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

Stick figure teacher and student

The Spearin doctrine reaches its centennial anniversary this year on December 9, 2018.

October 30, 2018
John Castro - Gordon & Rees Construction Law Blog

The United States District Court for the Southern District of California has now held that the Spearin doctrine 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.

Mr. Castro may be contacted at jcastro@grsm.com



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