Lawsuits can happen for a variety of reasons. In this five-part article, Memphis contractor lawyers with Cotney Construction Law are discussing some of the most common construction disputes that lead to litigation. In the first part, we covered the importance of a clearly worded contract to protect your best interests. In this part, we will discuss how the scope of work in a contract can lead to a dispute.
Defining the Scope of Work
Defining the scope of work for a project is one of the first and most important steps of a project. This all-encompassing process requires close attention to detail and can include a variety of parties, including an owner, general contractor, subcontractors, and a variety of other professionals. There are a plethora of potential disputes that can arise when defining the scope of work including:
- An owner and general contractor could interpret the scope of work differently due to unclear language in the contract. If documents, project plans, or specifications are vague, this can lead to a lot of problems down the road.
- If the specifications of the project provided to the contractor are inaccurate, this can lead to a dispute between the contractor and owner.
- If a contractor provides a subcontractor with a limited scope of work for their requirements and the subcontractor is expected to perform tasks beyond that perceived scope of work, this can also lead to a dispute.
All the above examples are all common elements that lead to a dispute. When responsibilities related to scope of work are unfairly shifted from one party to another, this can lead to one party pursuing litigation.
Change Orders and Alterations to the Scope of Work
Sometimes significant changes need to be made to the scope of work of a project and change orders are submitted. What often comes with these alterations is the need for extra time to complete these tasks. There are many conflicts that can occur in these situations, including pricing disputes over the increased budget for these changes. Another common dispute is a disagreement over how much time the project should be extended by. If an owner insists that the deadline remains on schedule, this can lead to a dispute between the contractor and the owner after project completion.
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.