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State Law Trumps Contract's 30-day Notice Requirement

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 08:08 am

 

Notice Requirements

Cajun Constructors, Inc. v. Velasco Drainage District, 2012 Tex. App. Lexis 3399 (May 1, 2012)

Texas civil code voided a notice provision that required a contractor to inform an owner of its intent to appeal a denial of its claims for additional money and time.

Cajun Constructors, Inc. (Cajun) provided labor and materials on a Velasco Drainage District (Velasco) project to expand a pump station in Brazoria County, Texas. Cajun charged that Velasco breached the contract when it failed to pay four contract claims Cajun submitted during the project. Velasco countered that Cajun had not complied with the notice requirements for submitting those claims.

The parties' contract contained three notice requirements: (1) From "the start of the event giving rise to the claim," Cajun had 30 days to provide the project engineer with written notice of the general nature of the claim, (2) and it had 60 days to provide the engineer with notice of the claim amount, including supporting data; (3) once the engineer rendered a decision, Cajun had 30 days to submit a written notice of its intent to appeal.

1. Informal email was proper notice of the claim

The court ruled that an informal email, sent well within the 30-day timeframe, was sufficient to meet the first notice requirement. In the email, Cajun informed the engin[...]

 
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