Articles Posted in Government Contracts

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At issue in this case was a claim for damages relating to a drilling contract Petitioner Elcon Construction and Respondent Eastern Washington University. Elcon alleged tort and contract claims. The contract claims were resolved by arbitration. In dismissing the tort claims, the trial court applied the independent duty rule formerly known as the "economic loss rule," which the Court of Appeals similarly applied in affirming. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded the trial court and Court of Appeals misapplied the independent duty doctrine to bar Elcon's tort claims in this case. The Court found Elcon's claims failed factually. Viewing the facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to Elcon, no genuine issues of material fact existed with respect to Elcon's fraud in the inducement or tortious interference claims. The Court affirmed on different grounds reached by the trial and appeals courts. View "Elcon Constr., Inc. v. E. Wash. Univ." on Justia Law

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In this appeal the Supreme Court was asked to determine whether the parties' indemnity agreement clearly and unequivocally indemnified the Snohomish County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corporation (doing business as Community Transit) for losses resulting from its own negligence. Upon review, the Court concluded that the language of the agreement, and in particular language providing that indemnity would not be triggered if losses resulted from the sole negligence of Community Transit, clearly and unequivocally evidenced the parties' intent that the indemnitor, FirstGroup America, Inc. (doing business as First Transit) indemnify Community Transit for losses that resulted from Community Transit's own negligence. The Court reversed the Court of Appeals' decision to the contrary and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings. View "Snohomish County Pub. Transp. Benefit Area Corp. v. FirstGroup Am., Inc." on Justia Law

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The city of Tacoma has franchise agreements with Pierce County and the cities of Fircrest, University Place, and Federal Way (Municipalities) to provide them with water services. The issue before the Supreme Court was whether those franchise agreements required Tacoma to both maintain fire hydrants and bear the maintenance costs of those hydrants. Tacoma raised questions about the impact of the agreements' indemnification clauses had on this dispute. Upon review, the Supreme Court held that the franchise agreements contractually required Tacoma to provide hydrants to the Municipalities, and that the indemnification provisions did not preclude this case. View "City of Tacoma v. City of Bonney Lake" on Justia Law