Owners, architects, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors and their insurers can benefit from our experience handling construction disputes. Construction litigation includes disputes over the formation, meaning, breach or termination of construction, financing and real estate development contracts and the associated duties imposed on the contracting parties by law. Imposing a lien can prompt a payment, but there are technical requirements. Getting rid of an improper lien is often essential to complete a project. Some of the more common types of litigated claims include:
Cost overrun cases can be simple where the agreement specifies a lump sum for the work. More complex cases present issues regarding the scope of the work originally designated, documented or undocumented extra work orders, interference from other parties, unanticipated conditions or the good faith of the contracting parties. Cost plus and time and materials agreements require different approaches. Cost overrun cases necessitate a close review of the agreements and the documents relating to the work done and payments made.
Delay claims usually require familiarity with the CPM (or PERT) scheduling system. Assigning responsibility for project delays compels a review of the actions of the owner, construction manager, architect/engineer, general contractor, subcontractors and suppliers. Scope changes, unanticipated job site conditions and other unforeseen events – as well as the language of the governing agreements – require close study and analysis. Not every delay will cause a project to miss its completion date, nor does a missed completion date necessarily require compensation. An effective presentation of facts can separate the compensable claims from the frivolous.
Defective work disputes are the most common of all construction contract claims. Depending on the project, a working knowledge of structural, mechanical, design and construction customs, practices and standards can determine whether the problems relate to work performed or to a preexisting condition, or whether it was caused by the defendant or some other company not a party to the litigation. The lawyer’s job is to investigate the facts, join any appropriate additional parties, line up favorable witnesses, select the right expert and develop an effective presentation.
Lien claims necessitate compliance with the applicable statutes (e.g. mechanics lien) and vigilance in pursuing or defending collection claims. Claims that drag on for years without appreciable progress drain valuable resources and impede the acceptance of new projects. For parties seeking payment, the task is to collect the funds owed as efficiently and quickly as possible. For parties defending the claims, the goal is to pay what is owed rather than subsidizing the claimant’s inefficiency or unanticipated costs.
We have experience with:
- Construction Disputes
- Extra Work Orders
- Field Changes
- Delay Damage Claims
- Mechanics Liens
Click the link to return to our main services page. Click any of the above links to read about our past Construction Dispute Cases / Attorneys that handle them or call (312) 223-1699 for more information.