How many of your projects have gotten to the point where you think it is best to just walk off the job? I am sure you have any number of times. But, the question always turns on whether walking off the job will cost you more than the headache of completing it.
A recent Texas case discussed some of the issues involved in whether to walk off the job. In that case, the contractor claimed the sub walked off the job, leaving significant work not completed. The sub claimed the contractor failed to supply sufficient material to complete the job. The jury found that both parties failed to comply with their contractual obligations, but the contractor’s failure was material, thus excusing the sub’s failure.
An overriding principle in these situations is the party seeking recovery on a breach of contract claim must have intended to comply with the contract. In this case, the contractor’s failure to supply sufficient material to complete the job showed that the contractor did not intend to comply with the contract. Therefore, the sub was justified in walking off the job.
It is always risky to walk off the job. But, if you can show that the reason you are walking off the job is another party’s failure to comply with the terms of the contract, you just might prevail on your claim.
Good stuff, Craig. I usually advise my clients that it’s better to be the one with the “white hat” by not walking off, but don’t lose your shirt in the process!