Reasonable cause for delays in AIA contracts

| Jan 21, 2021 | Design Professional Malpractice

The ongoing health crisis has disrupted just about every industry in our economy. This includes design and construction. In most instances, this impact comes in the form of unexpected delays that can turn out to be costly. Given the expense involved, these delays can and do lead to litigation, which is why you need to understand the clauses that have been utilized in your AIA contracts so that you can protect yourself as fully as possible.

How to avoid liability for delays

You might be able to dodge legal claims filed against you in a number of ways. Of course, the best option is to simply abide by the timeline set out in the contract, but given the state of the world that might not be an option. Your next avenue, then, is to turn the terms of your AIA contract. One clause in the contract probably states something to the effect that once a schedule is approved by a property owner, then that timeframe cannot be exceed by either party except for reasonable cause.

This “reasonable cause” provision is pretty broad and leaves the door open for a lot of legal argument from both parties. That’s why it’s imperative that you have open communication with the owner and document everything. This can help show the efforts that you made to abide by a contractually created timeline and why going beyond the deadline constituted reasonable cause. Mandatory quarantines, illness, and delays in needed supplies and equipment may all constitute reasonable cause for delay.

Seek specialized help with your legal problems

The laws affecting architects and designers is pretty specialized. This means that most general practice law firms aren’t going to know what they’re getting into. There’s simply too much at stake for you to risk having that kind of representation, which is why skilled legal firms like ours stand ready to help you through these trying times.