Lightfoot Franklin & White

Trial and Appellate Counsel

Expertise

Construction Litigation and Advice

Lightfoot attorneys have extensive experience in the field of construction law and contracting. Our services and experience range from assisting in contract and subcontract negotiations and drafting to claims preparation and advice to the negotiation, mediation or arbitration of construction claims and disputes. Our experience includes trials, arbitrations, mediations, administrative proceedings and the whole host of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

We regularly represent owners, prime contractors and subcontractors providing advice and guidance, and, where necessary, prosecuting or defending of claims and disputes. Our experience and practice involve a wide variety of commercial and industrial projects, in various locations within the United States and also abroad. We have the capacity and experience to handle even the largest and most complex matters.

Recent matters handled by Lightfoot lawyers include:

  • Representation of a subcontractor who was performing the design and construction of the cofferdam work on a Corps of Engineers hurricane protection project in New Orleans. The general contractor saw what it thought was an opportunity and deleted a portion of the cofferdam work from our client’s subcontract. When the general contractor attempted to complete the cofferdam work, he experienced uncontrollable water intrusion and blamed our client’s design. The general contractor withheld all payment and we arbitrated claims and counterclaims. Following four days of hearings, the Arbitrators awarded our client 100% of our subcontract balance, plus interest and attorney’s fees. The Arbitrators also denied all of the general contractor’s claims.
  • Representation of a trade subcontractor against the prime contractor on the baggage claim expansion project at the Huntsville, Alabama, airport. The dispute centered around the adequacy of the plans and specifications for the project escalators. After the escalators had been installed and were substantially complete, the owner and architect rejected them and ordered that they be replaced with larger size escalators. The prime contractor directed our client to perform the work, which it agreed to do under protest. At trial, the prime contractor argued that the plans and specifications required the larger size escalators and sought damages for extra costs and for project delays resulting from the modification of the escalators. The case tried for three days in federal court, resulting in a judgment in favor of our client for 100% of the damages sought plus interest and attorney’s fees. The court denied the prime contractor’s counterclaim in its entirety.
  • Representation of a a major specialty trade contractor on the revitalization of the historic John Marshall Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. At the conclusion of the project, the prime contractor refused to pay approved change orders or to release retainage or the last progress payment, and, when pressed for payment, asserted a delay claim and backcharges. The prime contractor claimed that our client was liable for over $650,000 even after credit for unpaid contract balance. After six days of arbitration, our client recovered 2/3 of our claim amount, prevailed completely on the prime contractor’s counterclaim, and was awarded nearly $400,000 in attorney’s fees.
  • Representation of a piling contractor in a delay, inefficiency and impact claim related to a steel mill project in the Carribean. The site was not made available to our client in a way that allowed access to the work site as represented in the bid documents and project schedule. Following a mediation, the claim settled for approximately 75% of the amount we requested on behalf of our client.
  • Defense of the nation's largest transportation construction contractor in a case where landowners adjacent to a road widening and paving project claimed that our client's work caused storm-water runoff and resulted in flooding of their property.
  • Representation of the major contractor responsible for construction of the paint shop in a new automotive manufacturing plant. We kept the contractor's subcontractor on site as we pursued arbitration against the overall prime contractor, and, after arbitration hearings the case settled for a sum that resolved both the subcontractor's claims as well as our client's claims.
  • Representation of a national provider of infrastructure materials in a dispute with an EPC contractor related to expansion work performed at one of our client's chemical plants. The project was completed several months late and the EPC contractor alleged defective specifications, excessive changes and delays, impacts and inefficiencies. Following discovery and extensive analysis of the claim, we conducted a three-day mediation, during which the case settled for a fraction of the amount being sought by the EPC contractor.
  • Arbitration of a claim on behalf of major subcontractor relating to piling and foundations work that it performed on a large commercial project in Mobile, Alabama. The claim involved delays and disruptions due to lack of site access and re-sequencing of our client's work. We obtained an award of 100% of the amount that we demanded plus interest and attorney's fees.
  • Defense of a major general contractor in an arbitration related to road and paving failures which the owner/developer blamed on our client. We were able to satisfy the arbitrators that the road and paving failures were attributable to poor and unsuitable subgrade installed by others and that our client was not responsible for the failures.

Contact

David R. Pruet, III
205-581-1528
dpruet@lightfootlaw.com

E. Glenn Waldrop, Jr.
205-581-0713
gwaldrop@lightfootlaw.com

Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC

The Clark Building 400 20th Street North Birmingham, AL 35203
205-581-0700 (phone) 205-581-0799 (facsimile)