Gregerson Rosow Johnson & Nilan

Construction Law Newsletters


The infliction of emotional distress is a cause of action in tort that seeks damages for a person’s mental anguish and suffering without any physical injury or harm. The infliction of the emotional distress may be intentional or it may be negligent. Traditionally, courts have not allowed an owner to recover damages for emotional distress in actions regarding construction defects. However, more and more courts are beginning to consider these damages in litigation involving construction defects.

Homeowner’s Duty to Mitigate or Prevent Damages

Generally, a homeowner who is injured pursuant to the breach of a construction contract can seek both general and special damages. General damages are those that directly flow from the breach and special damages are those that, though not a direct consequence, are precipitated by the breach and can be characterized as “unique” to the homeowner in the given situation.


As a general rule, contractors, architects, and engineers must be licensed in order to engage in the erection of a new structure or in the repair, remodeling, or alteration of an existing structure. If a state requires a contractor, an architect, or an engineer to be licensed, the contractor, the architect, or the engineer will be subject to civil and criminal penalties for designing or for performing construction work without a license.

The Uniform Commercial Code and Construction Contracts

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) has been adopted in almost all states and, though its format may vary slightly from state to state, it is still substantially uniform throughout. The UCC supplants the common law in a multitude of commercial transactions, laying out rules for the conduct of business to promote certainty and predictability in those transactions.


Although there are no international laws that have been enacted for global construction projects, there are some international uniform laws that may apply to the projects. These uniform laws include the International Restatement of Contract Law; the United Nations’ Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction, and Services; the Uniform Commercial Code; and the International Chamber of Commerce’s Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits and Uniform Rules for Contract Guarantees.


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