COVID-19 AND THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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Dealing With a Stop Work Order During a Pandemic

As the country cautiously returns to work from shelter-in-place orders, many construction projects will continue to be closed down for an uncertain time period. In some cases, a project may never reopen. In this article, a stop work order attorney in Florida will discuss some of the common reasons why stop work orders are issued and how disputes stemming from these legal devices can increase during uncertain times. If you are dealing with a stop work order in Florida, immediately consult a construction attorney for legal advice.  

Why Stop Work Orders Occur 

The entire business world has felt a disruption these last few months. As a result, some owners issued stop work orders effectively pausing work on a project. Although we generally cover stop work orders issued by a government agency due to failure to provide employees with proper workers’ compensation coverage, a stop work order can be issued by a variety of parties for a myriad of reasons. Unsafe site conditions can result in a safety inspector issuing a stop work order. Failure to obtain workers’ compensation coverage can result in a government agency shutting down work. Project abandonment by a contractor can result in an owner issuing a stop work order. From payment disputes to concerns with the spread of COVID-19, a stop work order may have been issued in the last few months for a variety of reasons. 

Related: Breaking Down Stop Work Orders in Florida

What is a Stop Work Order?

A stop work order is essentially a legal device utilized to postpone work until an agreement is reached by the contracting parties. The stop work order will feature a description of the reason for suspending work and provide direction of the next steps to take. The most important thing to remember if you receive a stop work order is that you must immediately cease all work related to the stop work order. Generally, if you receive a stop work order, this results in a project shutdown. 

If you receive a stop work order, immediately stop all work and consult an attorney. In some cases, it may be best to terminate the agreement with the other party. In other cases, it may be best to work through the reason the stop work order was issued, have it lifted, and continue work as normal. An attorney can help you assess the order and navigate you through this process. 

Related: Tips for Avoiding a Stop Work Order

Stop Work Order Disputes May Increase 

Considering we are emerging from a pandemic during uncertain economic times, the chances of being issued a stop work order can only increase as payment disputes and other common construction conflicts will only be more prevalent in the future. In some cases, a contractor may no longer be able to perform the work. In other cases, an owner may no longer have the funding for the project. Regardless, if you are involved in a project and you receive a stop work order, immediately stop all work safely and pick up the phone and call an attorney. 

At Cotney Construction Law, our attorneys are highly experienced in several areas of the law related to stop work orders, including payment disputes, contract disputes, insurance coverage issues, license defense, safety-related disputes, and bonding issues. If you need assistance with a stop work order in Florida, our construction attorneys are standing by.  

If you would like to speak with a stop work order attorney in Florida, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.