Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2019
Commitments and Contingencies.  
Commitments and Contingencies

Note 14 – Commitments and Contingencies

Leases. Operating leases consist primarily of leases for real property and equipment. The leases frequently include renewal options, escalation clauses, and require the Company to pay certain occupancy expenses. Lease expense was approximately $1.4 million and $4.0 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019, respectively, compared to $1.1 million and $3.4 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018.

Capital leases consist primarily of leases for vehicles (see Note 7 – Debt). The leases require monthly payments of principal and interest. All leases transfer title at lease end for a nominal cash buyout.

Legal. The Company is continually engaged in administrative proceedings, arbitrations, and litigation with owners, general contractors, suppliers, and other unrelated parties, all arising in the ordinary courses of business. In the opinion of the Company’s management, the results of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on the financial position, results of operations, or cash flows of the Company.

LFS and Harper, wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company, were parties to a lawsuit involving a Harper employee who was alleged to be in the course and scope of his employment at the time the personal car he was operating collided with another car causing injuries to three persons and one fatality. During the course of the litigation, the plaintiffs made settlement demands within LFS and Harper’s insurance coverage limits. In October 2018, the plaintiffs agreed to settle and dismiss their lawsuit in exchange for an aggregate payment of $30.0 million from LFS and Harper, which amounts were entirely paid by the Company’s insurance carriers during February 2019. The $30.0 million amounts due from the Company’s insurance carriers and due to the plaintiffs were included in the captions labeled Other current assets and Accrued expenses and other current liabilities in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2018. The Company had no monetary exposure, including for punitive damages. This matter was dismissed on April 28, 2019.

Surety. The terms of our construction contracts frequently require that we obtain from surety companies, and provide to our customers, payment and performance bonds (“Surety Bonds”) as a condition to the award of such contracts. The Surety Bonds secure our payment and performance obligations under such contracts, and we have agreed to indemnify the surety companies for amounts, if any, paid by them in respect of Surety Bonds issued on our behalf. In addition, at the request of labor unions representing certain of our employees, Surety Bonds are sometimes provided to secure obligations for wages and benefits payable to or for such employees. Public sector contracts require Surety Bonds more frequently than private sector contracts, and accordingly, our bonding requirements typically increase as the amount of public sector work increases. As of September 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the Company had approximately $103.1 million and $134.2 million, respectively, in surety bonds outstanding. The Surety Bonds are issued by surety companies in return for premiums, which vary depending on the size and type of bond.

Collective Bargaining Agreements. Many of the Company’s craft labor employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. The agreements require the Company to pay specified wages, provide certain benefits and contribute certain amounts to multi-employer pension plans. If the Company withdraws from any of the multi-employer pension plans or if the plans were to otherwise become underfunded, the Company could incur additional liabilities related to these plans. Although the Company has been informed that some of the multi-employer pension plans to which it contributes have been classified as “critical” status, the Company is not currently aware of any significant liabilities related to this issue.