VB CGC Practice Group

VB CGC Practice Group
Vandeventer Black's Construction and Government Contracts Practice Group focuses on serving our business clients in the construction industry. We currently have offices in Norfolk and Richmond, VA, the OBX and Raleigh, NC, and Hamburg, Germany. For more information about Vandeventer Black, clink on the VB logo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Virginia Supreme Court Adopts Supervisor Liability Cause of Action

In an extension of wrongful discharge liability, the Virginia Supreme Court recently concluded in the recent majority decision in VanBuren v. Grubb that supervisors could be sued in tort for their involvement in a wrongful discharge.  The majority court rejected the minority position that only an employer has the ability to hire or fire employees, and focused on the underlying motivations of the supervisor to determine actionability against him or her. Proponents argue the decision allows a plaintiff to make claim against the actual wrongdoer; opponents argue the decision provides an unfair club to plaintiffs open to potential abuse.  Regardless of one's views, it is an important decision for anyone in a supervisory capacity to consider in carrying out their supervisory duties.

Friday, November 9, 2012

General Contractor is Necessary Party to Suit on Bond Bonding Off Mechanic's Lien

Virginia's mechanic's lien code makes provision for a mechanic's lien to be bonded off by a surety, and for suit thereafter to brought against the sureties on the "bond off" bond per Virginia Code Sec. 43-71. The statute does not address whether the principal under the bond, typically the general contractor, is also a necessary party to an action under that statute against the surety; however, Judge McCahill of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Virginia recently ruled that the principal / general contract is a necessary party. The case is ADS Construction, Inc. v. Bacon Construction Co., CL-74720, Loudoun County, October 18, 2012, VLW 012-8-173.

In it, Bacon Construction bonded off ADS Construction's mechanic's lien, and the bond replacing the mechanic's lien was posted by Westfield, as surety, and Bacon Construction, as principal. ADS Construction subsequently brought suit against Westfield and Bacon Construction, but is bond action only asserted claim against Westfield, and not Bacon Construction.  Westfield demurred to the bond claim on the grounds that Bacon Construction was a necessary party to the claim against the bond. Although the statute does not  address naming the bond principal or general contractor as a party to such a bond action Judge McCahill agreed with Westfield, and sustained the demurrer; relying upon several Virginia Supreme Court cases, including principally Walt Robbins, Inc. v. Damon Corp., 232 Va. 43 (1986) and George W. Kane, Inc. v. NuScope, Inc., 243, 503 (1992). He also refused to allow ADS Construction to amend because more than the requisite six months had already expired under Virginia Code Sec. 43-17.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

GAO Sets Notice Standard for Price Realism Evaluations

On October 18, 2012, the General Accountability Office (GAO) issued its decision in Emerigent Technologies, Inc., B-407006 addressing an agency's use of price realism evaluations.  While the GAO reaffirmed that agency's have that discretion, the GAO emphasized that before an agency can do so it must provide clear notice alerting offerors of that intention. The decision notes GAO's position that price realism evaluation involves assessment of offerors' low fixed prices to determine whether they reflect a lack of understanding of the contract requirements or risk inherent in the offerors' approach.  Noting in the solicitation that a price evaluation factor includes reasonableness generaly was deemed insufficient to meet the notice requirement, and instead the GAO concluded that the solicitation notice must contain express language alerting offerors to the possibility that a decision to submit low pricing might be considered as reflecting upon their understanding or ability to perform. A copy of the decision is currently located on the GAO's website, at the following link:

Vandeventer Black LLP Named Associate Member of 2012 by the Hampton Roads Utility and Heavy Contractors Association

Vandeventer Black LLP is proud to announce having been named Associate Member of 2012 of the Hampton Roads Utility and Heavy Contractors Association (HRUHCA).  We have been a proud member of HRUHCA for many years and are extremely proud of this honor.  For more information about this, and about other HRUHCA news and upcoming events, please see the below announcement by HRUHCA.  Congratulations as well to the other award winners and the new officers and board members, and best of luck to them.

HRUHCA announces 2012
Annual Association Award Winners

The HRUHCA Executive Committee are very happy to announce the following winners of the annual association awards program.

Contractor of the Year
T.A. Sheets Mechanical, Inc.
T.A. Sheets have registered large numbers of employees to attend many of the associations activities, events, and training classes. Their commitment and support have earned them the 2012 HRUHCA Contractor of the Year. 

Associate of the Year
Vandeventer Black, LLP
The Vandeventer Black Law Firm are a long-time supporter of HRUHCA. Attorney John Lockard has nearly perfect attendance at all of the association monthly membership meetings and has participated as a special guest speaker for a meeting.

Achievement Award
Mr. Al Jimeson, Columbia Gas of Virginia
Al worked in 2012 with HRUHCA to form the HRUHCA damage prevention committee, a group of contractors, utility operators, contract locators, and municipal public works departments who meet on a regular basis to improve damage prevention. The result of these meetings have improved relationships between industry partners and have helped contractors get their projects marked in a timely fashion.

Special Recognition Award
Mr. Jamie Fuqua, Towne Insurance
Jamie has served the association for the past year as the Secretary/Treasurer of the association. He was instrumental in helping the HRUHCA staff remodel the new office and he was there when the staff needed help to move the office. Jamie has been a huge asset for the association and continues to provide support and personal help whenever help is needed.

Commendation Award
Mr. Jeff Boynton, Hertz Rental Equipment
Jeff has served tirelessly as the HRUHCA Golf Chairman. He has improved the quality of the HRUHCA tournaments and has done a very effective job of motivating the committee to capture essential member sponsorships, raffle donations, and member registrations.

Warren Spivey Memorial Spirit Award
Mr. Shawn Howell, Spivey Rentals
Shawn and his firm Spivey Rentals have been steadfast supporters of HRUHCA for many years. Shawn has volunteered his time as a member of the HRUHCA Golf Committee as well as the HRUHCA Memorial Scholarship Selection Committee. Shawn has also committed to serve as the incoming HRUHCA President-Elect for 2013. Shawn embodies the spirit of support and he is constantly promoting the association to any industry firm that he meets.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Preston Fussell, Precon Construction Company
Preston and his company, Precon Construction Company have been integral in the development of HRUHCA since the firm was founded. Numerous Precon Construction employees have served in virtually every postion in the association. Preston has been a believer in HRUHCA and his financial support of the association has been unwavering and virtually unmatched throughout the history of the association. He is respected by his peers as a highly knowledgeable and competent businessman. He has helped many current HRUHCA members get their start in the industry. Preston is truly a pillar of the Heavy Construction industry in Hampton Roads and very deserving to be honored by HRUHCA as the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

These award winners will be honored at the upcoming November membership dinner meeting on Tuesday, November 13th, at the Chesapeake Marriott Hotel. Please register for this event as we honor these deserving member firms and individuals.

To register for the upcoming November Membership Dinner meeting click HERE.

HRUHCA Upcoming Events
Chili On The Chick Rocks!
   Over 90 HRUHCA members, guests, and industry friends enjoyed picture perfect weather, oysters, shrimp, chili, chilled beverages, cornhole, and blue grass music at the annual
"Chili on the Chick" social event at the "Brickyard" property in Lanexa, Virginia on the Chickahominy River.

Bluegrass music was the flavor of the day
Bridgette Witt, Kim Hicks, and Stephanie Fussell enjoy a beautiful day on the banks of the Chickahominy River
Danny Johnson of Branscome, Inc. shares a pose with Mark Bissette of Bissette Construction.
HRUHCA President Brad Fussell enjoys a picture perfect day.
Asa Lowe of Eure Site Solutions "takes dead aim" at the annual cornhole tourney.
Asa's secret high arc throw in the cornhole tournament was very effective in helping his team go far in the tournament.
HRUHCA Past-President's Rob Hicks and Billy Witt team up to compete in the annual cornhole tournament.


HRUHCA Announces the 2013 Slate of Officers and Members of the Board

The HRUHCA Executive Committee announce the following slate of Officers and members of the Board of Directors for 2013:

President: Steve Weagle, Branscome, Inc.
Vice-President: Rob Hicks, Eure Site Solutions
Secretary/Treasurer: Jamie Fuqua, Towne Insurance
Past-President: Brad Fussell, Gaston Brothers Utilities
President-Elect: Shawn Howell, Spivey Rentals

Board Members:
Billy Witt, WB&E Construction
Dan Cook, Rutherfoord Insurance
Mary Ann Clark, Luck Stone
Danny Johnson, Branscome, Inc.

The officers and the board members will be officially elected at the November membership dinner meeting which serves as the association annual business meeting. Congratulations are extended to the incoming leaders of the association.


Don't Miss a Great Wrap-up of the Upcoming State and Federal Elections
Register for the HRUHCA November Membership Dinner Meeting

"An Overview of the 2012 State and National Elections"
Special Guest Speaker
Jesse T. Richman, Phd
Professor of Political Science
Old Dominion University

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Chesapeake Marriott Hotel
6:00 PM

 Election of New Officers
Annual Business Meeting
Presentation of Association Awards

Come join HRUHCA as we close out the 2012 meeting schedule with the annual HRUHCA business meeting and the presentation of the association's annual awards. Professor Jesse Richman of Old Dominion University will brief the membership on the results of the 2012 state and federal elections.

To register for the HRUHCA November Membership Dinner Meeting please click


Please Note: The Table Diagram changes on a daily basis and does not have many of the tables that have already been reserved by member firms. Please check with HRUHCA Executive Assistant Janet Reed by calling her at the HRUHCA office ((757) 484-7500) to see if the table(s) that you want to reserve are still available.


Association Announces "Open House"
Wednesday, December 5th

HRUHCA is proud of its new office, and we welcome you to stop by the office and have a sandwich and some tea on the association!


Where & When
3105 Western Branch Boulevard
Chesapeake, Virginia 23321
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Visit the HRUHCA Website for all of our upcoming events and activities: