How can late work equal a breach of contract?

| Apr 5, 2017

 

The Fairmont Austin will be the city’s largest hotel by the end of the year. First, it needs to be completed.

The 37-story, $370 million tower is still under construction, but a lawsuit over late and unsatisfactory work has already been filed against one of the subcontractors who were providing mechanical and plumbing systems in the new building.

Fairmont Austin is a major project. It forecasts to be the city’s second tallest building with a skyway that connects to Austin Convention Center. It was originally predicted to open in 2016.

What is the lawsuit?

It is a breach of contract lawsuit concerning the project’s timing. The general contractors allege that subcontractors have taken too long, causing additional costs through slow work. The general contractor hired a new firm to handle part of the building’s completion last fall, but forcing an addition hire has cost the project even more, which the general contractor hopes to make up with their $27 million lawsuit.

What makes a successful breach of contract case?

In a breach of contract case such as this, the general contractor needs to prove both that the subcontractor violated the original agreement, but also that their violation affected the outcome significantly. In short, the dispute is not simply about the timeliness of the subcontractors’ work, but that the delays have fundamentally changed the overall project agreement.

The major point of contention is how and why the delays happened, whether through negligence or normal circumstance. Another key factor is how the contract emphasizes a specific timeline.

Solving breach of contract matters

Fairmont Austin is a large-scale operation with multiple construction firms and complex funding and contracts.

For any construction matter, big or small, a consultation with a business law attorney familiar with the industry can clarify potential breach of contract situations and your options for action. If your project hasn’t gone as you expected, a skilled lawyer will be able to look at your unique contract to determine how it can be enforced.