Photo of Michael Metz-Topodas

Michael Metz-Topodas is an Associate in the Firm's Construction Group. Michael focuses his practice on both construction and commercial litigation. He handles a range of matters in his construction litigation practice, including delay and inefficiency claims, design and construction defects, bond claims and mechanics liens, and differing site conditions cases. He also defends clients in commercial disputes involving corporate ownership and shareholders’ rights, insurance coverage issues, and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims.

The past six months have seen plenty of activity from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The following recaps the developments affecting the construction industry. As each changes the regulatory landscape, construction professionals should take heed to ensure compliance initiatives stay up to date.

The Fifth Circuit Joins the Club of Jurisdictions Enforcing “Multi-Employer Worksite Doctrine” 
Continue Reading

Recent OSHA activity indicates possible changes in the scope and enforcement of the newly-created Improve Tracking of Workplace Injury and Illnesses Rule (Electronic Reporting Rule). OSHA intends to collect less data than the rule requires in order to address concerns about publicizing personally identifiable information (PII). This move suggests other changes to the rule may follow. 
Continue Reading

A recent federal appeals court decision rejected a challenge to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s new rule for respirable crystalline silica (silica) exposure in the construction industry (the Silica Rule), keeping the rule largely intact. This new rule lowers the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for silica to fifty micrograms per cubic meter (50μ/m3) from the previous construction industry standard of 250 μ/m3. At the time OSHA began enforcing the Silica Rule on September 23, 2017, there still remained pending in federal court a challenge to the rule brought by multiple industry groups (Industry), mostly consisting of commercial construction trade associations representing general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. 
Continue Reading

UPDATE: On November 22, 2017, OSHA announced that it moved the electronic reporting deadline for 2016 data and information from December 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. The following blog post has been updated to reflect this change. No other parts of the new electronic submission regulations were changed.

December 15, 2017 is the final deadline to comply with the newly implemented Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) regulations that require electronically submitting 2016 workplace injury data and information to OSHA. To help navigate these regulations, here are few reminders about this new reporting format that affects almost all construction industry businesses.


Continue Reading

EDiscovery LaptopAlmost any construction project carries the potential for disputes, which all too often lead to litigation and associated costs. As litigation costs increase, they eat into potential recovery or limit defense strategies. Finding ways to lower litigation expenses helps eliminate cost as a barrier to a favorable outcome. One area ripe for such measures is e-discovery—the process in any litigation where, as court rules require, the parties collect and exchange electronically stored documents and data. That process necessarily is affected by the way those documents and files are stored and managed. Even before litigation begins, construction companies can take simple steps to reduce their e-discovery costs.


Continue Reading