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City Couldn'T Bar Estimates Where Actual Cost For Time-and Materials Work Was Unavailable

Friday, June 18, 2010 01:37 am


Damages - Costs

Dillingham-Ray Wilson v. City of Los Angeles and CBI

Services, Inc., 182 Cal. App. 4th 1396; 2010 Cal. App.Lexis 350 (March 18, 2010)

An appellate court concluded that a contractor was improperly barred from relying on engineering estimates to make a damages claim where the project owner caused significant delays and disruptions.

During a wastewater treatment plant revamp project, the City of Los Angeles issued more than 300 change orders for more than 1,000 changes to its plans and specifications.  In most cases, for the work these changes required, the City requested an estimate from its contractor, Dillingham-Ray Wilson (DRW), and the parties agreed to negotiate a lump-sum payment at a later date. In rarer instances, the City instructed DRW to perform changes on a time and materials basis. Not all the change orders were settled, and when DRW completed the project, it sought equitable adjustment for work it performed without a price, as well as the costs associated with the City-caused delays.The City refused and several court proceedings followed, during which the parties argued over the acceptable method for stating [...]

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