Common Construction Lawsuit Claims and Tactics for Handling Them

In a related post on this blog, we discussed the tactics that contractors and suppliers should use to preserve their right to a construction lawsuit. In this post we will dive into the most common kinds of construction lawsuit claims and some specific tactics on what to do after the complaint has been filed.

Construction lawsuits often result from job site issues.
The followings claims tend to come up regularly in disputes between contractors and owners:

  • Refusal to pay
  • Change order terms
  • Unreasonable delay

General contractors (“GC”) tend to initiate refusal to pay claims against owners, however, subcontractors can use this claim against GCs as well, especially after a change order dispute.

Change orders are a common occurrence in any construction job, but problems arise when terms are unclear or misunderstood. Requests to change the scope of work or the pricing after work has already started bring up some of the biggest issues, and this is where a well drafted contract can be most helpful.

Unreasonable delays are usually brought against general contractors by owners, but can also be used by GCs against subcontractors. A well drafted contract, that anticipates the likelihood of construction delays, with explicit remedies and timetables for penalties, can make all the difference.

What should you do if a job site construction law claim arises?
Change orders are the most common of the three claims above. If this happens to you on a job, then you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible, submit your claim timely, and finish the work your were contracted to do (this also helps avoid potential unreasonable delay claims). Rob Cohen Law has years of experience resolving construction law claims favorably for our clients. Call for a free consultation today.