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Can You Prove or Defend Fault in a Construction Delay?

Since 2006, Jacksonville, Florida, and Orlando, Florida, law firm Regan Atwood has handled many construction company delay disputes for clients.

The pandemic has increased construction delays and Managing Partner Jeff Regan discusses: Can you prove or defend fault in a construction delay?

Critical Path Methodology construction schedule. And then you lay down a CPM schedule in front of them and they come in two different ways.

One is graphically and the other is in a narrative. And you can have both with the same schedule.

And you show them the graphic schedule and say, “Here’s your schedule.” And you say, “It’s an as-planned schedule.”

An as-planned schedule is a schedule put together before you start the work.

And this is how we planned our project at.

And you look at him and you say, “Point to me where the critical path is on the schedule,” And they have no idea to where even to begin. But if you give one of those to me or Gene, we’d say the critical path runs right up this line here.

And so, you have an as-built as-planned schedule and you have an as-built schedule. And then as-built schedule is how did the work actually progress? So it’s created after the fact that the construction is complete.

And you can compare the as-built schedule to the as-planned schedule. And you can show where change has happened in the critical path, because of delays during the project and identify where the delay occurred.

And once you identify where the delay occurred, you then have to go through project correspondence, daily reports, weekly meeting reports, photographs, things of that nature.

Decide Who is at Fault

And you have to decide, so who is at fault for where the delay occurred to this portion of the critical path? And that’s what CPM experts or typically engineers do. They take an as-planned schedule, if they’re scheduled, monthly schedule updates, they analyze those.

And they go through them all, they create an as-built schedule, they identify where the delays occurred. And then they’d read all the project correspondence, standard reports, emails, everything. And they determine, “OK, so who was the subcontractor or the party or the designer
that caused the delays with these portions of the critical path that pushed this project back to a late completion?” And they assign the blame.

And that’s what a delay case is about. And trust me, explaining to a jury to follow a critical path method in which highly trained engineers create these things is, that’s a hard thing to do.

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