October 2005

The new NRLRC

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The industry's legal resource continues to evolve

by Alison LaValley, CAE
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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 U.S."

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 faulty...

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