Legal Issues in Concrete Construction Second Edition

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Author: Jeffrey W. Coleman, P.E., FACI, Attorney at Law

Publisher: Creative Association Management


A new invaluable publication for concrete industry designers, suppliers, and contractors—Legal Issues in Concrete Construction, Second Edition, authored by Jeffrey W. Coleman, P.E., FACI, Attorney at Law.

The author provides interpretations of the courts’ findings and contrasts the decisions with other results where possible. This second edition of Legal Issues in Concrete Construction contains over 150 cases—three times the number of cases as the first edition, and it assembles the cases into 23 chapters.

- Expanded to 260+ pages

- Now reports on over 150 cases (up from original 50)

- A unique reference containing chapters found nowhere else such as:

- Who is responsible for the Concrete Mixture?

- When is Cracking a Defect vs Normal?

- What is the legal impact of load tickets and job tickets?

- How to prepare for a deposition.

- Who is responsible for load tests?

- Includes ACI 132R-14 Guide to Responsibility in Concrete Construction

The first chapter provides a basic primer on concrete, and is followed by chapters organized around specific construction and legal topics.

As an added bonus for reader convenience and reference, the complete report "ACI 132R-14 - Guide for Responsibility in Concrete Construction" has been included as Appendix C. This book will be an invaluable resource for concrete industry designers, suppliers, and contractors.

A licensed structural engineer with more than 30 years of experience as a practicing attorney, Jeffrey W. Coleman has collected legal cases specific to concrete construction and presents them in a useable format for contractors and design professionals.

The first chapter provides a basic primer on concrete. Chapters 2 through 23 are organized around specific construction and legal topics, including: responsibility for concrete performance; defective concrete; bidding; standard of care; substantial performance; the Spearin doctrine; responsibility for additional testing and load tests; disclaimers; damages; releases and scope of release; the contract and general conditions; impossibility of performance; unforeseen conditions; inspection, observation, and supervision; expert testimony; insurance issues; dispute resolution; and personal injury.


Document Details

Author: Jeffrey W. Coleman, P.E., FACI, Attorney at Law

Publication Year: 2004

Pages: 264

ISBN: 9780870319556

Categories: Construction Practices

Formats: Printed Document

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Concrete 101: Introduction to Concrete

1. Portland Cement

2. Hydration

3. Reinforcement

4. Prestressed and Post-tensioned Concrete

5. Aggregates

6. Admixtures

7. Water-Cement Ratio

Chapter 2

Responsibility for Concrete Performance: The Mixture

1. General Contractor Responsible

2. Subcontractor Responsible

3. Department of Transportation (Owner) Responsible

4. Responsibility Shared between Design and Construction:

“The Concrete of the Damned”

Chapter 3

Defective Concrete: Causes and Responsibilities

1. Contaminated Concrete Source: Supplier or Contractor?

2. Defective Concrete—Handling, Placement, and Curing

3. Defective Concrete—Water Added at Job Site

4. Defective Concrete—Water Added at Job Site: Supplier Knew or Should Have Known of the Effect

5. Defective Concrete—Use of Salt

6. Defective Concrete Caused by Finishing, Not Concrete Mix

7. Defective Concrete—Hot Weather Concreting

8. Defective Concrete—Problems with Batch Plant

9. Defective Concrete—Failure to Observe or Discover a Defect

10. Cold Weather Curing Requirements

11. Defective Concrete—Burden of Proof/Mechanic’s Liens

12. Defective Concrete—Building Codes/Economic Loss Doctrine

13. Responsibility for Substituted Materials

14. Delayed Ettringite Versus Alkali Silica Reaction

15. Defective Concrete—Failure to Meet Strength Requirements

16. Defective Concrete—Contractor Paid in Spite of Defects

17. Defective Concrete Aquarium Tanks—Construction Means and Methods

18. Evidence of Shrinkage-Reducing Admixture

19. Admissibility of Animations

20. Award of Costs

Chapter 4

When Does Cracking of Concrete Become a Construction Defect?

1. Why Concrete Cracks

2. Concrete Cracks Occur…Period

3. Industry Guidance

4. When is Cracking Expected?

5. ASCC Position Statements

6. Managing Owner Expectations

7. Case Law 63

8. Cracking is “Normal and Expected”

9. Cracking is a “Defect”

10. Conclusions

Chapter 5


1. Authority to Reject All Bids

2. Unit Price Bid—Reformation of Contract

3. Bidding—The Or-Equal Issue

Chapter 6

Standard of Care

1. Standard of Care—Contractor

2. Standard of Care—Contractors and Personal Injury

3. Standard of Care for Acceptance of Concrete Work

Chapter 7

Substantial Performance

1. Substantial Performance Not Applicable

2. Substantial Performance—Concrete Cracks

3. Material Breach—Payable Job

4. Substantial Performance—Overturned Upon Appeal/Mechanic’s Lien

Chapter 8

Delivery Tickets and Job Tickets

1. Delivery Ticket—Language Enforced

2. Delivery Ticket—Documentation Not Part of Contract Terms

3. Delivery Ticket—Inconsistent With Test Results

4. Job Ticket—Enforcement of Indemnity Language on the Job Ticket

5. Summary

Chapter 9

Spearin Doctrine

1. Strength and Curing—Limitations on the Spearin Doctrine

2. DOT Defective Specifications—Spearin Doctrine Applied

Chapter 10

Responsibility for Additional Testing and Load Tests

1. Concrete Adequate but Contractor Still Pays for Load Test

2. Additional Testing—Concrete Supplier Responsible

3. Additional Testing—Contractor Paid by DOT

Chapter 11


1. “Enforced” but Not Strictly Construed

Chapter 12


1. Damages—Attorneys’ Fees

2. Damages—Pre-Judgment Versus Post-Judgment Interest

3. Damages—Cost of Repair Calculation 112

4. Damages—Attorneys’ Fees Unaware of Contract Terms

5. Damages—Cost to Restore, Not Cost to Repair

6. Damages—Breach of Contract Versus Negligence

7. Damages—Mental Anguish

8. Damages—Attorneys’ Fees, Delivery Ticket

9. Damages—Fair Preponderance of the Evidence Required

10. Damages—Mitigation, Delay in Reporting Test Results

11. Damages—Pre-Judgment Interest under Prompt Payment Statute

12. Defective Concrete—Measure of Damages

13. Breach of Contract—Loss of Anticipated Profits

14. Damages—Costs of Sidewalk Replacement

15. Liquidated Damages

16. Damages for Emotional Distress

17. Damages—Cost of Repairs vs. Economic Waste

18. Damages—Prompt Payment Act

19. Damages—Mitigation Does Not Apply

20. Damages—Failure to Mitigate Not Found

Chapter 13

Releases and Scope of Release

1. Scope of Release

2. Admissibility of Settlement Agreements

Chapter 14

The Contract and General Conditions

1. Contract Reformation

2. Scope of the Contract—Placing and Saw-Cutting

3. Acceptance

4. Fitness for a Particular Purpose versus Ordinary Purpose

5. Breach of Contract—Responsibility for Defects

6. Breach of Contract—Force Majeure

7. Sales Managers’ Statements Constitute a Warranty

8. Performance Specification

9. Indemnification Contained on Job Delivery Ticket

10. Order of Precedence Clause

11. Importance of Following Claims Procedures

12. Order of Work and Delays

13. Third-Party Beneficiary—Owner on Subcontractor Contract

14. Performance “To Owner’s Satisfaction”

15. Accord and Satisfaction Clause

Chapter 15

Impossibility of Performance

Chapter 16

Unforseen Conditions

Chapter 17

Inspection, Observation, and Supervision

1. Contractor Cannot Rely Upon Testing Agency

2. Defective Gunite; Engineer “Inspector” Held Liable

3. Defective Concrete—Contractor Cannot Rely upon Inspectors

4. Architect’s Responsibility to Observe Contractor Work

5. Obligation to Supervise Construction

6. Negligence of Inspectors—No Governmental Immunity

Chapter 18

Expert Testimony

1. Expert Testimony Required in Case Against Professional Engineer

2. Concrete Burns—Defective Condition/Unreasonably Dangerous

3. “Flagrant Negligence” Does Not Require Expert Testimony

4. Concrete Strength—Expert Testimony/Who Can Serve As An “Expert?”

5. Lack of Expert Testimony—Case Dismissed

6. Expert Testimony Not Required if “Clear and Palpable” Negligence

Chapter 19

Insurance Issues

1. General Liability Coverage

2. Successive Insurance Carriers—Who Pays the Loss?

3. Contractor Not Covered for Design

4. Defective Workmanship—Owner’s/Contractor’s Pitfalls

Chapter 20

Dispute Resolution

1. Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards

2. Arbitration and Collateral Estoppel

Chapter 21

Personal Injury

1. Personal Injury—Concrete Burns

2. Personal Injury—Slip and Fall on Washout Concrete Residue

3. Personal Injury—Protection of Third Parties

4. Placing Concrete—Not Inherently Dangerous

5. Personal Injury—Strict Liability Applied

6. Personal Injury—Danger Obvious

7. Personal Injury—OSHA

8. No Duty to Warn—Plaintiff Aware of Danger

Chapter 22

Miscellaneous Legal Pitfalls

1. Statute of Limitations—What Triggers the Statute of Limitations?

2. Tortious Interference

3. Duty to Disclose

4. Statute of Limitations

5. Anti-Trust Law: It Could Apply to You

6. Juror Misconduct—Performing Experiment in Jury Deliberations

Chapter 23


Appendix A

Alphabetical Case Index

Appendix B

Jurisdictional Case Index

Appendix C

ACI 132R-14

Subject Index


Any applicable errata are included with individual documents at the time of purchase. Errata are not included for collections or sets of documents such as the ACI Collection. For a listing of and access to all product errata, visit the Errata page.

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