Economic Loss Rule Applied to Commercial Construction Contracts

Drywall mudding room under construction

The economic loss rule bars tort claims arising under construction contracts negotiated between sophisticated commercial entities. For years, the economic loss rule (or economic loss doctrine) has applied to limit a claimant to its contractual remedies and bar tort claims for purely economic loss. In fact, the Tennessee Supreme Court recently held in Milan Supply Chain Sols. v. Navistar that: … Read More

Developer Ordered to Cede Control to Homeowners’ Association

Appeals Court Sides with Homeowners in Pool Construction Lawsuit A recent decision sheds light on the ability of a subsequent purchaser of a subdivision (who we refer to as the “Developer” for simplicity’s sake) to usurp control of a development. Along with family members, the Developer sought to retain full control over architectural decisions of homeowners within the community without … Read More

False Claims Act: Extending the Reach of the Act to Address Increasing Instances of Cyber Fraud

In October 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a new initiative under the False Claims Act: The Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative (“CCFI”). (LINK to DOJ News Release on the CCFI).  DOJ Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced that the CCFI “will hold accountable entities or individuals that put U.S. information or systems at risk by knowingly providing deficient cybersecurity products … Read More

Qui Tam Background: Suing on Behalf of the Government as well as Himself

The False Claims Act (“FCA”) remains an important mechanism for the Government to fight actions that defraud us– the citizen taxpayers. (LINK to Cornell Law Article on the FCA).  In the FCA, there exists a unique and ever-important provision for whistleblowers, known as the Qui Tam Provision. (LINK to Whistleblower Blog Entry).  Qui tam is an abbreviation for the Latin … Read More

Whistleblower Provision of the False Claims Act Remains a Tool to Combat Fraudulent Medical Billing

According to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), healthcare fraud continues to be a leading contributor to False Claims Act (“FCA”) settlements and judgments. (LINK to DOJ’s Feb. 7th Press Release).  The FCA settlements and judgments operate to restore funds to the taxpayer-funded government program that has been defrauded.  We are seeing the DOJ consistently use the FCA as a deterrence … Read More

Out of State, Not Out of Mind

Alabama Contractor Sued in Tennessee for Construction Defect on Alabama Project In a cautionary tale that some out-of-state contractors may find somewhat surprising, the Tennessee Court of Appeals recently ruled that a homeowner could sue an Alabama contractor in Davidson County regarding construction of a lake house in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Baskin v. Pierce & Allred Constr., Inc., 2022 Tenn. … Read More

Waiver of Written Change Orders and Unjust Enrichment

Construction worker pouring concrete

Tennessee Court of Appeals Finds in Favor of Subcontractor in Claim Against Owner The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s decision in favor of a subcontractor where the general contractor went under and the subcontractor asserted a lien claim and a claim for unjust enrichment against the owner. The owner argued that the subcontractor did not comply … Read More

False Claims Act Whistleblowers and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Too often the general public wrongly believes the False Claims Act (“FCA”) only applies to Medicare or Medicaid fraud.  But the FCA applies to just about any type of fraud orchestrated against the federal government, including fraud against any its many departments and divisions. This certainly includes fraud perpetrated against the United States Department of Energy (“DOE”). On DOE’s website, … Read More

Whistleblower Receives Over $10 Million from Food Service Equipment Provider’s False Claims Act Settlement Related to Small Business Fraud

On February 22nd, food service equipment company TriMark USA agreed to pay $48.5 million to resolve allegations that it fraudulently obtained contracts intended for service-disabled veterans. (LINK to DOJ Press Release on TriMark’s False Claims Settlement).  Federal government contracts are often reserved, or “set aside”, for small businesses in a particular socioeconomic category. (LINK to U.S. Government Webpage on Set-Aside … Read More