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Construction dispute? Cutting your losses by cutting ties

Many construction disputes are resolved with action. One party agrees or is ordered to complete work, make payments, change timelines, repair defects or reimburse another party. These are all definitive and effective actions that should hopefully correct a dispute that has arisen.

However, there are some occasions when the best course of action is to just walk away. For instance, this is what recently happened when a construction management company and a concrete company butted heads over an airport terminal project. The best course of action for them was to cut ties.

It was reported that the two parties could not come to an agreement on significant matters including the cost and scope of the project they were working on together. The management company, which was also working with several other companies to complete the project, argued that the concrete company was too difficult to work with and asked for permission to replace the contractors.

While this permission was granted, the request was ultimately unnecessary, as the concrete company decided to walk away from the project. Evidently, the company was unhappy about various requests that had been made by the management company.

Had the concrete company stayed on the project, there could have been legal disputes, extra expenses and costly delays that would have jeopardized deadlines and the financial bottom lines for both parties. However, in this case and in others like it, walking away from the project proved to make the most sense.

Not every dispute needs to end with a dramatic courtroom battle. In fact, disputing parties may actually agree on what needs to happen to resolve a disagreement; they just need help figuring out which steps need to be taken.

It should be noted, however, that there are still legal considerations that must be made when it comes to walking away from the project. You must review contracts and other agreements that are in place, as they could dictate dispute resolution methods as well as penalties for unfinished work. Before making any type of decision when it comes to terminating a professional relationship, it can be crucial for all parties to consult an attorney familiar with construction laws and contract dispute resolutions.

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