The submittal, review and approval of shop drawings, usually in the early time-sensitive phase of a project, can be a cumbersome process. The contract terms typically favor the project owner. The contractor can’t proceed with the work without owner approval, but if the approved work is later deemed noncompliant, the contractor will probably be out of luck. Confusion frequently accompanies the entire process.
A federal appeals case involved a contractor’s use of design criteria more stringent than required by the contract. Government reviewers realized the contractor’s mistake but reviewed under the stricter requirements, which resulted in the rejection of numerous shop drawing submittals and weeks of delay. Who was responsible?
The second case in this issue addressed the scope of an inspection engineer’s responsibility. When proprietary equipment specified in the construction contract is delivered at the job site, is the engineer’s only obligation to confirm it is the specified product or should the engineer also consider the performance capabilities and suitability of the product?
The third case considered a contractor’s right to assert a claim against a subcontractor’s performance bond. Was the contractor required to first terminate the subcontractor for default or were there valid reasons to forego default termination of the subcontract?