Construction & Design

SAKG has developed one of the leading construction practices in the region, with deep-rooted experience in all aspects of construction and design processes, the relationships that form in connection with those processes, and the disputes that arise from them.

We regularly advise owners, design professionals, governmental entities, EPC contractors, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, and sureties in a wide variety of matters, including:

  • Negotiating and drafting construction contracts
  • Design and construction defect claims
  • Delay, disruption, and acceleration claims
  • Contract terminations
  • Change orders and back charges
  • Filing, foreclosing, and defending mechanic’s liens
  • Government contracts, including administrative claims
  • Bond claims, including Miller Act and Little Miller Act claims
  • Professional liability claims against design professionals
  • Insurance coverage analysis and negotiation
  • All aspects of litigation, including mediation, arbitration, trial and appeal

Our lawyers actively participate in many of the preeminent local and national construction organizations in the United States, and we frequently present seminars on construction issues to clients and bar organizations.

Construction & Design Results

The following are a few examples of our recent experiences and successes:

  • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended international EPC contractor in arbitration arising from design and construction of Pennsylvania biodiesel facility under cost-plus contract. Owner of facility sought $18.8 million in damages arising from alleged design defects and alleged “mismangement” of project. Asserted counterclaim on behalf of client to recover unpaid fees.  Following three-week evidentiary hearing, arbitrators awarded client entire amount of counterclaim and awarded owner less than one percent of its claimed damages.
  • Represented Jacobs Engineering Group, a construction manager, in a trial in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Jacobs acted as the construction quality manager on a major remodeling project at the State Department. Plaintiff claimed he was seriously injured as a result of negligence by Jacobs. After three weeks of trial, the court granted a directed verdict based on the lack of a duty, which was affirmed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
  • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended architect and engineers in non-administered arbitration arising from roof renovation of domed sports arena in South Dakota. Design-builder sued clients and sought more than $1.2 million in damages arising from alleged design errors. Design-builder dismissed all claims and paid clients’ fees after third day of hearing.
  • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended EPC contractor in arbitration arising from design and construction of oil-gas hydrocracker at Utah refinery. Mechanical subcontractor sought $12 million in damages for alleged delays, disruptions, and productivity losses. Initially obtained dismissal of subcontractor’s suit, which was originally filed in Utah federal court, based on venue-selection clause in subcontract notwithstanding Utah statute that invalidated such venue-selection clauses.  Then, pursuant to parties’ agreement to resolve dispute via expedited arbitration and two-week evidentiary hearing, opposing party obtained $3.6 million award, which was within range of acknowledged liability and less than the client’s final settlement offer.
  • Served as lead counsel for EPC contractor and surety in Miller Act action brought by excavation and earthwork subcontractor seeking additional compensation for work performed on project at military base in Georgia.  After completing targeted discovery and defeating claimant’s motion for summary judgment, successfully negotiated nominal settlement.
  • Served as lead counsel for owner in non-administered arbitration and successfully defended claims brought by condominium association arising from alleged construction defects and alleged failure of building envelope.
  • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended design-builder in lawsuit arising from Oklahoma food processing facility. Owner sought $850,000 in damages for alleged design and construction defects. Client was awarded summary judgment on all claims, plus its attorney’s fees and costs.
  • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended EPC contractor in action brought by mechanical subcontractor in Texas state court seeking damages for disruptions and productivity losses allegedly caused by client’s design and procurement delays on refinery project in Oklahoma.  After completing initial investigation and case analysis, successfully negotiated nominal pre-discovery settlement at mediation.
  • Served as lead counsel and defended lawsuit brought by residential homeowner against multiple parties, including our client, which manufactured windows, alleging more than $2.2 million in damages due to alleged construction defects and failure of building envelope.  After developing evidence that performance of windows exceeded specifications and contractor did not properly install windows in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines, obtained dismissal of claims against client midway through discovery.
  • Served as lead counsel and successfully defended engineering firm in multi-defendant personal injury action arising from collapse of dust collector system in industrial facility in St. Louis. Upon completing early assessment, successfully settled negotiated settlement claims against client for nominal amount.  Plaintiff later obtained settlements and jury verdicts against remaining defendants  that collectively exceeded $2.5 million.

Jeffrey A. Kennard

Shareholder

jkennard@sakg.com

Andrew J. Lewis

Associate

alewis@sakg.com

Brendan M. Quinn

Associate

bquinn@sakg.com

Michele F. Sutton

Associate

msutton@sakg.com

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

1100 Walnut Street, Suite 1950
Kansas City, MO 64106
P: 816 / 268-9400  F: 816 / 268-9409