Construction Law Blog

Construction Law Blog

Prompt Pay Acts in Maryland Provide Protection to Contractors

The State of Maryland has two Prompt Pay Acts available to all contractors, and an additional prompt payment mechanism available to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (“DBE”) and Minority Business Enterprises (“MBE”). A. Prompt Payment Act for State Projects The State Prompt Payment of Subcontractors Act is found in the Code of Maryland Regulation (“COMAR”), at the…

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Construction Law: Filing Mechanic’s Lien in Maryland

The process for filing a mechanic’s lien in Maryland can be confusing and appear somewhat redundant to a contractor simply seeking to obtain payment for work performed and materials furnished. From start to finish, a mechanic’s lien requires multiple steps in order to secure payment.  These steps include: 1) Pre-Lien Requirements; 2) Filing of a…

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Beyond Mechanic’s Lien: Other Remedies to Ensure Payment

If the deadline for filing a mechanics’ lien has slipped by, the unpaid contractor still has hope – and remedies – under Maryland statutes. For contractors failing to meet the procedural requirements required to file a mechanic’s lien in Maryland, payment may still be obtained under the Maryland Trust Fund Statute and the Maryland Prompt…

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Maryland Expands False Claims Act – and Potential for Business Liability

In 2015 the Maryland legislature passed a false claims act similar to the Federal False Claims Act, with similar potential for broad interpretation against the businesses subject to it. Previously, the Maryland act applied only to the healthcare industry, but the new law expands it to anyone doing business with state or local governments. The purpose…

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New Legislation Affecting Construction Companies in Maryland

With the close of the 2016 Maryland Legislative Session, several bills affecting construction companies were passed.  The following are summaries of each bill.  Governor Hogan must sign each bill into law, at which time each shall go into effect on July 2, 2016. Liquidated Damages for Failure to Pay Prevailing Wage – under this law,…

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Maryland’s “Economic Loss Doctrine” Limits Contractor’s Ability to Recover against Design Professionals

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reaffirmed the application of the “economic loss doctrine” to a dispute between a construction contractor and a design professional, holding that the lack of a contractual relationship between the two parties precludes the contractor from recovering damages, arising out of a negligence claim, from the design professional.  In Balfour…

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Miss Utility’s Authority to Assess Violations and Impose Penalties Deemed Constitutional by Maryland’s Highest Court

The highest court in Maryland held that the Maryland Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Authority, also known as Miss Utility (“the Authority” or “Miss Utility”), is empowered to assess civil penalties against any contractor that damages underground pipes or cables.  In Reliable Constr. Co. v. Md. Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Auth., Reliable Contracting Company, Inc. challenged…

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Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals Dismisses Appeal Where Contractor Had No Reasonable Possibility of Being Awarded the Request for Proposal

In Appeal of Active Network, LLC, MSBCA 2920, the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals considered whether the appellant had standing to bring forth a bid protest. Specifically, in response to a Request for Proposal, appellant ranked 7th out of 7th for both price and technical expertise, but claimed it would be entitled to the…

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Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals Rules Bids Cannot Be Modified After Submission If Extrinsic Documentation Is Required

In Appeal of Concrete General, MSBCA 2918, the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals denied the appellant the opportunity to correct errors in its initially submitted bid because the requested corrections required reference to extrinsic information not included in the initial bid.  As such, the bid was deemed non-responsive and ineligible to be considered for…

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