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New York Construction Law Blog

When a worksite isn’t as expected, you could have a claim

Posted by Karl Silverberg | Sep 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

When you arrived to work at the site of a new project, you were surprised that it wasn't exactly what you expected. You saw a few additional large rocks jutting out of the ground that weren't included in the original plans, and you worried that the subsurface area may not be as expected, either.

Your team got to work, but your fears were soon realized. As you dug down to start on the foundation of your project, you ran into rock after rock. You hit obstructions and even a water pipe that hadn't been discussed with you. Between these conditions and your client's apparent lack of knowledge about them, you feel that you need to stop the job.

Since you will need more time to complete the job, and much more compensation, the client and their private architect and surveyor don't want to continue to work with you. You may now find yourself making a claim because the site conditions were not as expected, and your company is losing money.

Snags in expectations

If the client is working that way, then it is the architect's and surveyor's responsibility to tell you if there are any significant changes that come up or if there were mistakes in the materials that were represented to your team. Going over the paperwork and documents with your team, the quote you gave and the timeline you created seemed reasonable based on the conditions being as they were represented. Unfortunately, the conditions were much worse than expected, and your project won't move forward because of it.

As a contractor who has suffered damages because of errors in the documents you were presented and the client wishing to end their contract with you, it's your right to pursue a claim. You may be required to go through arbitration or mediation based on the contract, but you should do so if you are financially harmed as a result of the misrepresentation of this worksite.

It's your responsibility to understand the existing conditions of a worksite, but knowing that you were unable to perform a detailed inspection due to security and safety reasons, you relied on the architect's documents. You trusted that the survey was accurate. You may want to investigate your legal options if you have lost money over these issues.

About the Author

Karl Silverberg

Karl Silverberg Contact Me: (631) 778-6077 Email me Practice Areas: Construction Law Biography Prior to law school, Mr. Silverberg worked as a professional engineer, and has eight years of experience working as a structural engineer on public sector transportation projects. Mr. Silver...


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