Better Roads Staff
This case shows the importance of knowing and adhering to contract requirements, especially regarding changes and extra work. Contracts often contain detailed requirements for the approval of changes, extra work and payment. It is important that contracting parties know and understand their contract provisions, as the contract provides a roadmap to which the court will refer if, and when, a dispute later develops. Although there are legal defenses to contract requirements regarding written change orders, they are not always applicable.
Here, Process appeared to lack an understanding of its contract requirements regarding written change orders. This lack of understanding and failure to adhere to the contract requirements was fatal to its claim. If Process had known and complied with the terms of its contract, it could have taken steps to have properly documented its extra work, presented the required evidence at trial and prevailed on its claim.
Brian Morrow is a partner in Newmeyer & Dillion LLP, a law firm in California. He is a licensed California Civil Engineer, and specializes in construction law, including road and heavy construction. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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