Documenting Construction Claims

by Herbert Berman, Exec. Vice Pres.; ORU Division, RCG Corp., New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 12, Pg. 62-64

Document Type: Feature article


Many attorneys think of other professionals associated with a court case as expert witnesses. Another function of engineer and contractor experts is documenting the facts of the claims before the trial starts. The author's survey of 24 leading construction litigators disclosed that when a claim is headed to court, the contractor-client correctly identifies the key issue only about half the time. Eighty-two percent of the 17 litigator-respondents said a construction-knowledgeable consultant would have helped sort out the issues. Eighty-eight percent said they would start using the construction-knowledgeable consultant when forming case strategy. Based on more than 20 years experience documenting construction claims, the author suggests how to create and use the construction consulting team. Very important, he says, is reconstructing the project using critical path method (CPM) diagrams. For bigger claims and more complex projects, he often does 3 CPMs—the one used when the project started, the one that should have been used at project start (if the official one used unreasonable deadlines), and one summarizing the project at the time of the claim. Case histories from the author's practice show how disputes are resolved quicker and at lower cost if, from the start, the disputants focus on the facts rather than the often-incorrect or incomplete scenarios the disputants described to their lawyers.

Subject Headings: Consulting services | Critical path method | Construction management | Claims | Contractors and subcontractors | Case studies | Professional societies | Expert witness

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search