Peckar & Abramson attorneys have assisted contractors in the immediate aftermath of several Hurricanes. These include Andrew in 1992, Ike in 2008, and Sandy in 2012. Based on this experience, we offer some post-storm strategies for contracting and risk management in three situations:
(1) ongoing projects in the area directly impacted by the storm;
(2) projects remote from the storm-impacted area but which may be affected by material or labor shortages; and
(3) requests for assistance in recovery/clean-up/rebuild efforts which would be new projects.
Projects Directly Impacted By Hurricane Harvey:
- Review each Owner contract immediately to determine what notices are required for delays and/or extra costs arising from the storm. Contract notice requirements and time limits vary, whether for force majeure or other similar time and compensation rights. There is no effective one-size-fits-all solution. While the initial notice letters will likely look very similar, you should make sure that each is sent as required by the contract. Check each contract’s requirements for particulars regarding content, the form of delivery and parties and individuals designated to receive the letters as well as cc recipients like the architect. Follow up notices and time periods differ from contract to contract and should be tracked so that if, for example, a follow up notice is required in a week per the contract terms, it is tracked to ensure compliance.