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Flaws Don't Necessarily Render Design Specifications Defective

Sunday, November 04, 2007 12:57 pm

Flaws Don't Necessarily Render Design Specifications Defective

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled that a subcontractor could not collect damages from the government for flawed design specifications because it failed to prove that those specifications were the cause of significant changes or delays. However, the court did agree with the plaintiff that the government's detailed drawings constituted "design specifications" (rather than "performance specifications") even though they left some process details to the contractor.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) contracted with Caddell Construction Co. to perform a significant expansion of a medical complex in Memphis, including "seismic correction" for the existing facilities. Caddell subcontracted the steel fabrication for the project to Steel Service Corporation (SSC). Even before the Notice to Proceed, SSC and its detailing subcontractor, E.E.E. Detailing (EEE), began working on the shop drawings, ostensibly so that the fabrication work could be timed to fill a window when SSC's facilities were not scheduled for other work.

EEE discovered numerous instances of what it considered inconsistencies and omissions in the structural steel dr [...]

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