The Holloway Consulting Group, LLC is an international construction consulting firm. We have posted an extensive series of posts here at hcgexperts.com on how we work as construction consultants to assist and consult with our contractor clients on the resolution of construction claims and disputes.
We have also posted a contractor claim entitlements summary at disputesinconstruction.com. This post is on contractor construction claims and entitlement associated with defective contract documents, often referred to as design errors and omissions claims:
DEFECTIVE CONTRACT DOCUMENT CLAIMS
The owner’s warranty extends to the correctness, adequacy and feasibility of the plans and specifications, including drawings, models, and execution time. In this regard, plans and specifications should be prepared with reasonable care and stated clearly Indeed, the designer’s failure to be reasonably careful in the preparation of plans and specs may be a breach of contract and may fall below the standard of care for his/her design profession.
The contractor cannot, however, rely on owner specifications where, on the basis of owner-furnished data, he knows or should have known that the specifications could not or would not produce the desired result, as courts have determined that the contractor has no legal right to knowingly build a useless thing and charge the consumer for it.
On the other hand, when the owner is responsible for the specifications, the contractor is not necessarily under a duty to examine them in detail to determine their adequacy for construction, prior to award. Further, the successful bidder will often be entitled to recover additional compensation should contract document errors create cost or time increases. However, prudent and experienced contractors assess the completeness of the plans and specifications and submit bids that include a reasonable allowance or contingency for the anticipated cost of errors.
Design Errors and Omissions Claims
It is not unusual for owners to pay the additional cost directly related to errors and omissions in the contract documents, but many are hesitant to recognize the impact or ripple cost effect of such errors. Nevertheless, claims related to defective and deficient contract documents often contain impact costs. Regardless of merit, part of our role as construction consultants is to advise our contractor clients that such claims may not be worthy of pursuit if a coherent and understandable approach to an impact or disruption claim cannot be developed.
We also invite you to review a series of articles that Mr. Holloway has written on Contract Documents That Lead To Changes, Change Orders, and Disputes for Wiley Law Publications and Aspen Publishers.
The Holloway Consulting Group, LLC
Construction Consultants – Construction Experts
12081 W. Alameda Pkwy., #450
Lakewood, CO 80228-2701
Denver Phone: (303) 984-1941
International : (888) 545-0666
Fax: (303) 716-0432