Constructive Candor

Heavy SnowPack: A Reminder to Check Your Force Majeure Language

The big 2016 /17 winter snowpack is good news for hydropower. However, that same runoff can be problematic for construction projects in and around the waterline. Overtopping of cofferdams and other structures designed to keep the construction site dry is typically quite costly in terms of both time and rework.  

To allocate this risk, most construction contracts will contain a Force Majeure clause that addresses flooding. For the contractor to obtain relief under Force Majeure, they must show that the flooding event was not within their reasonable control; despite employing commercially reasonable efforts to prevent such an event from causing delay and damage to the project.

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Using Contractor Payment as Carrot and Stick

As a project owner or manager, you need certain types of information from the contractor to ensure your project is on track. Too often, though, the contractor doesn’t provide the information you need in a timely fashion (if at all). Before you know it, the project can be off schedule and out of budget. How can you avoid getting caught in this situation?

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Considering Withholding Contractor Payment? Know the Risks

Most construction contract Owners have been faced with a perceived lack of performance by their contractor, and subsequently been faced with the choice of whether to withhold monthly payment. If the owner is a state or federal government entity, prompt payment laws almost certainly apply. Private contracts are generally exempt from such laws, but not always: states like Vermont have prompt payment laws covering all construction contracts. Check your jurisdiction to confirm.

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Am I Stuck Paying for My Consultant's Error?

If you’re an owner who's been involved with a major construction project, this question isn’t hypothetical. Yet while this situation is extremely common, many owners don’t have a strong grasp on their contract’s terms and conditions or the relevant case law that forms the underpinnings of a defensible answer.

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