It is self-evident that a contractor and a subcontractor to whom the contractor has assigned a portion of the work should be working from the same defined scope of work. What happens when a contractor negotiates a change order with the project owner, increasing the scope and the price of the work, and fails to disclose the change order to the subcontractor performing that work? A Tennessee court sorted out this situation as it addressed claims for fraud and breach of contract.
Once again a question has arisen regarding design professional responsibility during the construction process. The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that neither the contract documents nor the engineer’s conduct created a duty to warn a laborer of unsafe conditions at the job site.
The third case in this issue involves a contract admonition to expect “periodic delays” due to traffic at the job site. The term “periodic” did not mean infrequent and was not a representation of the overall volume of traffic. And, the project owner did not withhold superior knowledge, as bidders had ample opportunity to observe traffic conditions when pricing the work.