Top 5 Ohio Construction Law Developments of 2011

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

After “walking along the bottom” with another year of construction activity at half pre-recession levels, contractors are only too eager for 2011 to end. A slight uptick in construction work is eagerly awaited in 2012. Here are the top 5 Ohio construction law developments of 2011.

  1. Design-Build and CM At-Risk Authorized on Public Work
    Ohio for the first time has authorized contract delivery systems like Design-Build and CM at-risk, giving public owners more flexibility in contracting and selecting contractors.
  2. More Decisions Require Strict Notice on Claims
    While there still are cases finding that written notice is not required when the owner has actual notice and is not prejudiced, more cases have been requiring contractors to strictly comply with notice -- unless waived by the owner.
  3. OSFC Litigation Increases
    The OSFC has appeared to abandon its long-standing practice of trying to resolve disputes at mediation, and has become much more adversarial. As a result, more lawsuits and trials are expected for the foreseeable future.
  4. No Payment Bond Protection on Project One
    The Ohio Supreme Court supported OSU’s decision not to require payment bond protection on its massive “Project One” construction project. Fortunately, full performance and payment bond protection will be afforded on the State’s new design-build and CM at-risk delivery methods.
  5. Absent Waiver, Article 8 Process Strictly Applied
    Some Ohio cases had held that the State’s “Article 8” dispute resolution process need not be satisfied if it would be a useless or vain act. That line of cases has been overruled and contractors are advised to try to follow that process. Ohio law provides that the Article 8 process must be completed in 120 days or it is deemed waived and the contractor is free to file suit.