Construction Litigation

At Phillips Lytle, we’ve developed deep construction litigation expertise by representing numerous owners, architects, general contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers in all phases of dispute resolution. Our experience includes negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation on a broad range of construction-related issues.

Phillips Lytle’s attorneys handle construction-related matters involving:

  • Architectural fee disputes
  • Breach of contract
  • Change orders
  • Changed site conditions
  • Cost accounting
  • Defective workmanship
  • Delay damages
  • Foreclosure of mechanic’s liens
  • Improper termination
  • Recovery for personal injuries and property damage
  • Recovery of trust funds

In addition, we have first-hand experience litigating construction defect cases involving sewer line damage, concrete failure, foundation failure, parking lot failure, defective retaining walls, defective roofing and roof systems, and architectural and engineering malpractice.

Phillips Lytle’s attorneys remain involved and up-to-date on issues facing the construction industry. One of the firm’s well-respected Construction Litigation attorneys has authored the New York chapter of the State-by-State Guide to Construction & Design Law. A number of our other attorneys have also been asked to speak on the topics of design/build, construction management, mechanic’s liens, dispute resolution of construction claims, and New York Labor Law Sections 240 and 241.

Our attorneys are affiliated with the following organizations:

  • ABA Construction Litigation Committee
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law
  • Builders Exchange of Rochester
  • Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY, Inc.
  • Eastern Contractors Association Inc. (ECA)
  • Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA)
  • New York State Bar Association Construction and Surety Law Division
  • Northeastern Subcontractors Association Inc. (NESCA)
  • The New York State Builders Association

Specific examples of our construction expertise:

  • Represented Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Company, as the buyer of a 500,000-square-foot industrial/manufacturing building and 11 acres of land out of a single parcel of 270 acres.

Because the property was located in the interior of Kodak Park, there was no access to public roads, sewers, electric, water, steam, sanitary or industrial wastewater disposal, fire protection, first-responder services, or any other utility or support services. Therefore, we were involved in 38 private easement and operating agreements negotiated with Eastman Kodak Company to privately create the necessary infrastructure to support the building when separated.

The property is the subject of ongoing remediation and reporting due to an EPA Consent Decree and a NYSDEC Statement of Basis for Kodak Park Investigation. Phillips Lytle attorneys reviewed and evaluated the environmental risks, negotiated appropriate indemnities from the seller, and advised the buyer as to its ongoing obligations after closing. This engagement involved complete responsibility for all external legal aspects of the project, including zoning variances and other land use issues, environmental risk evaluation, title insurance, purchase and sale documentation, supporting infrastructure documentation, and real property tax parcel apportionment.

  • Represented the Harlem Community Development Corporation in connection with the redevelopment of the Victoria Theater into a mixed-use hotel, condominium and cultural center. Our work included negotiations with the construction manager, general contractor and architects, and related labor issues.
  • Represented the ground lessor in the $400 million development of Site 24 in Battery Park City into a residential, garage and community center. Our work included reviewing and negotiating construction documents on behalf of the landowner.
  • Represented the anchor tenant and lender in the construction of ground floor retail space located at 354 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Our work included negotiating with the Metropolitan Transit Authority regarding construction issues, plan approval and easement issues.
  • Negotiated and drafted construction, fabrication and design agreements for the FF&E of a New York Stock Exchange retail company’s stores throughout the United States.
  • Negotiated and drafted architectural and construction agreements for the owner of a townhouse in SoHo. Our work included redesign related to issues discovered upon demolition, as well as numerous change orders and budget issues.
  • Assisted an affiliate of a state university in connection with development and construction agreements for a pilot chip fab facility.
  • Represented a company in connection with the drafting and negotiations of construction management and architect agreements and construction contracts for a global headquarters facility.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a construction manager in a Montgomery County, New York, lawsuit that had been filed by a property owner who alleged our client’s negligence resulted in building foundation slabs having to be removed.
  • Successfully represented a contractor through jury verdict in claims that had been brought by a subcontractor. The subcontractor accused our client of destroying their equipment and claimed they were not compensated for work that was initially rejected.
  • Achieved a favorable settlement for an owner on a differing site condition claim that had been brought by a deep tunnel excavator.
  • Achieved a favorable settlement for an architect who had been sued for malpractice over his alleged involvement with drilling plans that would eventually be linked to an environmental contamination.
  • Successfully represented a property owner in Monroe County, New York, who had brought an action for defective structural slab constructions.
  • Obtained a favorable mediated settlement for our client in its dispute with a variety of construction contractor defendants over defects which had resulted in a collapsed building.
  • Obtained a judgment after a trial against the developer of a high-end homeowners’ association for construction defects.

In addition, our attorneys routinely:

  • Represent private developers, owners, architects, engineers, contractors and subcontractors in disputes involving design defects, errors and omissions in plans and specifications, project delays, claims for changed site conditions, claims arising out of change orders and proposed change orders, claims for improper termination, claims for rescission of a bid, and claims for injuries occurring on job sites.
  • Participate in construction mediations, as well as arbitrate and litigate all types of construction claims.
Construction Litigation