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CLIENT ALERT: HB 159 - Regulatory Indemnity Provisions in Public Works Design Contracts

Representative Louis W. Blessing III (R-Colerain Township) recently introduced HB 159 to regulate the use of indemnity provisions in professional design contracts related to public improvements.  The purpose of the proposed legislation is to prohibit public agencies from requiring design professionals to indemnify them from claims which are not attributable to negligent or other wrongful conduct on the part of the design professional.

Under certain existing state and local contracts, design professionals may be required to defend public entities against third party claims before there is a determination that the design professional has committed an error.  These “broad-form” indemnification requirements may also include a “duty to defend” where the design professional is similarly required to retain an attorney to defend the public agency against third party claims before any legal liability for the claim has been established.  These types of indemnification requirements impose obligations which are typically not covered by professional liability insurance which only applies to claims caused by the engineer or architect’s negligent conduct.

H.B. 159 attempts to bring indemnity obligations in line with principles of fairness and the availability of insurance coverage.  The bill acknowledges that while design professionals are legally responsible for damages caused by their own professional negligence, they should not be required to indemnify and/or defend a public agency for losses that he or she did not cause and which are uninsurable.

BMD will continue to follow this proposed legislation as it moves through the legislative process.

Additionally, you may reach out to your local representative to share your support for or opposition to this bill.

If you have questions or need more information regarding the potential impact of HB 159, please contact BMD's Construction Law Group, or contact:  Robert A. Hager, Justin M. Alaburda or Martin J. Pangrace.

 

Motor Carriers Beware - Lack of Written Independent Contractor Agreement Can Be Costly

Given recent changes in Ohio workers’ compensation law, “motor carriers” (as defined by Ohio law), operating in Ohio should carefully review their arrangements with independent contractor drivers and promptly implement changes to ensure compliance with statutory criteria.

Employers: Consider Important Deadlines for New H-1B Cap-Subject Foreign Worker Petitions

First-time new H-1B petitions or change of status petitions by employers can be filed for the upcoming U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) fiscal year in April 2020 as long as the individual for whom the petition is being filed is in lawful status at the time of filing, and has not engaged in any unauthorized employment since his or her last lawful admission.

CLIENT ALERT UPDATE: AHCA License Alert

IMPORTANT UPDATE: AHCA updated its website to clarify that all Behavior Analysis (“BA”) Groups have either (1) a health care clinic license or (2) an exemption from licensure as a health care clinic under Fla. Stat. 400.9905(4)(g) by December 1, 2020. Florida Medicaid has also updated Section 9.5, Appendix E of the Florida Medicaid Enrollment Policy, which confirms the December 1, 2020 date. This date extends the previously published date from July 1, 2020 to December 1, 2020.

Client Alert: AHCA License Alert: What Every Behavior Analysis Provider Should Know!

By July 1, 2020 the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (“AHCA”) will require that all Behavior Analysis (“BA”) Groups have either (1) a health care clinic license or (2) an exemption from licensure as a health care clinic under Fla. Stat. 400.9905(4)(g).

CLIENT ALERT: CMS Unveils New Price Transparency Rules

On November 15th, the Trump administration put forth two long-anticipated rules that increase price transparency for both hospitals and insurers. These rules are a step toward price transparency across the health care industry and are in furtherance of the Trump administration’s goal of empowering healthcare consumers. The finalized rule and the proposed rule strive to make pricing information more available to healthcare consumers so they can make informed health care decisions. Through price transparency, consumers should expect to see a reduction in healthcare costs in the future. In order to provide hospitals enough time for compliance with the new requirements, the effective date of the finalized rule is January 1, 2021. The comment period for the proposed rule is open until January 14, 2020.