Construction agreements can be lengthy. They often include terms covering everything from logistics for working on the project site to complicated provisions regarding intellectual property. Many provisions in a construction agreement deal with risk and who is going to pay for damage claims if or when they occur.
However, not all risk-shifting provisions are equally important. While provisions that impose obligations on the contractor to maintain confidentiality, indemnify for personal injury or property damage, or correct defective work can expose a contractor to substantial damage claims and are thus important, contractors can significantly control the amount of damages the owner can claim by including a well-drafted waiver of “consequential damages” provision in the agreement.
Because the waiver of consequential damages can significantly control the amount of damages for which a contractor is assuming risk and greatly limit the owner’s ability to recoup many damages, it is arguably the most important provision in a construction contract. Therefore, it is essential for contractors and owners to carefully consider the waiver of consequential damages before entering into any construction agreement.
Reprinted courtesy of Jeremy P. Brummond, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.