Case Studies

Defended Architect in First-Of-Its-Kind Claim By School District

Kegler Brown successfully defended an architectural firm against claims that it negligently “assessed” the buildings and facilities of a public school district. The case arose because the State of Ohio was providing substantial funds for school districts to completely refurbish their campuses based on an “assessing” architect’s determination of need; the assessing architect was assigned under contract with the Ohio School Facilities Commission. The school district alleged that it lost hundreds of thousands of state dollars because the assessing architect failed to adequately determine its needs. In an attempt to hold the assessing architect liable and create a cottage industry for plaintiffs’ counsel, the district threatened to file suit. Our lawyers determined the threat to be real and, in order to avoid venue in the school district’s small rural county, we recommended filing a declaratory judgment action in Franklin County based on the State’s involvement in the project. The school district filed a counterclaim and sought to change venue. However, the court ruled that venue was proper in Franklin County. Ultimately, the case was tried to a jury with a favorable verdict for the architect, which discouraged further lawsuits against assessing architects across the state of Ohio.

Mediated Ohio School Facilities Commission Project

Kegler Brown attorneys represented a prime mechanical and plumbing contractor in Ohio and obtained a six-figure settlement on a school delay claim through mediation. Settled within only five months of the initial engagement, the dispute involved the state of Ohio's Article 8 process and defending against damages asserted by the the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

Butler Regional Highway

This was the largest highway contract ever issued in Ohio - to connect I-75 to downtown Hamilton. The project was completed under budget and open to the public 18 months early with no disputes. This highway project was named “federal highway of the year” and yielded a substantial early completion incentive bonus for the contractor.

Ohio Stadium Renovation

The challenge was to complete a $200 million renovation of this legendary stadium between several football seasons where delay was not an option. Even when faced with a secondary labor boycott, prompt legal action allowed the project to complete on time, so that Buckeye fans could witness a national championship season.

The Penta Career Center

Taxpayers generously funded a cutting-edge 400,000 square foot joint vocational school (JVS) - larger than any in the state and perhaps even the country. Employing creative contracting techniques, including Quick Pay, allowed the school to open an entire school year early, on budget and with no construction claims or disputes.

Columbus Commons Downtown Development

This challenging demolition project in the heart of downtown Columbus yielded a gem of a park in an important urban setting. The high visibility project was concluded timely and on budget, with no legal disputes, and has encouraged further revitalization of the city core.

Scioto Mile Development Project

We represented a public/private partnership on an exciting 145-acre riverfront redevelopment project that serves as the crown jewel in the revitalization of Downtown Columbus.

Lead Counsel for Consortium of 30 Subs

We were named by the judge as lead subcontractor counsel for a consortium of thirty unpaid subcontractors in a lien priority battle with mortgage lenders in a case that determined whether contractors/subcontractors or lenders maintain lien priority for a project in which funding is secured after the start of construction.

Mediated Dispute Between Painting Sub and ODOT

Representing a painting subcontractor, the lawyers at Kegler Brown obtained a settlement in our client's favor that involved several claims for additional work. A critical part of the representation was navigating the claim through the Ohio Department of Transportation's contract dispute process and then ultimately having the dispute settled through mediation.

First Prompt Payment Case Tried to Jury Verdict

We used our experience from having drafted Ohio's Prompt Payment Act to try the first prompt pay case to jury verdict. Our client received the full amount owed, together with 18% interest and attorney's fees. This result had a ripple effect across the Ohio construction landscape and immediately caused others similarly situated to settle on favorable terms.

Established the Spearin Doctrine in Ohio

Our firm represented a site contractor who was sued for the settlement of a school. After a hotly contested trial, the contractor prevailed in all respects and the ensuing winning appeal decision established the Spearin doctrine in the state of Ohio.

Proved Bad Faith on an Ohio Public Works Project

Our representation of a general trades contractor on an Ohio public works project claim triggered a finding that the State had engaged in bad faith by "sowing conflict and dissension" on the job and resulted in a substantial award for our client.

Termination + Bid Shopping

Our attorneys played a critical role in an important case in Maryland with national ramifications. The case concerned terminations for convenience and bid shopping and required an amicus brief drafted by our firm that established a "good faith" requirement for such terminations.

Drafted ConsensusDOCS

We were asked to review and draft the ConsensusDOCS family of contract documents and played an active role in drafting many of them, including the Green Building Addendum, which was the first green building contract document adopted on a national basis.

Achieved Settlement for Metropolitan Housing Authority

Working closely with one of the most sophisticated and well-known public housing authorities in the U.S., our team obtained a very favorable settlement with respect to a critical construction dispute that involved asbestos abatement and contract termination provisions.

Design + Construction Defect Litigation

We represented the Montgomery County (Ohio) Board of County Commissioners in connection with a large-scale park and outdoor entertainment development in a metropolitan area. Various aspects of the development were not completed as represented and we initiated litigation against a number of parties, including an international landscape architecture firm, as well as other contractors and product suppliers. After two weeks of jury trial, the matter was resolved through our client’s receipt of an amount in excess of all repair and remediation costs, as well as its seven-figure legal fees and related costs.

Mechanic’s Lien Against German Design-Builder

We represented a subcontractor seeking payment on a mechanic's lien for improvements on an automobile parts factory. The German design-builder actively opposed the lien through six years of "slash and burn" litigation. When it was over, our subcontractor recovered every penny he was owed and all of his legal fees, which totaled more than $600,000, under the Mechanic's Lien and Frivolous Conduct statutes.

Won Landmark Competitive Bidding Cases

We successfully tried the two landmark cases on competitive bidding in Ohio. In the first, we upheld a major university's rejection of a well-known national contractor as non-responsible. In the second, we prevailed on appeal in overturning a trial court's decision finding $4 billion in school construction contracts void.