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Courts Decline to Impose Liability on Subcontractor Where Contractor Could Not Prove Subcontractor's Exclusive Control on Shared Project Site

United Illuminating Company v. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. v. Cherry Hill Construction Co., Inc., et al. v. GEI Consultants, Inc., et al., 3:18-cv-00327-WWE (D. Conn. 2019)

Author: Danielle J. Volpe

9/17/2019

Read the full post at Constructlaw

Courts Decline to Impose Liability on Subcontractor Where Contractor Could Not Prove Subcontractor's Exclusive Control on Shared Project Site

In 2010 The United Illuminating Company (UI), an electric utility company, and Whiting-Turner, a construction contractor, entered into a general contractor agreement for the construction of the United Illuminating Central Facility Project (the Project) in Orange, Connecticut. The Project required construction of an office building, an operations building, and related parking lots and common driveways. Whiting-Turner and Cherry Hill Construction Co. (Cherry Hill), a heavy civil construction contractor, then entered into a subcontractor agreement which required Cherry Hill to perform site work.

UI encountered significant defects in the contract documents which prevented it from constructing the facility as planned.  Therefore, in February 2018, UI sued Whiting-Turner for its damages. Whiting-Turner, in turn, sued Cherry Hill, alleging that if UI proved its allegations then Whiting-Turner’s liability to UI for incomplete or defective work is a direct and proximate result of Cherry Hill’s breaches of its subcontract, including Cherry Hill’s installation of substandard fill and an inadequate drainage layer for the parking lots and drive ways.

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