AGC of Ohio Agrees to file Amicus Briefs

AGC of Ohio Agrees to file Amicus Briefs on Two Important Construction Issues

The AGC of Ohio Board of Directors voted in a recent meeting to file “friends of the court” (Amicus Briefs) in the Ohio Supreme Court on two important construction industry issues. Both briefs are to be filed in early July.

Residency Issue – the Ohio Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law a bill outlawing the use of residency requirements from local governments on public funded projects. The City of Cleveland challenged this law and received two favorable decisions from local courts that held the bill to be unconstitutional claiming the new law infringed upon local governments to govern themselves under Ohio’s Home Rule (Charter Cities) provisions. The State of Ohio (Attorney General Mike DeWine) appealed the matter to the Ohio Supreme Court for deliberation. The Ohio Supreme Court accepted the case.

The Ohio Contractors Association (OCA) asked for AGC of Ohio participation and assistance. The AGC Ohio Board agreed. This matter is being handled by OCA and AGC member company, Ice Miller LLP (Pat Devine). (City of Cleveland v. State of Ohio)

In the second Amicus, the AGC Ohio Board also endorsed participating in the Statute of Repose issue. AGC of Ohio, supported by joined again with the OCA, will be seeking to reverse another Court of Appeals decision which said the Statute of Repose applied to breach of contract actions. Other organizations involved and in support of our position are the Ohio Chapter of the AIA (American Institute of Architects) and AGC Ohio member company, Charles Construction. AGC member McDonald Hopkins LLC (Pete Welin & Jason Harley) will be providing the legal work. (New Riegel Local School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Buehrer Group Architecture & Eng. Inc)

Both of the briefs come on the heels of another amicus AGC of Ohio filed earlier this spring in conjunction with OCA and the American Subcontractors Association. This case involves who is covered by a contractor’s commercial general liability (CGL) insurance. The insurer (Cincinnati Insurance) is arguing that defective work does not constitute an occurrence. If the Ohio Supreme Court buys the insurer’s argument, claims of defective work, regardless of who performed the work, might not covered by CGL policies. (Ohio N. Univ. v. Charles Constr. Servs., Inc.)