Mutual Or Concurrent Delay Caused By Subcontractors

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How are delay damages treated when two subcontractors cause a mutual or concurrent delay to the project?

March 23, 2020
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

How are delay damages treated when two subcontractors cause a mutual or concurrent delay to the project?

Assume multiple subcontractors concurrently contributed to an impact to the critical path resulting in a delay to the project. The delay caused the prime contractor to: (1) be assessed liquidated damages from the owner and (2) incur extended general conditions. The prime contractor will be looking to the subcontractors for reimbursement for any liquidated damages it is assessed along with its extended general conditions costs.

There is really no great case that addresses this point when two (or more) subcontractors mutually or concurrently delay the project. It is also not uncommon, and frankly expected, that a subcontractor will point the finger at another subcontractor for the cause of the delay or that another subcontractor was concurrently delaying the project.

The prime contractor should absolutely, without any exception, undertake efforts with a scheduling consultant to allocate the delay caused by subcontractors. Taking an approach that joint and several liability applies between multiple subcontractors and/or not trying to apportion delay because the subcontractors concurrently delayed the critical path at the same time is probably not the best approach. The prime contractor should have an expert render an opinion as to the allocation of the delay period amongst responsible subcontractors that delayed the critical path. Not doing so, in my opinion, is a mistake.

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com



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