on April 27, 2006, in the United States District Court in Maryland, against a national developer of apartment buildings alleging discrimination against the disabled for designing and constructing apartment buildings that do not comply with the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act illustrates the importance of these contract provisions to owners, designers and contractors. The lawsuit asks the court to require the developer to bring its existing buildings into compliance, change it designs so that future buildings will comply with these laws, and pay actual and punitive damages.

It would be surprising if all parties involved in the development, design and construction of the projects at issue were not brought into this lawsuit to participate in its resolution. The case is Equal Rights Center v. Equity Residential, 2006 WL 1352765 (D.Md.).

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