Read Before You Dig: Working with utilities means being very careful – both on site and on paper
This case is an example of the minefield of potential claims regarding utility (and subsurface) conditions on construction projects. Here, the contractor’s damages award against the utility was upheld on appeal. However, if the Florida statutes, or the contract, were worded differently, the contractor might have obtained a different result and been precluded from any recovery. As always, it is important to understand the terms and conditions of any contract and its risk allocation mechanisms, especially with respect to potential site utility conflicts and differing site conditions.
About the author: Brian Morrow is a partner in Newmeyer & Dillion LLP, a law firm in California. He is a licensed California Civil Engineer, and specializes in the field of construction law, including road and heavy construction. Contact him at email@example.com.
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