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Addressing liability for delays in construction projects, P.2

In our last post, we began looking at the issue of construction delays, and the importance of determining what specific aspects of the project caused the delay, who is responsible for the delay, and whether the delay entitles a contractor to a time extension or compensation, or the property owner to compensation.

In some cases, particularly with complex construction projects, there can be multiple potential causes for delay in the overall project. Project delay which is potentially caused by the actions or omissions of the contractor as well as delays or omissions by the owner are known as concurrent delays. Sorting out the effect of concurrent delays on overall project delays and determining liability for damages can be tricky. 

A somewhat different issue is properly apportioning what is known as project float, or the amount of time it takes before a specific construction activity or set of activities will cause a delay in the overall construction project. When there are multiple parties involved in using up project float time and causing subsequent delays, it has to be determined who is responsible for the overall delay. There are different approaches to the issue, which can result in different outcomes.

A final issue we’ll mention here is that of proving delays, which is an important issue to ensure a proper remedy is ordered. For both contractors and owners, proving the number of days a party’s wrongful actions caused is important, as well as proving that the delays in question affected the overall project length. This may require the use of specialized techniques of analysis.

Certainly, whenever there is a delay dispute in a construction project, particularly when a lot of money is at stake, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney. Skilled legal counsel can help ensure that a contractor or owner’s contractual and other legal rights are protected and that the party’s interests are zealously represented. 

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