Subcontract Should Flow Down Delay Caused by Subcontractors

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An important subcontractual provision so that the risk of delay caused by subcontractors is clearly flowed down to them in the subcontract.

December 21, 2020
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

A general contractor’s subcontract with its subcontractor should include a provision that entitles it to flow down liquidated damages assessed by the owner stemming from delays caused by the subcontractor. Such a provision does not mean the general contractor does not have to prove delays caused by the subcontractor or can arbitrarily allocate the amount or days it claims the subcontractor is liable. The general contractor still will need to reasonably establish the delays the subcontractor caused the critical path of the schedule, i.e., delayed the job. In addition to the right to flow down liquidated damages, the subcontract should also entitle the general contractor to recover its actual extended general conditions caused by the subcontractor’s delays (regardless of whether the owner assesses liquidated damages). The objective is that if the subcontractor delays the job, the subcontractor is liable for liquidated damages the general contractor is liable to the owner for in addition to the general contractor’s own delay damages. This is an important subcontractual provision so that the risk of delay caused by subcontractors is clearly flowed down to them in the subcontract.

In a 1987 case, Hall Construction Co., Inc. v. Beynon, 507 So.2d 1225 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987), the subcontract at-issue contained language that stated, “The parties hereto agree that a supplier who delays performance beyond the time agreed upon in this Purchase Order shall have caused [general contractor] liquidated damages in the amount required of [general contractor] by their contract per day for each day such delay continues which sum the supplier hereby agrees to pay.”

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



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