Engineering company Halcrow Inc. has one less legal headache following a Thursday ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court concerning CityCenter’s unfinished Harmon Hotel tower.
The court tossed out claims by two Harmon subcontractors, Pacific Coast Steel and Century Steel, against Halcrow for negligent misrepresentation. Both steel companies said Halcrow did not properly inspect their work and make the blueprint corrections to avoid structural defects.
The court did not look at who was at fault. Rather, it filled in a legal gap that resulted from a previously spelled-out doctrine that design professionals on commercial projects could not be held liable for negligence claims if the recovery amounted only to economic losses. This would not include something such as a person being killed because of the mistakes.
By the court’s reasoning, commercial contracts contain a web of damages clauses that often bind several companies. Those clauses are supposed to govern what should be paid out in a dispute that would involve only defective workmanship.
In doing so, the court overturned a decision by Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez that allowed the two steel companies to sue Halcrow for negligent misrepresentation.