Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

Construction company alleges breach of contract against NYC

In New York, construction is a big business rife with the potential for disagreements. Business contracts are meant to avoid any ongoing disputes or battles over the work, how it was supposed to be completed and when. However, there is still the potential for allegations of breach of contract, problems over what was expected and what was done and the potential for litigation as a result. Even when there is a contract for the performance of services it is still possible for there to be battles over contracts for builders. This is why it is important to have legal advice.

A company that worked on the City Hall renovation in New York is alleging that it is owed more than $12.5 million for extra work it did after changes to the project. These changes made the work take two years longer than was originally scheduled. The company, a subcontractor, lodged a complaint with the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). The case was denied by OATH based on it not having been filed in the appropriate time frame, which was 60 days. Because of that, it was required that it be subject to dismissal.

Even in the smallest and most innocuous situations which most people would believe needed only a handshake agreement, there can be significant issues arising such as costs, insurance and disagreements over how the project was supposed to have been completed. There are numerous factors that go into contracts and having legal advice is an imperative when moving forward whether the project ran into roadblocks or not. It is wise for both the company and the contractor to understand the parameters of the deal and to know what to do if it is not completed as requested from either side.

While this case was denied by OATH, it is still unclear as to what recourse the company has in its attempts to recover financial compensation it claims to be owed. This situation highlights the importance of having legal assistance and protection when negotiating deals and making certain they are adhered to. Before, during and after a project, it is important for companies to be prepared for any eventuality and follow time constraints to file a claim. Speaking to an attorney about contracts for builders and how they work is the first step when performing such services.

Source: New York Post, "Construction firm says it's owed $12M for City Hall renovation," Danika Fears, March 11, 2016

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