Experiencing Coronavirus-Related Delays? Here’s How Contractors Can Protect Themselves
Virtually every aspect of construction has suffered as a result of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Employee absenteeism is climbing. The global supply chain is struggling. And employers are fighting to keep their companies afloat. Projects across the state of Florida have taken a massive hit in what is being called “an economic hurricane.”
If you’re working on a project that is experiencing delays, you must take necessary measures to protect your company. In this brief article, a Coronavirus construction attorney with Cotney Attorneys & Consultants will detail how you can do just that. From proper recordkeeping to contract review, you can still take action during this difficult time.
We’ll get into whether or not you’ll be able to pursue delay and disruption recoveries, but you’ll need to first document how COVID-19 is affecting your project. What delays have occurred? Has the cost of labor or materials risen? Be as specific as possible when it comes to costs, schedules, timesheets, etc.
You’ll also need to give the owner notice claiming delays and additional costs. Your contract should have provisions outlining how, when, and to whom these notices are to be delivered. Be careful, failure to properly give notice could result in you losing your rights to cost adjustments. Consult a Fort Lauderdale construction attorney for assistance.
Determining Where Responsibility Lies
The unfortunate truth is that someone on the project is responsible for delays and costs, regardless of the current situation. Determining where responsibility lies comes down to your construction contract. Believe it or not, well-drafted contracts are generally written without the intention of exploiting a specific party. They should be written with the intention of assigning responsibility to the parties most capable of handling them. Unfortunately, not all contracts are written with the best intentions.
We strongly recommend reviewing your contract for what is known as a force majeure contract clause. These clauses ensure that contractors will be excused of performance or can receive some form of compensation following an unforeseen event, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or event beyond their control. However, some contracts, whether intentional or unintentional, may contain language that does not allow for additional compensation for delays relating to an event like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contract Review Services
For assistance reviewing any current or future contracts for misleading language, our Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys are always here to help. Unlimited contract review services are also offered through our affordable, monthly subscription plans. We also encourage you to look through our COVID-19 Resources page for additional information you may find helpful. If you require any legal assistance in the coming months, the team at Cotney Attorneys & Consultants is here for you.
If you would like to speak with a Coronavirus construction lawyer, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.