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St. Louis Legal Issues Blog

Material Breaches of Construction Contracts By (1) Non-Payment, (2) Non-Performance, (3) Defective Performance and (4) Wrongfully Terminating the Contractor

Material breaches of construction contracts and subcontracts occur when (1) a contractor is not paid (2) the contractor walks off the job (3) the contractor's performance is defective and (4) when a contractor is wrongfully terminated. As a general rule, the first breach of a construction contract relieves the opposing party from further performance of that contract. Who breached first frequently determines the outcome. Decisions to terminate, to not pay, and to walk off the job are major decisions for owners and for contractors. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed a case which applied these principles and awarded a subcontractor $215,578.00, finding that the general contractor had breached the subcontract first by its delays, by wrongfully terminating the subcontractor and by failing to pay the subcontractor. Randy Kinder Excavating, Inc. vs. JA Manning Construction Company, Inc. (Decided August 7, 2018).

Prudent planning can help prevent business disputes

Starting a new business means taking on any number of important tasks before even officially launching the new venture. Structuring the company, setting hiring practices, working with vendors and many other pertinent decisions have to happen up front, which can mean a high propensity for error in the planning process.

As you take on a new business launch in and around St. Louis and O’Fallon, consider some common errors and the steps you can take at the beginning of a venture to prevent their occurrence later on. Doing the legwork now can mean avoiding major litigation or other dispute headaches in the future of the business.

Study offers shocking insight on how little doctors listen

When you're dealing with a medical issue, especially before you know exactly what is going on, you think about it constantly. You talk to loved ones. You look up information on the internet. It just grabs your attention.

You know that your doctor may not be as emotionally invested as you are, but you still expect the doctor to listen to you. By the time you get to the office, it is clear that this has become a very big part of your life.

Trade Secret Protection

The unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets, frequently by former employees, may result in an award of compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys fees and injunctive relief under both Federal Law and State Law, so long as the employer takes reasonable measures to protect the secrecy of the information.  Reasonable measures include confidentiality agreements, marking the information as secret and limiting access to the information.

Life Insurance--Proof of Death

Letters and a certified copy of the death certificate, sent to the life insurance co. before suit was filed, were insufficient to meet the Life Insurance Policy requirement of Due Proof of Death.  The Plaintiff's claim that Due Proof of Death was presented during trial was rejected as too late, and an award of $1,001,000.00 was reversed by the Illinois Appellate Court in Tsichlis v. Country Life Ins. Co, Ill. App. 1st dist. 2018.

How do you know if your car is a lemon?

Cars break down. It's just an unfortunate reality. However, that does not mean you simply have to accept that this product you purchased -- the most expensive thing many people will ever buy outright -- is going to fail. If it is bad enough, you may have a lemon.

A lemon is a vehicle that has serious issues and defects. These have to be severe enough that you cannot drive the vehicle at all, or you at least cannot drive it safely. Some examples of issues that may make your car a lemon include:

  • An engine that does not work at all
  • A faulty transmission that does not shift
  • Broken brakes that make it impossible to stop the car

Co-employee liability under Workers Compensation Act

The Missouri Workers Compensation Act does not prevent an injured employee from suing a supervisory co-employee who intentionally removed a safety guard then directed the injured employee to clean the running machine.  Brook vs. Dunne, Missouri Court of Appeals, ED, 2018.

The difference between patent and latent construction defects

Construction defects often lead to disputes, as both sides may not agree on whether something is truly a defect or not. Defining a defect sounds simple, but it is actually a fairly complex process.

One step in this process is simply differentiating between patent defects and latent defects. This gives you a starting point and helps you know exactly what you need to be looking for. So, what is the difference?

A mild traumatic brain injury can destroy your career

We like to think that who we are as people is something built into us on some fundamental level, but over the last several decades, advances in the understanding of the brain have shown that even minor brain damage can seriously affect how we act and what we think, often to an alarming degree. If you recently suffered a blow to the head, you may notice that you are not acting like your normal self, and if so, you may have a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

MIld TBIs can occur any time a person suffers a blow to the head, such as in a car accident or in contact sports. While we are very resilient as people, our brains are very complex and when they get a little shaken up, the results are often unpredictable.

Always go to your doctor after a car accident

Car accidents of all kinds are often much more damaging than the people in the car realize at the time. Even modest car accidents may result in injuries that a driver or passenger may not feel in the immediate aftermath of the accident, giving them the false impression that they survived the accident injury-free.

Unfortunately, many injuries do not cause pain, at least not at first. These range from painful-but-temporary injuries such as whiplash to potentially deadly injuries, such as internal bleeding and organ damage. Many car accident victims receive a blow to the head without realizing it has happened, only to experience symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury weeks later.

David M. Duree and Associates, P.C.
312 South Lincoln Avenue
O'Fallon, IL 62269
Phone: 618-589-0956
Fax: 618-628-0259
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P.O. Box 771638
St. Louis, Missouri 63177