Construction Law

NewSchool of Architecture + DesignSpring 2017 – Course Syllabus

CM 354 Construction Law Name:

Extra Credit Assignment #1 (Worth an extra homework assignment)


NOTE: It will NOT be accepted after this date

A school hires a contractor to do some remodeling work at the school. Because of the risk of injury to students the school decides to have the contractor perform the work during the summer when the school is shut down. The contract requires:

1. The contractor to remodel the first floor including relocating the restrooms and relocating the underground sewer.

2. The contractor to carry $5 million in insurance

3. The schedule for the project is for 90 calendar days.

4. The cost to perform the work as set at $350,000.

The architect was hired to prepare the plans and to provide project oversight on behalf of the school district including responsibility to visit the site periodically to inspect the work.

The contractor, during the first 10 days had excavated the trenching for the sewer line. The architect had just visited the site to inspect the work and found the work being performed as the contract requires including the proper safety protection. However it also became clear that the contractor was falling behind on his schedule. In an effort to accelerate the schedule the contractor began working Saturdays to catch up.

It was the contractor’s superintendent’s usual practice that he install a barricade around the excavated sewer trench as the bottom of the trench was 6-feet below the surface. Because they had started working six days a week to catch up, this particular Saturday the superintendent did not reinstall the barricade at the end of their shift at 3:30 so they can get a quick start on Monday. He did lock the door before he left.

However that Saturday, at 5:00 the principal of the school wanted to show one of the teachers the work that was being done. He unlocked the door and entered the large room. The space was dark as the permanent power had been shut off for safety of the contractor who was using temporary power for his own lighting and power. The principal, in an effort to find the temporary switch, stepped into the trench and broke several bones. To recover his medical payments he sued the contractor and architect for keeping an unsafe condition.

Discuss this case. Describe the responsibility of each party; contractor, architect and principal. What / whose insurances will play a role? Do you think the principal will collect?

Worth the potential of 20 points based on:

1. Thoroughness of answer

2. Completeness of answer

3. Reasonable conclusion based on legal principles

NOTE: A weak answer will score no points.



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