Contractors know that time is money. So, the point is clear when expressly told to “Speed Up! Go Faster!”
But, what do you do when the Owner says, “You must still meet the deadline and I’m not giving you any more time.” Preserve and pursue a claim against the Owner for constructive acceleration.
Constructive acceleration occurs when the owner or government demands compliance with an original contract deadline, despite a delay. In such cases, the contractor may be entitled to reimbursement for expenses actually and reasonably incurred in complying with an (implied) acceleration order.
But, the Contractor must prove:
- Excusable Delay: a delay that is neither the fault of the owner or contractor;
- Request: The Contractor timely and sufficiently requested more time;
- Denial: Owner denied or failed to timely respond to Contractor’s request for more time;
- Demand: Owner demanded Contractor meet deadline;
- Timely Notice: Contractor timely notified Owner that Contractor understood the Owner’s demand as constructive acceleration; and
- Damages: Contractor incurred damages due to Owner’s unreasonable demand(s).
Appeal of IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals Nos. 59397, 59398, 59399 (May 17, 2017).