Construction Litigation

Construction projects are fertile breeding grounds for disputes, and claims are an inevitable part of the process. Dorsey’s construction lawyers have earned a track record of successes. Our lawyers are familiar with the myriad of complex issues that require specialized knowledge and experience to resolve. Dorsey’s Construction Litigation Group has that expertise, as demonstrated by its track record of success at all levels in state and federal courts. These Dorsey lawyers are not only accomplished in the courtroom, they are leaders in the practice of alternative dispute resolution and have obtained favorable and cost-effective settlements in hundreds of cases through early neutral evaluation, mediation and private and court-assisted arbitration. Because of the depth of Dorsey’s expertise in related areas, such as bankruptcy, corporate and public finance, employment, tax and real estate transactional law, the Construction Litigation practice group has ready access to the full range of resources necessary to assist its clients with any construction problem.

Our lawyers are experienced with the full range of construction and design claims that can arise during and after construction. Among the matters we have handled successfully are disputes involving:

  • Denial of site access 
  • Design deficiencies 
  • Environmental hazards 
  • Structural failures 
  • Differing site conditions and changed conditions 
  • Slope and shoring failures 
  • Concrete failures and defects 
  • Claims for additional compensation for performing extra work 
  • Delay 
  • Disruption and lost productivity claims 
  • Acceleration 
  • Excessive work scope changes (cardinal change and cumulative impact) 
  • Interference 
  • Inadequate project management/lack or proper coordination 
  • Inadequate inspection 
  • Failure to meet performance standards and guarantees 
  • Construction defects 
  • Late project completion 
  • Terminations for convenience and default 
  • Work-site accidents and safety violations 
  • Post-completion warranty claims

Representative Litigation

  • In re: 35W Bridge Collapse: Dorsey represented URS Corp. in more than 120 wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits brought by individuals and a breach of contract claim brought by the State of Minnesota following the collapse of the 35W Bridge in Minneapolis. The case settled on terms favorable to our client.
  • OtterTail Power et al. v. Alstom: Represented the Big Stone Plant owners in a substantial case involving a power plant rewind; settled after mediation in 2009.
  • Noell Inc.v. Deltak: Successfully represented an equipment supplier in a multi-million dollar arbitration involving construction of two power plants in Northern California.
  • Bronx Criminal Courthouse Litigation. Dorsey is defending a contractor hired to provide the curtain wall system in the Bronx Criminal Courthouse in complex construction defect and delay litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The litigation involves over 40 parties and alleges damages in excess of $500 million against our client.
  • Christian Crockett, LLC – Vessel Development Project. Served as counsel to Christian Crockett, LLC in connection with the Vessel Bar development project in the historic 1926 Skinner Building in downtown Seattle. Successfully represented Christian Crockett before the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development and assisted them in swiftly resolving all permitting issues related to the project with DPD.
  • CCI Iraq Dispute. Dorsey is representing CCI in a multi-million dollar dispute regarding construction of a pier and seawall in Umm Qasr, Iraq for the Iraqi Navy through the Foreign Military Sales Act. CCI encountered differing site conditions during the project which resulted in a massive remobilization from a land based to a marine side construction, resulting in millions of dollars in damages.
  • Aker Kvaerner | IHI v. Bay, Ltd. Represented an EPC contractor in a AAA arbitration with a major subcontractor in a dispute related to the construction of an LNG facility. The amount in controversy included claims by a subcontractor in excess of $25 million. In July and August 2011, the case was presented to a panel of three AAA arbitrators in Houston over a period of 28 hearing days, resulting in a successful result for AK/IHI.
  • Gulf of Mexico Litigation. In 2008, Dorsey began representing a multinational EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) contractor with respect to multiple disputes on an energy project in the Gulf of Mexico area, which arose out of the impact on the project of a series of hurricanes, a significant change in scope, and a change in federal regulations. The contractor alleged claims against the Project owner in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Dorsey handled a mediation that successfully resolved the largest portions of the case.
  • Represented Norwegian multinational engineering firm in various lawsuits, construction arbitrations and bankruptcy proceedings arising from a waste-to-energy project financed by a consortium of six international banks. Dorsey successfully defeated $100 million claim against its client.