Sometimes, it is much better to hear it from the horse’s mouth. That is the case here. The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeal’s (ASBCA) opinion in Appeals of -GSC Construction, Inc., ASBCA No. 59402, 2020 WL 8148687 (ASBCA November 4, 2020) includes an informative discussion of a contractor’s burden when it encounters excusable delay and, of importance, the standard for evaluating delay. It’s a long discussion but one that parties in construction need to know, appreciate, and understand. EVERY WORD IN THIS DISCUSSION MATTERS.
Construction projects get delayed and with a delay comes money because time is money. Many claims are predicated on delay. These can be an owner assessing liquidated damages due to a delayed job or a contractor seeking its costs for delay. Either way, the standard for evaluating delay and the burdens imposed on a party cannot be understated and, certainly, cannot be overlooked. For this reason, here is the discussion on evaluating delay directly from the horse’s mouth in the Appeal of-GSC Construction, Inc.:
The critical path is the longest path in the schedule on which any delay or disruption would cause a day-for-day delay to the project itself; those activities must be performed as they are scheduled and timely in order for the project to finish on time. Wilner v. United States, 23 Cl. Ct. 241, 245 (1991). In Yates-Desbuild Joint Venture, CBCA No. 3350 et al., 17-1 BCA ¶ 36,870, our sister board compiled an excellent and very helpful synopsis of the standards for evaluating delay claims, which I adopt nearly verbatim among the discussion that follows.