During a recent soccer game, my seven-year-old son took the ball squarely in the face. But, he walked it off and continued playing. Contractors must do the same with changes.
In 2006, under a contract with NAVFAC for repairs to a wastewater treatment system at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Cuba, the Contractor encountered differing site conditions. NAVFAC did not issue a suspension or stop work order, but the Contractor stopped working awaiting responses to RFIs. NAVFAC did not respond to all the RFIs. So, the Contractor submitted a certified claim, but the Contractor never resumed work. The Contractor should have continued working.
Under the Federal Acquisition Regulations, the Contractor is obligated to “prosecute the work diligently” and continue performance pending the outcome of a claim. (FAR 52.211-10 and 52.233-1(i)). Doing so not only mitigates potential delays and damages, but it ensures that when a claim is submitted, a “sum certain” (i.e., showing of damage) is possible.
In this case, the Contractor’s claim submission was premature and the Contractor’s refusal to perform directed or constructive changes pending the promise of payment precluded the ASBCA from having any power to resolve the dispute. The ASBCA dismissed the Contractor’s appeal because the Contractor sought future damages for work it had not yet performed. At worst, NAVFAC could have terminated the Contractor for default.
Appeal of Islands Mechanical Contractor, Inc., ASBCA No. 59655 (April 13, 2017)
Roads & Bridges | Written Notice
WRITTEN NOTICE | Beware that strict compliance of the contract might be required.
When an owner replaced a contractor for significant safety violations, […]
Roads & Bridges | Mommie Dearest
MOMMY DEAREST | The story of an ESA without a MOM
Nobody enters this world, or a contract, without a mother: There can […]
IIJA | Does Closing a “Giant Loophole” Cost Contractors?
A recent article published by Roads and Bridges magazine reports that the Office of Management and Budget is working to broaden the scope […]
Roads & Bridges | Buy American Plan Gets an Update
BUY AMERICAN PLAN GETS AN UPDATE
The Office of Management and Budget is developing standards to replace the current Buy […]
Roads & Bridges
Where Does the Buck Stop?
WHERE DOES THE BUCK STOP? | A shallow concrete pour leads to an interesting lawsuit
On the desk of President Harry S. Truman […]
Roads & Bridges | Reshaping Agreements
RESHAPING AGREEMENTS | Oral Agreements Must Be Written in Stone
Reuse, reshaping, and/or reapplication of existing materials was the goal in this roadway […]
Pay-If-Paid Unenforceable in Virginia Starting Jan. 1, 2023
As of Jan. 1, 2023, pay-if-paid clauses are unenforceable, regardless of whether a surety/payment bond claim is involved. This is only for […]
How Short is Too Short
A limitations period is too short when it’s unreasonably short.
Construction Contracting Without Relief Clauses During COVID-19
What to do if your contract lacks the parts to handle COVID-19? Considerations for creating new contracts during COVID-19.
Jonathan J. Straw
Partner | KraftsonCaudle.com
Download Jon’s Bio