American Society of Civil Engineers

Judiciary’s Use of the Critical Path Method to Resolve Construction Claims

by Mehmet Emre Bayraktar, (corresponding author), A.M.ASCE, (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Construction Management, Florida International Univ., Miami, FL 33174. E-mail:, Farrukh Arif, S.M.ASCE, (Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Construction Management, Florida International Univ., Miami, FL 33174. E-mail:, Makarand Hastak, M.ASCE, (Professor and Head, Division of Construction Engineering and Management, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail:, and Nagy A. Gad, (Former Graduate Student, Polytechnic Institute of New York Univ. (NYU-Poly), Brooklyn, NY 11201.)

Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 2012, 10-16 pp., (doi:

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Document type: Scholarly Paper
Abstract: The number and magnitude of disputes between contractors and owners continues to be a serious problem in the construction industry. Even with technological advancements in project scheduling, delay claims persist. When compromises between the parties are not possible, claims are often presented to a court of law or board of contract appeal. These judicial entities have relied on the critical path method (CPM) as a tool to resolve these disputes. Moreover, they have recognized the CPM as legal evidence in assessing the responsibility and damage amount for delays associated with construction projects. The first part of this paper provides brief background information on major types of construction delays, basics of the CPM, use of the CPM in delay analysis methods, and use of the CPM by industry practitioners. In the second part, a discussion of how courts have used the CPM to resolve construction claims over the past decade is followed by three in-depth case studies that feature CPM as the critical factor in determining liability in various construction disputes.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Dispute resolution
Construction industry
Critical path method

Author Keywords:
Construction claims
Critical path method