New ODOT Claims Procedure

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

The Ohio Department of Transportation ("ODOT") is in the process of instituting a new claims process through the imposition of a new specification - Section 105.17. Pursuant to this new claims procedure, contractors will have to give the Engineer early written notice of the claim. Once the Engineer responds in writing, the contractor has ten (10) days to submit a notice of claim with the basis and nature of claim, or is deemed to waive the claim. Within ten (10) days of the notice of claim, the Contractor is to give the Engineer the estimated additional time and cost of the claim or is deemed to have waived the claim.

No later than sixty (60) days after substantially all of the Contractor's costs are known, the Contractor is to submit a detailed claim to the Engineer, or again the claim is waived. The Engineer is to then decide the claim within sixty (60) days after submission.

If the Contractor is unsatisfied with the Engineer's decision, he must appeal to a newly created Director's Claim Board within twenty (20) days who shall make a decision, in most cases, within thirty (30) days after the hearing. Only after the Claim Board decision can the Contractor file suit in the Court of Claims.

The time and notice restraints of this new procedure provide significant procedural traps for unwary highway Contractors.