Construction Law/Contractor's claim

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Question
I am working as Resident Engineer in Bulgaria. The project is based on Yellow Book edition 1999. My question is: Do I have reasons for rejecting the Contractor’s claim on the grounds of the following information:

Contractor’s claim: When the Contrator made excavation on construction site he discovered different sub-surface conditions. They are different from the Employer’s data for sub-surface conditions given at Tender Stage. The Contractor submited a claim for extension of the time and additional costs.

In addition, in the particular conditions of Contract the Employer stated that the information given as part of the tender documents is ´for information only´and the Employer is no responsible for it. Furthermore, in the Employers requirements it is stated that  there will be a necessity for additional geotechnical surveys.

Best regards -

Stanislav Stoilov

Answer
Dear Stanislav,

Clause 4.12 is the relevant clause in this case.  The important criteria is what would an experienced international contractor expect to find?  Given the quality of the Employer's information, the time available for extra investigations and the cost of those investigations, would it have been reasonable for any experienced contractor to do his own investigations prior to submitting his offer? If not, then he has a claim.  Remember, what you consider reasonable may not be the same as a judge would consider reasonable.  

Can you reject his claim?  I cannot advise you on the information given, but perhaps you have enough guidance to decide for yourself.  

Construction Law

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Peter M. Elliott

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First response to queries regarding extensions of time, variations orders, site instructions and payment using FIDIC and other forms of Conditions of Contract, based on English Law, and derivatives only. Anyone who needs advice about EoT should download and study the SCL Delay & Disruption Protocol www.eotprotocol.com before submitting a question.

Experience

Value . . .
It's unwise to pay too much, but it's unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it's well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
. . . John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
"We are too poor to buy something cheap"
.Romanian Proverb 2002
A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit. George Herbert (English poet 1593-1633)
I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,
I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!" Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Caroll
Match your presentation to the reader!
The joy of food lasts but an hour, of sleep but a day, of a woman, but a month, but the joy of a building lasts a lifetime. Syrian proverb.
Comments and observations leading to improvements in the translation of FIDIC Red & Yellow books into Romanian prior to approval by FIDIC (reference 'Preface to the Romanian edition')

Organizations
Institution of Civil Engineers, Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, Society of Construction Law, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation

Education/Credentials
B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

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