Court of Federal Claims Holds Contractor’s Duty to Continue Performance Under Disputes Clause May Be Excused Where Government Fails to Provide Information Necessary to Continue Performance

Vanguard Constr., Inc. v. United States, 2015 U.S. Claims LEXIS 1158 (Fed. Cl. Sep. 8, 2015)

The United States Air Force (the “Government”) entered into a contract with Vanguard Construction, Inc. (“Contractor”) to replace a roof (the “Contract”).  The Contract incorporated by reference portions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

Contractor’s demolition of the existing roof revealed that a significant section of the roof stem wall was missing.  The Contract did not address the contingency of a missing stem wall.  Contractor sent the Government several letters asking for guidance on how to proceed, including a request for information on structural requirements for building a stem wall.  The Government refused to provide the requested information, asserting that the terms of the contract allocated to the Contractor the risk of dealing with latent or unanticipated site conditions and the burden of devising a solution to the problem. Continue reading “Court of Federal Claims Holds Contractor’s Duty to Continue Performance Under Disputes Clause May Be Excused Where Government Fails to Provide Information Necessary to Continue Performance”

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Explains and Applies Active Interference Exception to No Damage for Delay Clause

John Spearly Constr., Inc. v. Penns Valley Area Sch. Dist., 2015 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 337 (Pa. Commw. Ct. July 24, 2015)

This action arose out of the construction of a biomass boiler system for the Penns Valley Area School Districts (“District”) to house the District’s boiler plant  (“Project”).  The District contracted with general contractor John Spearly Construction, Inc. (“Contractor”) to construct the Project. The District entered into direct contracts with the Project Architect and other contractors responsible for other components of the work.

Construction began in July 2010 and was to be substantially completed no later than October 18, 2010.  From its inception, however, the Project was plagued with delays.  Project delays were caused by, among other things, delays by the District’s Architect in deciding on and responding to submittals relating to changes, disputes between the District and its HVAC contractor responsible for delivering the boiler, and work performed by a sewer contractor the District brought in toward the end of the Project to repair and replace storm water and sewer pipes. Ultimately, the Project was not substantially completed until August 11, 2011. Continue reading “Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Explains and Applies Active Interference Exception to No Damage for Delay Clause”