WHAT DOES YOUR CONTRACT SAY?
Many courts decide contract claims based on what costs the contractor is entitled to recover under the terms of the contract and on whether the contractor has proven those costs. Paliotta v. Department of Transportation, 750 A.2d 388 (Pa. Commw. 1999) provides a textbook study. Carmen Paliotta Contracting Co. was to begin work on a section of State Route 30 on July 29, 1991, and was to complete the project 92 calendar days later. Paliotta was delayed starting the project, because the state budget was not signed into law until August 4. On September 4, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) issued a revised schedule increasing the duration to 268 calendar days because of the winter shutdown. A design defect, which PennDOT modified, caused Paliotta to incur additional costs. Upon completion of the project, Paliotta filed a complaint seeking damages from PennDOT for increased construction costs caused by the delays and design flaws. The board held hearings and, based on the evidence presented, awarded Paliotta damages of $144,105.86 with 6% interest from May 10, 1993. Both Paliotta and PennDOT appealed the decision. The court focused on the contract and standard specifications language and found PennDOT had modified the original contract. Contractors should instruct their field personnel to give notice when required and keep the appropriate documentation, or risk not being fairly compensated.
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Scranton Gillette Communications380 E Northwest Highway, Suite 200
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- Parvin, C
- Publication Date: 2000-10
- Pagination: p. 18
- TRT Terms: Construction scheduling; Contractors; Contracts; Costs; Design; Documents; Errors; Highway maintenance; Liability; Loss and damage claims; Road construction; State departments of transportation
- Geographic Terms: Pennsylvania
- Subject Areas: Administration and Management; Data and Information Technology; Design; Finance; Highways; Law; I10: Economics and Administration;
- Accession Number: 00800674
- Record Type: Publication
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: Oct 22 2000 12:00AM