Author: Robert J. MacPherson

The Power of New York’s Borrowing Statute

On October 11, 2016, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, decided 2138747 Ontario, Inc. v. Samsung C&T Corp., et al., which serves as a reminder to attorneys that New York’s borrowing statute applies even where the parties agreed to a New York choice-of-law provision. The borrowing statute, CPLR 202, provides that, when a non-New York resident sues on a cause of action accruing outside New York, the complaint must be filed timely under the statute of limitations of both New York and the jurisdiction where the cause of action accrued. The statute’s underlying objective is to prevent forum shopping by nonresident plaintiffs. In Ontario, the plaintiff, a corporation formed under the law of Ontario, Canada, was a creditor of SkyPower Corporation, a bankrupt Canadian renewable energy developer. SkyPower’s bankruptcy trustee assigned to the plaintiff all of its claims against the defendants. The plaintiff then sought damages against the defendants for a breach of a nondisclosure and confidentiality agreement (NDA), which contained a broad New York choice-of-law provision. The plaintiff’s complaint was untimely under Ontario’s two-year statute of limitations but was timely under New York’s six-year statute of limitations. The trial court found that Ontario’s two-year statute of limitations applied and dismissed the case. The Appellate Division affirmed. Although the court found...

Missed the Starting Gun? Application of the Statute of Repose in Construction and Defective Product Cases

On April 30, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided State of New Jersey v. Perini Corporation, et al., which is likely to become a seminal case on how the ten-year limitations period of New Jersey’s Statute of Repose is applied in construction cases, in particular those involving multi-phase projects. The Perini case is also noteworthy for its ruling that the statute of repose does not apply to claims against manufacturers and suppliers of allegedly defective materials supplied on a project.

New York State’s Design Build Statute May Pave the Way for Public Private Partnerships

On December 9, 2011, New York became one of a growing number of states to pass legislation to allow design-build delivery for certain infrastructure projects. Given the current trend in repairing and replacing aging infrastructure through public private partnerships (“P3”), which traditionally use the design-build model, the passage of the design-build legislation may be a precursor to formal legislation allowing P3’s in New York.

Got Those Supplier Ascertaining Allocation Blues?

In L & W Supply Corp. v. Desilva, 429 N.J. Super. 179 (App. Div. 2012), the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court concluded that, in certain circumstances, a construction lien claimant has an obligation to inquire into the source of funds paid for materials provided for construction projects or face the loss of the right to file a lien. The decision fills in some of the contours of the supplier’s duty set forth by the Supreme Court in Craft v. Stevenson Lumber Yard, Inc., which held that a supplier has a duty to allocate payments based on what he knows or should know about the source of the payments. The new decision has ramifications for suppliers and owners.