Affirmed! The Fourth Circuit Upholds Judge Martin’s Ruling in the Granby Tower Litigation

Real Estate, Land Use & Construction Law

Affirmed! The Fourth Circuit Upholds Judge Martin’s Ruling in the Granby Tower Litigation

Feb 24, 2010 | Real Estate, Land Use & Construction Law

The Fourth Circuit has just issued their decision upholding the district court’s ruling in Universal Concrete Products Corporation v. Turner Construction Company, the topic of a December 2009 blog post on the Granby Tower litigation.

The parties agreed that the pay-when-paid clause in the Turner-Universal contract was unambiguous. However, just as it did at the trial court level, Universal argued that the subcontract incorporated the contract between Turner and the owner, creating an ambiguity about whether Turner would pay Universal before being paid by the owner. Universal relied on language that stated the costs the owner would reimburse Turner included “[p]ayments made by the Construction Manager to Subcontractors in accordance with the requirements of the subcontracts.” Just like Judge Martin, the Fourth Circuit concluded that clause related only to the reimbursement amount and not the timing of the payments.

Universal relied on cases from two other jurisdictions – Florida and Missouri – refusing to enforce very similar pay-if-paid clauses. The Fourth Circuit concluded that Virginia would simply not follow those jurisdictions, noting that an October 2009 City of Norfolk Circuit Court decision, W.O. Grubb Steel Erection, Inc. v. 515 Granby, LLC, mentioned the Florida and Missouri cases and opted not to follow their reasoning.

Once again, this case demonstrates that Virginia courts will invariably attempt to enforce the parties’ intent when faced with contractual disputes, even when that may lead to harsh results for one of the parties. Stay tuned on this case – the word is still out on whether the federal government will successfully condemn the site to expand the federal courthouse!

LinkedIn

Follow us on LinkedIn to view the latest blogs from our team.

About – Business Insights

Our business blog focuses on issues affecting Virginia, D.C. and Maryland business owners as well as those in other jurisdictions throughout the country. We provide timely insight and commentary on federal and state rules and how they affect you. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

About – Employment Law

As employment law constantly changes, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman stay up to date on the law as it develops. Our blog topics focus on those changes and what you need to know about them, ranging from severance agreements and the FLSA to social media in the workplace and recent court decisions. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

About- Real Estate

This blog focuses on real estate, land use and construction-related topics affecting Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metro area. With topics ranging from contract drafting and negotiation to local and regional land use project updates, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman provide timely insight and commentary on the issues affecting owners, builders, developers, contractors, subcontractors and other players in the industry. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

Share This