State Loses Another Delay Claim in the Court of Claims
Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter June 1, 2007
In the case of Field & Associates, Inc. v. Department of Administrative Services, our firm successfully represented the prime roofing contractor in a differing site condition claim against the State due to greater thickness and hardness of the existing roofing material to be removed. Judge Shoemaker of the Court of Claims granted a judgment that included an amount for the differing condition claim that was approximately half of the original contract amount and withdrew the assessment of all liquidated damages assessed by the State. He also granted the contractor prejudgment interest in the amount of 10% per annum from substantial completion of the project.
In the decision, Judge Shoemaker reinforced the pro-contractor case law established in the Court of Claims following the Valentine case years ago, including the principles that:
- ambiguities in the contract documents are to be construed against the State;
- constructive notice of a change or differing condition is adequate to satisfy the notice provisions of the State's contract;
- a contractor is entitled to an equitable adjustment for any conditions that could not have been discovered in a reasonable site inspection; and
- a contractor is entitled to any extra costs incurred as a result of any errors or omissions in the plans and specifications.