Massachusetts Court Equates Change in Construction Sequence with a Change in Scope, Awarding Inefficiency Damages Based on Modified Total Cost Claim

Daniel Marr & Son Co. v. Coreslab Structures, Inc. et al.
No. 03-1880, 2005 Mass. Super. LEXIS 545, (Mass. Supp. Nov. 21, 2005)

In Daniel Marr & Son Co. v. Coreslab Structures, Inc. et al., No. 03-1880, 2005 Mass. Super. LEXIS 545, (Mass. Supp. Nov. 21, 2005), plaintiff sub-subcontractor sued defendant subcontractor for various breaches of contract related to the construction and erection of precast concrete panels. The original scope of work dictated the erection of the precast panels would proceed on a floor-by-floor basis. During the project, the defendant order plaintiff to alter the erection sequence, requiring plaintiff to install the precast panels on an as-directed basis. Plaintiff subsequently asserted a claim for productivity inefficiencies related to the revised sequence and other issues. Defendant attacked Plaintiff’s damages calculations as an “unsegregated partial total cost claim.”

The court first determined that the Scope of Work specifically dictated the floor-by-floor approach, and that any change to that sequencing constituted a change in scope. Regarding Plaintiff’s damages calculation, the court agreed that certain aspects of the damages were unproven. However, Plaintiff’s inefficiency claim for the change in sequence was proven “to a reasonable degree of certainty,” bolstered by expert testimony. Plaintiff’s expert testified specifically on the precast panel erection data, opining on the reasonableness of the bid and the actual hours expended. Furthermore, Plaintiff was not required to determine its losses on a more detailed or segregated basis. Accordingly, the court awarded Plaintiff inefficiency damages for the change in scope.

This entry was posted in Breach of Contract, Subcontract and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.