News and Views

October 16, 2018

Students relocated as William Paterson University cleans mold from dorms

Source:, October 15, 2018
By: Philip DeVencentis

Mold has been detected in a majority of residence halls at William Paterson University, forcing more than three dozen students to relocate to other on-campus units.

Seven of 10 residence halls and two academic buildings have mold, a university spokeswoman said.

The university has not identified those buildings and residence halls by name, but spokeswoman Mary Beth Zeman said 40 students in 25 rooms were offered temporary shelter for up to three days, as the mold was cleaned up. The number of students who opted to remain in their rooms during the process is unknown.

Zeman said the university is paying $2,500 to $7,000 per room to Hawthorne-based Insurance Restoration Specialists Inc. to clean the mold. She said many of the mold incidents were addressed by the university’s custodial staff.

Meanwhile, some students say they are exhibiting allergic and respiratory symptoms because of the mold.

“It’s never been this bad,” said Kasie Sullivan, 21, living for the second straight year at Heritage Hall. “Everyone is talking about it.”…

October 15, 2018

Ohio Supreme Court: Contractor Not Covered for Subcontractor’s Faulty Work Due to Lack of Occurrence

Source:, October 13, 2018
By: Teri Mae Rutledge & Samuel Stalker, Cozen O’Connor

In a decision that the court itself characterized as bucking a modern trend, the Ohio Supreme Court found no coverage for a general contractor under a standard commercial general liability policy’s “occurrence” requirement for property damage caused by its subcontractor’s faulty work. Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services, Inc., 2018 Ohio LEXIS 2375 (Ohio, Oct. 9, 2018) expanded the scope of the court’s prior holding in Westfield Insurance Co. v. Custom Agricultural Systems, Inc., 133 Ohio St. 3d 476 (2012), in which it held that property damage caused by an insured contractor’s own faulty workmanship did not involve an occurrence such that its CGL policy would provide coverage for the loss.

Factual and Procedural Background

Ohio Northern University (ONU) contracted with Charles Construction Services, Inc. (Charles Construction) to build The University Inn and Conference Center. Cincinnati Insurance Company (CIC) issued a standard CGL policy to Charles Construction that contained a products-completed operations-hazard (PCOH) clause and an exception to the “Damage to Your Work” exclusion related to subcontractors.…

October 12, 2018

Study provides clearest indication yet of the extent of industrial pollution from Johnson Controls subsidiary into Green Bay

Source:, October 12, 2018
By: Lee Bergquist

A new report from a Johnson Controls subsidiary that manufactures firefighting chemicals in northeastern Wisconsin provides the clearest evidence to date that contaminants from company operations are flowing into Green Bay at multiple points.

The analysis shows perfluorinated chemicals — pollutants that are under growing scrutiny nationally —- have been found in numerous locations in Marinette in groundwater, soil and five free-flowing ditches where water directly enters the bay.

In some cases, test results of both groundwater and water in the ditches for one key compound greatly exceed a federal health advisory for drinking water over a lifetime.

In one example, groundwater contamination was found to be more than 47,000 percent higher than the federal advisory.

The results prompted Tyco Fire Products last month to propose a plan to install treatment systems in two ditches to keep more chemicals from entering the bay.…

October 11, 2018

Mold was found in 100 more rooms in the Quad over Fall Break

Source:, October 10, 2018
By: Julia Klayman

Minor evidence of mold, moisture, and mildew was found in about 100 student rooms in the Quad this past weekend. University administrators said they worked with outside contractors over fall break to address the mold, allowing most residents to return to their rooms by Sunday. However, there are still six rooms under mold remediation, which has forced approximately 10 freshmen to relocate to nearby hotels for a week.

Prior to fall break, 22 Quad dorms were reportedly affected by mold, forcing 11 residents to move to alternate locations. Several also reported feeling sick as a result of the mold.

According to Director of Communications and External Relations for Business Barbara Lea-Kruger, staff from Penn Residential Services discovered the extent of the mold spread during annual Health and Safety checks of the residential system over fall break. Most of the rooms that initially reported issues with mold were in Ware College House, but during the check, dorm rooms across the Quad were found to have evidence of mold.…

October 10, 2018

Cambria caps Didion wastewater line; company denies contamination

Source:, October 9, 2018
by: Lyn Jerde

From now on, workers at Didion Ethanol can’t even flush their toilets into Cambria’s wastewater treatment system.

Village Public Works Director Tom Tietz said a wastewater main leading from the decade-old plant has been capped – as Tietz had warned company officials would happen almost a month ago, after he concluded that industrial wastewater from Didion Ethanol was being dumped into a treatment system that’s not built to handle it.

On Friday, a contractor cut and capped the force main leading from the ethanol plant.

From now on, Tietz said, any wastewater from the plant, including water down the sink or from flushing toilets, will have to be collected onsite and hauled away.

Tietz said it’s too soon to know whether capping the line has stopped the flow of contaminated wastewater into the village’s treatment system, as it takes about five days to get results from tests.

Company President Riley Didion came to Monday’s Village Board meeting in the hope, he said, of restoring good communication with village officials.

October 10, 2018

Contamination found at former Johnson Oil site

Source:, October 9, 2018
By: Cody Mann

Clatskanie city officials were notified at this month’s council meeting of an environmental concern at the former Johnson Oil location on Columbia River Highway. The county currently owns the property.

Several Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) employees accompanied Columbia County Commissioner Margaret Magruder to the City Council meeting. She handed out maps showing the contaminated area to the council and said although tanks had been removed from the site or decommissioned, the site itself must be cleaned up before it can be used.

“There is funding available, but we need to determine what we can do that would benefit the community with this piece of property,” Magruder said. “The County would like the City to give us some input.”

Magruder said members of the Clatskanie Farmers Market who might be interested in the old gas station property had approached her. She said she supposed after a $1 million cleanup operation, the site could be paved and used by the market, though she noted it is quite small.…
October 8, 2018

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks: The Spearin Doctrine and Design-Build Projects

Source:, October 5, 2018
By: John Castro, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani

The United States District Court for the Southern District of California has now held that the Spearindoctrine applies to design-build subcontractors where the subcontractor is expected to design a portion of their work. The case is United States for the use and benefit of Bonita Pipeline, Inc., et al. v. Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC, et al. (“Bonita Pipeline”) (Case No. 3:16-cv-00983-H-AGS).

In Bonita Pipeline, a subcontractor sued the general contractor and its sureties alleging breach of contract, breach of implied warranty, declaratory relief, and recovery under the Miller Act. The subcontractor then filed a motion for partial summary judgment against the general contractor on its declaratory relief cause of action, seeking a finding that the general contractor could not shift legal responsibility for its defective plans and specifications to the subcontractor.

The evidence presented in support and opposition of the motion showed that the general contractor provided incomplete design documents to the subcontractor at the bid stage, and expressly stated they were incomplete. The subcontractor was ultimately awarded the bid, which included design-build structural steel, metal decking, and other amenities. The parties admitted that the plans and specifications could be refined with further design, whereby the subcontract contained language stating that the subcontractor would assume risk of further change (“refinement”) of the plans and specifications. Further, the subcontract stated that the subcontractor was not entitled to additive change orders or an increase in its bid price for “refinements” resulting from the design-build process. Instead, the subcontractor would only be entitled to additional compensation for enhancements requested by the owner.…

October 8, 2018

College of Marin sues in messy dispute with fine arts building architect

Source:, October 5, 2018
By: Richard Halstead

The Marin Community College District has found itself enmeshed in a sort of Chinese box of lawsuits, as it sues the law firm it hired to sue the architectural firm it commissioned to help modernize the College of Marin campus.

The district last month filed suit against Dannis Woliver Kelley, the San Francisco law firm that it hired to sue Marcy Wong & Donn Logan Architects (MWDL). The Berkeley-based architects were brought on in 2007 to assist with construction of its Fine Arts Building and modernization of its Performing Arts Complex.

Events began to unfold in March 2014, when the district filed a complaint for breach of contract and professional negligence in Marin Superior Court against Marcy Wong & Donn Logan Architects.

It was the first of two suits it would eventually file against the architectural group alleging a total of about $3 million in damages. MWDL did not respond to requests for comment.

In April 2007, the district entered into a contract with MWDL for architectural design services to be provided for various construction projects at the campus. The projects were funded by Measure C, a $249.5 million bond measure approved by voters in 2004.…

October 8, 2018


Source:, October 8, 2018

The bacteria was discovered following two cases of Legionnaires’ disease

Legionella discovered in New Jersey drinking water

Legionella discovered in New Jersey drinking water

Nine schools and one hotel in West Orange, N.J., discovered legionella bacteria following two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease. The schools and hotel are flushing pipes and the hotel has replaced shower heads. The bacteria has been found in drinking water at all but three West Orange Public Schools, as reported by NJ Advance Media.

According to West Orange Public Schools, legionella was found in samples taken from Gregory Elementary School, Hazel Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, Redwood Elementary School, St. Cloud Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, Edison Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School, West Orange High School and the administrative building.

“The region sees seasonal increases in the summer months generally,” said Nicole Kirgan, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health. “This year seems particularly active, given that we have experienced very wet and humid weather these past few months.”

While there have been no confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease at West Orange Public Schools, there were two cases at the Ramada Plaza hotel near the Newark Airport. The hotel has taken steps to disinfect their water system and replace shower heads, following the discovery.

According to ABC News, the schools district has begun the process of pumping chlorine into the schools hot water heaters to flush the system. Following the flush, new water samples will be taken seven to ten days later to ensure the bacteria is gone.

October 5, 2018

Developers of subdivision suing engineering firm for delays

Source:, October 4, 2018
By: January Rutherford

The developer of Burkart Crossing Apartments in Seymour is suing an engineering firm for “poor” design and implementation of plans for a 104-lot subdivision on the city’s northeast side.

Construction of homes has yet to begin in Redbud Meadows subdivision, located on about 60 acres of property north and northeast of the apartments.

The major hangups are due to ongoing stormwater drainage issues and roads that were not built wide enough to meet city code.

Attorneys for Bushmann LLC of Columbus have filed a complaint in Jackson Superior Court I for breach of contract against LandWater Group Inc., also of Columbus.

The complaint states Bushmann entered into an oral agreement in 2013 with LandWater Group to prepare zoning documents and development plans for the subdivision.

Those plans were to be designed to meet city code so the city would accept the subdivision into its inventory.…