Dealing With Job Delays and Disruptions
Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter August 1, 1999
Many construction disputes in the current industry climate are time driven as overworked contractors, subcontractors and suppliers struggle to meet demanding, and sometimes unrealistic, schedules.
Any person associated with the construction industry understands that "time is money!"
Yet many in the industry are inserting increasingly one-sided "No Damage For Delay" and liquidated damages clauses into construction contracts which transfer the risk of delay down the construction "food chain."
Most of these contract clauses are enforceable in Ohio, therefore construction companies must work hard to identify unacceptable contractual risk and properly document project progress.
We offer the following general suggestions for dealing with time driven completion and delay issues:
- Do not sign a contract with a "No Damage For Delay" clause unless you have factored this risk into your price.
- Do not sign a schedule you are not in agreement with.
- Do not commit to unrealistic and certain dates for completion, in your proposal or otherwise.
- Do not sign "no cost" time extensions if you intend to pursue a delay claim.
- Do place time limitations on your bid proposals.
- Do keep good daily job records which set forth any delay or disruption to your work "as planned."
- Do promptly notify in writing when you are delayed or disrupted and request a written time extension for your work.
- Do a thorough job of tracking your job costs associated with any delay or disruption.
If you follow these suggestions, you will not eliminate time hassles, but you will be better equipped to defend against the assessment of liquidated or delay damages, or to pursue an affirmative delay claim recovery, if necessary.