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Construction Litigation

Overview

Our team of lawyers has represented clients in trials and arbitration proceedings related to complex construction disputes, obtaining substantial arbitration awards or jury verdicts for those on the plaintiff side as well as defense verdicts. Our construction litigation cases have involved industrial facilities, retail commercial facilities, high tech and biotech facilities, power plants of all kinds around the country, and many other projects. We have demonstrated the ability to try cases successfully across the U.S., having repeatedly secured multimillion dollar jury verdicts and/or arbitration awards on behalf of our clients.

Who We Represent
Members of our team have been selected as “leaders in their field” by Chambers USA, with our practice ranked in general commercial litigation in Massachusetts. We represent a broad spectrum of clients in construction litigation matters, including:

  • Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) companies
  • Project management and consulting firms
  • Governmental entities, including state agencies and municipalities
  • International and domestic corporations
  • Nonprofit entities
  • Project owners and managers, including those of power plants, warehouses, hotels, marinas, and other commercial or industrial facilities
  • Professional services firms
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Schools and universities

Our construction litigation practice has handled projects in a number of industries, including:

  • Biotechnology and life sciences
  • Energy
  • Government services
  • Health care
  • Hospitality
  • Housing
  • Industrial materials
  • Information and technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Public transportation
  • Public utilities
  • Real estate and construction
  • Retail

What We Do
Our construction litigation team focuses on arbitrating cases before the American Arbitration Association, under the Construction Industry Arbitration rules, and has also tried cases in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and numerous other jurisdictions. We have successfully handled, among other things, disputes involving:

  • Cost over-runs
  • Deceptive trade practices
  • Defective designs
  • Defective materials
  • Hazardous conditions
  • Insurance and indemnity provisions
  • Fiber-optic cables
  • Power plant failures
  • Project delays
  • Roof failures
  • Sick buildings
  • Site conditions
  • Street repairs and ingress/egress

Our clients regularly seek our help in reviewing, interpreting, negotiating, and procuring specific liability insurance coverages and indemnities related to construction projects and potential construction litigation claims.

View Practice Team

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a defense verdict for a building products manufacturer

    After a month-long jury trial, Nutter obtained a defense verdict for our client, a Boston-area building products manufacturer, that had been sued for negligence in connection with a fire in a luxury hotel in Rome, Italy. The plaintiff sought over $50 million in damages. The case turned upon multiple complex issues, including various failures in constructing the fire protection systems at the hotel. After a four-week trial in federal court, the jury found in favor of our client. 

  • Obtained favorable rulings on liability for roof failure claims

    Nutter acted as counsel to a Boston-area university in a suit against a contractor for negligence and other causes of action after a dormitory roof blew off in a storm. We obtained favorable rulings on liability in a bifurcated case, which led to the contractor settling on the damage claims.

    Similarly, Nutter brought claims against contractors and designers for faulty work in constructing a new roof on a university library, resulting in full recovery of costs of repairing and replacing the roof.

  • Represented a group of companies in a suit against a national engineering firm in a design build contract

    Nutter obtained summary judgment on liability and a subsequent multimillion dollar award for our client, an engineering, procurement, construction, and project management company, against an engineering design and consulting firm and an environmental consultant for negligent design of a hazardous clean-up facility.

  • Represented a shareholder group claim for future environmental construction costs

    After a two-week long bench trial in the Massachusetts Superior Court Business Litigation Session, Nutter obtained a verdict for our client, the owners of a technology consulting firm, who were seeking the release of monies held in escrow after selling a company and its physical facilities in Cambridge, MA to a major defense contractor. That defense contractor claimed the cost of constructing the remedial clean-up facility was potentially in excess of $10 million and sought to retain our client’s funds. Nutter established that the costs were actually vastly lower, resulting in a judgment for release of the $10 million in escrow. The case resolved in a highly favorable outcome for our client before an appeal was taken.

  • Successfully defended a retailer in a claim for the cost of rebuilding a shopping plaza

    Nutter defended a large retailer against a claim by a real estate developer for the cost of rebuilding the premises after a long lease. We obtained a complete denial of the claim after a three-week arbitration.

  • Successfully represented a paper mill in a valuation case

    Nutter represented a large international paper manufacturer in a dispute over the valuation of a power plant at a paper mill at the conclusion of a leveraged lease. We obtained a favorable judgment from a federal court establishing the basis for valuing a power plant located inside a paper mill. We in turn invoked an appraisal procedure that led to a court ruling allowing our clients to purchase the turbine, which was a critical part of the mill’s infrastructure, at a fair and reasonable price at the conclusion of the lease.

  • Represented a luxury high-rise condominium association in a suit against contractors

    Nutter obtained an advantageous settlement in favor of a condominium association as a result of litigation with a general contractor responsible for building a rainscreen “building envelope” for high-rise waterfront buildings. In the course of the litigation, Nutter obtained summary judgment for the owner, dismissing claims by the contractor for $10 million in extra costs and then litigated with the contractor over the remaining claims for defective construction through jury selection. The case was resolved favorably shortly before opening statements began.

  • Represented an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor in a dispute regarding fiber optic cable projects in multiple U.S. cities

    Nutter defended an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, in which we established fault of subcontractor for major delay claims in laying fiber optic network in Miami, FL, Denver, CO, and Atlanta, GA. 

  • Represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Special Assistant Attorney General in connection with claims arising from alleged "sick building" status of the Ruggles Center

    Nutter lawyers served as Special Assistant Attorneys General representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in connection with all claims arising from construction defects from the alleged “sick building” status of the Ruggles Center, the former home of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. These matters involved extensive claims resulting from construction defects at the building in question, along with a $30 million claim against the Commonwealth for breach of its lease agreement. After several years of litigation, the matters were successfully resolved with a multimillion dollar payment to the Commonwealth.

  • Successfully obtained denial of millions of dollars in delay claims on behalf of a paper mill owner

    Nutter defended the owner of a paper mill who was sued by a general contractor seeking reimbursement for delay claims arising from a technology-driven “rebuild” of a paper-making machine. After a two-week arbitration, we successfully obtained the denial of millions of dollars in claims.

  • Represented a large international engineering, procurement, and construction contractor (EPC) in claims arising from alleged failures at a power plant in the United Kingdom

    Nutter served as lead counsel for a U.S.-based engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor that had entered into a joint venture with an international oil company to construct advanced power plants using new turbine technology. We obtained a dismissal of the claims brought by turbine manufacturers and plant owners, and established the basis for a multimillion dollar settlement.

  • Obtained a successful award for a manufacturer of a large metal roof in the collapse of a school roof

    Nutter represented the manufacturer of a large, custom-designed “standing seam metal roof” in claims arising from the collapse of the more than 10-acre roof after extreme winter weather. We obtained a complete denial of all claims against the manufacturer and an award for all repair and replacement costs.

News & Insights

News

eDiscovery

eDiscovery

Nutter’s eDiscovery team is comprised of knowledgeable and seasoned litigation attorneys working in concert with our litigation technology professionals. Nutter is focused on providing creative, agile, and cost effective eDiscovery solutions to our clients starting from preservation at the initial anticipation of litigation through production, retention, and, ultimately, destruction.

Our Team
Our multidisciplinary team understands the ever-expanding universe of data and the technical, legal, and financial challenges it presents. Nutter has a deep bench of litigation attorneys with extensive experience handling complex eDiscovery matters. Nutter’s litigators draw on the substantial technical expertise from the firm’s technology professionals, including multiple Certified E-Discovery Specialists (CEDS) with the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS).

What We Do
Our experienced litigation technology professionals can handle Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”) internally from collection to production through our advanced technology platforms, or work with our vendors and our clients to craft a tailored approached to ESI management. We have extensive experience in managing all aspects of the eDiscovery process, including identification, preservation, collection, review and analysis, and production. Our data hosting infrastructure provides secure access to clients and external parties at a cost significantly below vendor market rates.

The Nutter team, led by Seth Berman, leverages its experience with a wide array of workflows and advanced technology, including technology-assisted review, to maximize efficiency in the document review process with strategies that are defensible in court. We design meticulous quality control procedures when managing a team of expertly trained contract lawyers and advanced forensic data analysis firms, to ensure an effective and efficient process.

Nutter approaches each new eDiscovery challenge with practical and defensible processes to ensure a streamlined and cost-effective outcome.

Experience

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