Have you ever done exactly what you were supposed to do, but it didn’t work and you were blamed anyway?  Nevertheless, if contractors follow the owner’s plans and it still doesn’t work, the contractor may be without fault – this is as it should be.

This happened when a public school district near Cape Girardeau, Missouri provided electrical plans to a contractor for an addition to a local high school.  The contractor followed the plans and when problems arose, the school district blamed the contractor.  Ultimately, however, the contractor can rely on the accuracy of the plans provided by the school district and the contractor may be blameless.

Contractors, be aware!  Your express warranty can overwrite the owner’s implied Spearin warranty.  If the contract includes language like “contractor has verified [or guarantees] the accuracy of the plans and specifications,” the contractor may be assuming responsibility for the owner’s design or plans.

Always understand what you’re signing or saying beforehand.

Penzel Construction Co. v. Jackson R-2 School District, No. ED 103878 (Mo Ct. of Appeals, Feb. 14, 2017)

Published On: May 22, 2017

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