COVID-19 is hampering all aspects of our lives, and the construction industry is no exception.  As you continue to assess your construction projects, don’t forget that you likely have notice obligations to upstream contractors or the owner to let them know of potential delay and cost increase claims.

Review Your Contract

Your contract probably requires you to provide notice of delays to upstream contractors or the owner.  And, it likely contains a very specific time frame by which you should provide that notice.

Draft the Delay Notice

Your notice should cite to the provisions of the contract you are relying on in providing the notice.  Your notice should also emphasize that the delay was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. You do not need to provide specifics of the delay in this preliminary notice, but you should request both an extension of time and increased costs to cover your bases.

Below I’ve provided some general language that could be used to include in your delay notice, but you’ll have to include your own information to tailor it to your needs.

Dear ___________:

The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused unanticipated delays and increased costs to the above-referenced Project that were beyond our control.

In accordance with section _____ of the Contract, Contractor is providing this notice of delay.

Contractor has experienced the following delays and impacts to project performance: _________________.(explain)

Contractor requests a time extension of ____ days in response to the COVID-19 delays and impacts.

In addition, Contractor is experiencing increased costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic including ______________ (explain). Contractor is collecting its costs and will provide updated information to the Owner in the near future.

Contractor invites the GC/Owner to participate in a conference call to discuss this request for a time extension and increased costs, and to outline a plan to reduce the impact on the Contract Time and Contract Price.

Contractor reserves all rights and remedies it has pursuant to the Contract and is confident it will be able to get through these events with Owner and all project participants. Please contact me to discuss these issues and, again, we will provide periodic updates as soon as possible.

If you need help drafting a COVID-19 Notice or want to discuss your options, the attorneys at Lamson Dugan and Murray, LLP are here to help.

Craig Martin