By Steve Rizer
With Thanksgiving approaching, Navigant Construction Forum Executive Director James Zack appropriately offered owners attending WPL Publishing’s recent “Trends in Construction Claims and Disputes” webinar a cornucopia of fruitful advice, such as this nourishing suggestion: “You need to get competent legal advice when considering adding new contract language.”
Zack reported that he and fellow speaker Stephen Pitaniello, a managing director with Navigant Consulting’s Global Construction Practice, have seen situations “where owners find a clause or they hear about a clause used by an owner in another state or something [and say], ‘Man, this is really great! It’ll solve a lot of my problems!’ and they just throw it into the contract” -- a strategy that can cause some unpalatable problems.
Owners need competent legal advice in such situations to “harmonize the new language with your existing language and to avoid ambiguities and conflicts within your own contracts,” Zack said.
Later in the webinar, Pitaniello offered the following advice for contractors:
- Strictly comply with notice, scheduling, and claim-filing requirements.
- Understand the risks of False Claims Act and the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act.
- Learn new rulings concerning differing-site-condition claims.
- Understand that there is no right to rely on owner inspections.
To purchase a recording of the webinar, visit http://constructionpronet.com/Products/Trends-in-Construction-Claims-and-Disputes.aspx.