Baton Rouge Business And Construction Law Blog

Help firm is needed when facing a lawsuit

When doing business in Louisiana, it is unavoidable that there will be occasional complaints from others for various reasons. Some can come from clients, others can come from competing businesses, still others can come from partners. Litigation for allegations of violating the law can be even more harmful than a lawsuit stemming from a business dispute. In many instances, these lawsuits come from a person or entity seeking compensation for questionable justifications. In these cases, it becomes even more vital to have legal assistance from a law firm experienced in business law.

A growing number of lawsuits are being filed against predominately small businesses for complaints related to disability access. It is believed that a significant number of these are frivolous and people who file them are encouraged to do so by lawyers who are simply seeking quick and easy payouts for technicalities. The Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch states that there was a rise of 36 percent in the number of disability-access lawsuits filed in the state between 2011 and 2016. The idea behind them is to help those who are disabled, but there is a perception of abuse in a vast proportion of these filings.

Construction defects lead to lawsuit against subcontractor

There is no shortage of large construction projects in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana. Inevitably, there will be issues with these projects. Some are small and can be settled relatively easily without legal intervention. Others, however, blossom into larger-scale disputes and a lawsuit is filed. For the entity being sued, formulating a strong defense for allegations of construction defects and mistakes is not only important in the moment, but it can be critical to the future. A law firm that specializes in defending construction companies facing these complaints is imperative.

A residential building project that has had issues with various areas of its construction is now embroiled in a lawsuit between the general contractor and its subcontractors. Complaints include issues with the sprinkler system, problems with countertops, leaks related to plumbing, and a swimming pool leak. Given the cost of rentals in the building, these problems are unusual in such a major, high-end project. The general contractor's agreement with the property owner was worth more than $55 million.

Woman claiming racial discrimination sparks business law filing

For Louisiana businesses, the current climate in which people are lodging a seemingly record number of complaints about mistreatment on the job carries with it a dual-edged sword. On one side, they do not want to appear insensitive to allegations of discrimination, harassment and other legal violations. On the other, they need to protect themselves from incidents that would otherwise be ignored and are relatively innocuous. It is a difficult road to navigate, but when there are allegations of wrongdoing, having a strong legal defense is crucial.

A 26-year-old woman who was working in sales at a health club says that she, an African-American, received racially charged text messages from a supervisor. She had worked at the club for five months. According to her, it was a comment about her hair and that it did not meet club standards. She was dismissed and says it was racially motivated. She says that the supervisors were white and there were only two African-Americans employed at her club; that she had previously heard racial comments about club members and that she taped some of the exchanges; and she was asked inappropriate racial questions and her hair was touched without her consent.

Famed actor's charity faces construction defects lawsuit

It is not unusual for prominent people to try to help when there is a natural disaster or major incident that leaves people in need of shelter. In Louisiana, the mere mention of Hurricane Katrina brings back terrible memories. That storm led to a great number of displaced people. Many entities and individuals took steps to help them. While that help is undoubtedly appreciated, that does not mean all will be well simply because assistance was given. If there are homes constructed and there are defects, whether it was done for a good cause or not will have little to do with a construction defects lawsuit being filed. Knowing how to defend against the allegations is imperative.

After the hurricane, the actor Brad Pitt's foundation - Make it Right - constructed homes for displaced residents. However, the homes are said to be coming apart and a lawsuit has been filed because the properties are leaving them in danger. Those who own the homes say there is rot, mold and they are even collapsing. In addition, there have been gas leaks and fires. When they were constructed a decade ago, they were considered reasonably priced. The lawsuit asserts that the homes are not up to standard.

Rising material costs impact construction industry

San Diego’s building boom is at risk of a slowdown as material costs increase. Construction materials, such as steel and aluminum, continue to rise in price due tariff percentages. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, construction projects may see additional costs this year, up to millions. Besides prices and upfront costs, the industry is seeing a shortage of skilled workers.

If material prices keep rising, future projects might face dilemmas or cancellations.

The basics of scope of work disputes

Rarely is every job on the worksite done by the general contractor. Many elements of these projects like plumbing and electrical are, in fact, handled by subcontractors. With so many different groups working on one site, it is a simple reality that there may be conflicts during and after the construction process. One of those, and arguably the most common, is a scope of work dispute.

These types of disputes can arise when the expectations of a job to be performed differ in the eyes of the general contractor and a sub-contractor. Take this scenario for example. An electrical contractor bids on and is awarded a job based on reviews of planning and scope of project documents provided by and reviewed with the general contractor.

What is a Franchise Disclosure Document?

An individual in the United States who is selling a franchise of any kind is required to provide a potential buyer with what is known as a Franchise Disclosure Document. The purpose of this document is to inform a potential franchisee of all pertinent information so as to allow them to make a thorough, well-informed decision regarding a large investment.

It is divided up into 23 sections, and a potential franchisee is required to review it in full prior to execution. The seller must provide the Franchise Disclosure Document to the potential franchisee 14 days prior to the date of signing, or before any money is exchanged.

Defending a military construction or government fraud claim

Any military or government contractor is likely well aware of the risks involved when taking on such enormous contracts. Most, understandably so, are backed by a highly skilled legal team ready and waiting to defend any type of fraud or false claim case that may arise.

Federal contracting is not for the faint of heart. Any claim of wrongdoing on the contractor's part can easily cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. For this reason, contracts need to be carefully negotiated so that the terms are clear and easily understood. Additionally, contractors need to ensure that they are keeping detailed records so that they can defend themselves as fully as possible. But even that may not be enough to protect a contractor from claims of wrongdoing.

Construction defects: When your contractor is held responsible

Construction projects involve many moving parts. From planning to preparation to execution, you expect that your hired contractors uphold their individual responsibilities to create a stable, secure project. Unfortunately, mistakes often occur in the construction industry, and obtaining compensation relies heavily on discovering whose fault caused the mistake.

When a court holds your contractor responsible, since you required the construction project, you may receive significant compensation. Proving that the responsibility of the contractor allowed for a construction mistake includes investigations and the finding of negligent action. When you or your business finds itself involved in a contractor dispute, it is essential that you hire an experienced attorney to fight for your rights to a finished product.

Drafting a commercial lease

Commercial leases often require more details and negotiations than a simple residential lease. A commercial property owner has a few more bases to cover. It is important that any lease is clearly written, with well-defined parameters, so as to protect both the property owner and the tenant.

A business law attorney can be a great asset when conducting commercial lease negotiations, often bringing to light certain potential issues that only a trained eye would see. Some things to consider when leasing a property are rental amount, whether you are willing to build the space out to suit a specific tenant, lease terms, maintenance costs and individual responsibilities, liability and insurance clauses, sublease terms, and lease termination. This is not an exhaustive list.

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