Every roofing contractor knows he must be knowledgeable about
roof systems, business management and industry issues to achieve
long-term success. But what many fail to realize are the impending
legal pitfalls their companies face daily. Issues such as contract
language, employee relations, regulatory compliance, payment
provisions, insurance coverage, and codes and standards can
threaten a company's profitability and even its existence. The
secret is to know how to avoid litigation, manage risk and protect
your company from potentially disastrous legal liability.
"For years, the National Roofing Legal Resource Center [NRLRC]
was the best kept secret in the roofing industry," says Tom Miller,
NRLRC director and chief operating officer of The Zero Co.,
Louisville, Ky. "But NRLRC now wants to become much more prominent
as the organization is focusing on assisting members in resolving
legal disputes, ultimately saving them time and attorneys' fees;
building up its database of legal cases and information; and acting
as a legal advocate for roofing contractors throughout the
Then and now
NRLRC, which is open to roofing, roof deck and waterproofing
contractors, was formed by NRCA in 1979 as a separately funded
501(c)(3) organization called the National Roofing Litigation
Center. The center served as a central source of information for
roofing contractors' legal disputes as a result of the rising tide
of litigation. The organization, serving just less than 200 members
within the first six months of being formed, focused on
deficiencies pertaining to the two-ply "Bond-Ply" roof system. The
Bond-Ply system had been criticized severely for its insufficient
tensile strength, and more than 150 lawsuits were filed.
Architects, general contractors and roofing contractors commonly
were named as parties in those lawsuits and charged with
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