Your construction project is being shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic event that no one foresaw when they entered into their contracts. What do you do? Here are some things to consider:

-Gather together your contract, including any incorporated agreements. Evaluate the force majeure clause, any price escalation provisions, and work suspension/project termination clauses.

-Develop a legal plan of attack. You will have some time to consider this carefully before executing a strategy, so don’t hesitate to involve your attorney. Your lawyer should consider the legal doctrine of impossibility and frustration of purpose in developing a coordinated response.

-Contact your insurance broker and conduct an audit of available coverages and notice requirements.

-Contact your surety for any advice or instructions they may have developed.

-Secure the job site. Inventory what’s there and be sure the premises and all data are secure.

-Immediately begin documenting all costs of demobilization, idle labor and equipment, storage costs, and General Conditions and extended home office overhead. Make sure your cost accounting complies with the contract provisions.

As so many others have advised, don’t panic. Contract claim provisions must be followed, required notices must be given, and procedures must be followed. Be deliberate and obtain the professional services you will need to protect your company in this time of crisis.
McAlpine PC

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