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What is an excusable construction delay?

| Jun 15, 2021 | Construction Law

Construction projects can become complicated very quickly. That is because every project has unique parts that depend on each other for implementation and completion. When a Florida construction project begins, it likely has a planned timeline that outlines where each subcontractor, component, and element will be carefully fit in to ensure a timely completion of the whole design.

Delays, though, are a common occurrence in the construction world. Some delays are avoidable, and others are not. Whether a contractor will be liable for losses incurred due to delays can depend on many factors. One of those factors is whether the delay was excusable.

Evaluating if a delay is excusable

When determining if a delay is excusable, foreseeability is an important element of consideration. If a contractor can foresee that an event or action will cause a delay to their project, they may be expected to take steps to avoid the delay. A contractor who fails to take action when faced with a likely foreseeable delay may be held liable for the losses that result.

However, unforeseeable events are often outside the scope of foreseeability in construction projects. For example, an act of God or labor dispute that is outside the contractor’s control may be an unavoidable and unforeseeable complication in their project. Similarly, changes and owner-created delays that are imposed upon a contractor through no fault of their own may not become their liabilities if delays result. These are only some examples of excusable and inexcusable delays, and readers are reminded not to rely on this post as legal advice.

Addressing challenges because of delays

Construction delays can be costly for everyone. Project owners may worry about meeting their deadlines and contractors may have concerns about having the labor and products to complete their projects as promised. When delays become an issue, the parties can face contentious disagreements. Legal professionals who work in construction law can help both sides address their concerns and resolve their disputes.

 

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