Construction defect claims make up a significant portion of all construction litigation. These claims can arise in any number of ways and can include myriad issues. In today’s post, however, we will take a look at 3 of the most common construction claims.
1. Acceleration Claims
Most construction contracts have a number of dates in them. Typically, these are key milestone dates, and completion dates. Many construction contracts also have liquidated damages in the event the project is delayed, and bonuses for early completion. When it comes to construction, “time is money,” thus, time plays an important part in all project decisions.
In construction litigation, acceleration claims are typically encountered on construction projects when the contractor makes an effort to make up time or recover the project schedule after the project has been delayed. To accelerate the construction, the contractor might do any number of things including, working overtime, implementing a new shift, providing additional labor, or adding other resources (i.e., equipment). Whatever method the contractor applies, the bottom line is that acceleration efforts are expensive. When an owner directs the contractor to use acceleration, this can result in the contractor making an acceleration claim to recover the extra expenses incurred.
2. Change Claims
Changes in the construction project can lead to construction litigation based on change claims. Things such as a change in the scope of the work, owner-directed changes or changes in code requirements can be the cause of construction changes that later lead to litigation.
While most changes in a project can be handled by a change order. However, disputes arise when the owner and the contractor disagree on whether a change has actually occurred, the price for a change, or the parties’ responsibilities, among other things.
3. Force Majeure claims.
Hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters are the subject of force majeure clauses in construction contracts. Litigation can arise over such events when there is a major event that not only directly impacts the work, but also creates potentially changed working conditions after work resumes. In such cases, the focus of the dispute is often on questions regarding the contractual language regarding project extensions and the parties’ responsibilities to mitigate, as well as the costs of mitigation.
Construction can lead to disputes. These cases are often complicated and can be difficult to resolve.
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