Construction Practice Group

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1 Advising and counseling our clients through every phase of even the most complex construction matters is what differentiates the lawyers in Gould & Ratner s construction practice. As a group, they possess a unique blend of negotiating and drafting acumen, technical expertise, construction industry experience, and trial/arbitration skills. Our lawyers are able to provide comprehensive services in all construction-related matters from the bidding, negotiation and drafting phase, through project construction, and, in the event of a claim which cannot be settled, our experienced trial lawyers can litigate or arbitrate the claim. Gould & Ratner represents developers, owners, large and small contractors, construction managers, design-builders, trade contactors, architects, and engineers. The firm has been involved in numerous projects throughout the country, including, convention centers, bridges, government buildings, high-rise buildings, commercial office centers, coal-gasification sites, hospitals, parking structures, residential communities, schools, apartment complexes, retirement communities, and nuclear power plants. Our involvement in our clients construction matters begins well prior to ground-breaking. By counseling our clients in preconstruction matters, we can help prevent problems from occurring or minimize the consequences of any problems which develop early in the project. Our technical knowledge and practical construction experience enables us to provide counsel during the construction phase of the project. While our construction lawyers do everything possible to assist our clients in preventing claims, when they do arise, we use our extensive knowledge and experience to work with our clients to analyze the costs and likely outcome of the claim, developing a strategy which, in some instances, may include a form of alternative dispute resolution, resolving the claim in an expeditious and cost-effective manner prior to litigation/arbitration. When an issue arises that cannot be settled out-of-court, our experienced trial lawyers aggressively represent your claim through litigation or arbitration in both state and federal courts. Our involvement with our clients from before a project begins through its completion provides a cost-effective means to identify and prevent problems during the construction process resulting in a better outcome for all of the involved parties.

2 Drafting of Comprehensive Contract for Major Health Care Provider. One of our partners prepared a contract to be used by one of the largest health care providers in the country on all of its construction projects. The goal, which was met, was to provide a contract that would contain all of the terms applicable to each construction project supplemented only by a project-specific rider. In order to prepare the contract, we met with the contractors utilized by our client prior to finalizing the content and accepted feedback from the contractors with respect to the contract terms. The use of this contract substantially lessened claims. Defect Claim on 51-Story Residential Building. Gould & Ratner represented a major Midwest aggregate and construction material producer in a case that alleged construction defects in the exterior and interior of a 51-story residential building in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The plaintiff, a development company that owned the building, claimed that virtually every aspect of the building s exterior construction was defective. Pieces of the building s concrete exterior had fallen away from the façade, initiating the $15 million lawsuit. After substantial fact and expert discovery, we obtained an order of summary judgment in favor of our client. Close-Out of One Million Square Foot Convention Center. We represented a general contractor in negotiating and reviewing the contract documents in connection with a $118,000,000, one million square foot convention center project in Seattle. At the conclusion of the construction contracts, we prepared a claim which was developed as a result of design deficiencies and schedule impacts resulting in numerous change orders. The settlement structure for the claim totaled $60,000,000 and was agreed to at a mediation hearing prior to litigation. Defense of Personal Injury Action for Aggregate Material Producers. The firm represented an aggregate and construction material producer when an ironworker was injured by a steel beam while installing elevator structural steel. A winch and pulley system, bolted to the concrete floor (which was supplied by our client), tore out of the concrete resulting in a steel beam striking the plaintiff. The plaintiff claimed that the concrete was deficiently weak; we proved it was not. We obtained summary judgment on behalf of our client and successfully defended the case on appeal.

3 Bascule Bridge Over the Chicago River. One of our partners served as lead trial counsel representing the construction joint venture in a claim for recovery of the contract price, plus the value of certain extra work, relating to a bridge over the Chicago River. Much of the work was done pursuant to oral change orders. The matter was settled before trial, after the City of Chicago agreed to pay the entire amount claimed by the plaintiff joint venture, including the amounts for extra work. Close-Out of $90 Million Bridge Project. One of our partners represented the general contractor in connection with the construction contracts for a $90,000,000 project for the construction of the high level approaches and center span for a bridge crossing south of St. Petersburg, Florida. The bridge is the world s largest cable stayed pre-cast segment concrete span bridge and the second largest concrete span bridge in the world. All claims, including claims for change orders and extra work, were settled before completion of the work. McCormick Place Hotel. We represented an electrical subcontractor in the negotiation of a multi-million dollar subcontract for the electrical work on the construction of the McCormick Place Hotel. The project involved negotiation of the specific subcontract, as well as a review of the contract between the design builder and the owner of the project. $36 Million Claim on Federal Project. A number of our contract group represented the general contractor in a $36,000,000 project constructed for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. A multi-million dollar claim was driven by incomplete plans, wrongful interpretation of the clean-down specifications, faulty owner furnished design criteria for an equipment support system, and a claim for acceleration. The claim was settled prior to a hearing before the United States Board of Contract Appeals. Arbitration of Bid Issue on School Project. This case involved bidding on a public project - an addition to a grade school in Lyons School District. Our client was awarded the bid by Lyons and another contractor objected on the basis that its bid was approximately $34,000 lower. The parties agreed to submit the dispute to a one-day binding arbitration. The arbitrator awarded the project to our client agreeing with our position that the competitor engaged in unfair tactics by substituting cheaper materials than were required by the bid documents.

4 Construction Defect Claim on Senior Development. Lead trial counsel for owner in litigation involving, among other things, responsibility for construction defects at a multi-million senior development. Successful in developing a litigation strategy which led to the settlement of all of the litigation claims on terms acceptable to the owner during the trial. Insurance Coverage for Garage Construction Defects. The firm represented an aggregate construction material producer, which had designed and constructed a commercial parking garage at the Apparel Center in Chicago, Illinois. The garage s owner filed suit alleging construction defects. We settled the case on a favorable basis for our client on the eve of trial. Following the settlement, we obtained a judicial declaration of insurance coverage for the settlement and attorneys fees; the declaration withstood the insurance company s appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court. Coal Gasification Site. One of our partners was lead trial counsel for a contractor in successful litigation with a public utility responsible for the contamination of a coal gasification site. A multi-million dollar award was obtained. Peer Review of Legal Services on Nuclear Power Plant Contract. Gould & Ratner was retained by the general counsel of a publicly traded company to conduct a peer review of a national law firm to assess the quality and cost of representation as well as analyze merits of a lawsuit to recover in excess of $20 million for alleged breaches of construction and service contracts for modifications to a nuclear power plant. Delay Claim on $60 Million Convention Center. Represented a general contractor in a claim for delay damages relating to the sequencing of the construction of a large convention center. The $60,000,000 project involved the placing of 100,000 yards of concrete. Prepared claims based on the process employed on the project for delay claims and change orders. The claim was settled prior to trial for a multi-million dollar amount. Defense of Defective Material Claim on Nuclear Power Plant. The firm defended a steel manufacturing company in a suit alleging defects in steel beams sold for use in the construction of a nuclear power plant. The case involved highly technical engineering testimony and extended over nearly four weeks of jury trial. The jury found in favor of our client on all fraud and punitive damage claims.

5 Federal HVAC Project. Represented the contractor who was retained in connection with the renovation of the HVAC/temperature control system and its conversion to digital controls at a federal building. Prepared a claim for the contractor for unfinished work, unabsorbed overhead, change orders and delay against GSA. After extensive discovery concerning those issues, the claim was settled on favorable terms for our client before the United States Board of Contract Appeals. Claim for Construction and Design Defects and Resulting Environmental Problems on High- Rise Residence. One of our partners represented a cooperative building corporation which owned a high-rise residence in Chicago. As a result of certain design and construction defects pertaining to the roof, substantial water damage occurred. This water damage resulted in making asbestos still contained in the building friable. We successfully obtained a settlement from the contractor and architect, as well as the insurance companies involved, which provided sufficient funds to repair all the damage and clean up the environmental problem.

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