Heyl Royster

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Heyl Royster





No matter whether you are an owner, contractor, subcontractor, supplier, design professional, the construction industry is fraught with risk. Foresight, planning and risk management can make all the difference.

The attorneys in Heyl Royster's Construction Practice have represented construction companies, building and road contractors/subcontractors, project management firms, owners, developers, engineers, and architects in a wide range of construction-related disputes and transactional matters – many of which involve the intricacies of construction-specific laws and regulation.

Our attorneys have defended suits involving catastrophic, personal injury, and wrongful death arising out of construction site accidents due to mechanical failures, crane collapses, scaffolding failures, and the innumerable other matters in which injuries or alleged injuries can occur on a construction site. Our litigation experience also includes construction and design defect cases, construction delay-related claims, and contract disputes.

Our Construction Practice team understands the inner workings of major building projects and advises clients on issues of liability, risk management, insurance coverage and risk-shifting in construction contracts, and on the duties and obligations that arise out of contractual relationships. We have represented construction clients and property owners in contract negotiations, procurement and bidding requirements, and performance and payment matters – including mechanics liens and bond claims.

Our Construction Practice attorneys offer experienced counsel in preparing and planning a construction project, valuable advice during construction, and vigorous dispute resolution services before, during or after a project is completed. 

Our attorneys' experience includes:

  • Personal injury claims
  • Construction defect claims and litigation
  • Construction delay claims
  • Crane and other construction equipment accidents
  • Product liability
  • Insurance  coverage and claims
  • Contract drafting and negotiations
  • Contract administration
  • Mechanic lien claims
  • Warranty claims
  • Surety bond claims
  • Financing
  • Business formation and organization
  • Government contracts and construction projects
  • Land use, zoning, planning
  • Environmental Claims
  • Toxic tort and asbestos claim
  • Employment and labor issues
  • Worker compensation claims
  • Bankruptcy – Creditor Rights
  • Mergers and acquisitions

Representative Clients

Bechtel Corporation

Bituminous Insurance Co.

CNA Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

Core Construction

Johnston Contractors, Inc.

River City Construction Company

United Contractors Midwest

University of Illinois

XL Design Professionals

Significant Cases

  • Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London v. Central Mutual Insurance 2014 IL App (1st) 133145 - Representation of Central Mutual Insurance Company (Central) and its insured (Subcontractor) in a case in which the general contractor (Builder) and its insurer, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London (Underwriters) claimed that Central should have been the primary insurer in regard to coverage for severe personal injuries that allegedly occurred to a worker at a home construction site. The dispute arose because, although the subcontractor was contractually obligated to maintain insurance for the builder, the subcontractor agreement was silent as to whether this additional coverage was to be primary or excess. At the trial court level, the firm succeeded in getting Underwriter's declaratory action dismissed on motion for summary judgment, and Underwriters appealed. On appeal, the first district agreed with the firm in holding that Central's insurance would be considered excess and there would be no duty to defend or indemnify unless the primary limits were exceeded.
  • United States of America for the use of Bowman Metal Deck, a division of ARMCO, Inc., and Bowman Met. A complex Miller Act case involving millions of dollars in construction delay claims arising from the construction of identical federal prisons in Pekin and Greenville, Illinois. The case was successfully resolved at mediation for our clients, the steel subcontractors at each site.
  • Black v. Peoria Marine Construction Co., Inc. and N.E. Finch Co., Inc. Successfully defended in one-week trial ($75K verdict) construction contractor following construction accident in which 40-year-old plaintiff permanently disabled and made settlement demand of $1M.  
  • Swann & Weiskopf v. Meed Associates Persuaded Illinois Appellate Court, First District, to affirm trial court's summary judgment dismissing claim against engineering firm which had designed storm water retention system, as being untimely under Illinois Construction Statute of Limitations.
  • Pettie v. Williams Brothers Construction, Inc. Refusal to enforce language in an indemnification agreement between a general contractor and the plaintiff's employer. The court's holding and analysis was later overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court in unrelated litigation.
  • Represented general contractor in the highly publicized "sick building" case involving the new DuPage County Courthouse, with a defense verdict following a month long jury trial, which was upheld on appeal.
  • Defense of a municipality in claim brought by a hospital that the contractors of the municipality improperly constructed sewer leading to flooding of hospital wing and millions of dollars of damage.
  • Defense of a general contractor in arbitration claim brought by owner of a hotel that contractors and negligently installed water service to hotel resulting in property damage and mold claims.
  • Representation of asphalt and concrete paving company in numerous claims involving personal injury and property damage at construction sites.