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Contract Made Utility Responsible For Underground Unknowns

Thursday, October 05, 2017

A contractor may recover additional compensation for costs associated with a construction contract’s failure to properly mark subsurface utilities.

Facts: The Sanitary Board of the City of Charleston, West Virginia (CSB) entered into a written agreement with J.F. Allen Corporation (J.F. Allen) for construction work on the City’s municipal sewer system. The $5.5 million job involved sewer replacement and manhole installation, among other tasks. During the work, there were 122 incidents of damage to utility lines/structures because they were unmarked or mismarked on the construction plans.

As a result, J.F. Allen allegedly incurred additional costs for repairs, delay, and lost productivity. When it sought recovery of these costs, as well as for several other instances of extra, non-contractual work demanded by the owner, CSB refused the request. J.F. Allen asserted a breach of contract claim, which a circuit court dismissed on the grounds that the “risk of [...]

 
Next: Close Contract Reading Reveals That Utility Always Pays To Move Facilities To Accommodate New Railroad Tracks
 
Prev: Zoning - Pawn Shop Entitled To Variance Because Eminent Domain Uniquely Burdened Property
 
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