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Determining Whether or Not to Take Matters to Court

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Construction

Determining Whether or Not to Take Matters to Court


January 4, 2021
Gavel and scales of justice
Photo: Brian Jackson

To take to court or not to take to court? That is the question, and experts say it would be best to avoid litigation, according to Construction Dive. Whether it be unpaid bills or defects, there are plenty of opportunities for disputes to arise during a project, pushing builders to want to take matters to court. While most construction contracts will specify a method of dispute resolution, says Construction Dive, court can be avoided. These mandatory mediation provisions can mitigate the risk and cost of court, but that’s not to say there are no times when court intervention is needed.

Determining when court intervention is needed
A lawsuit or some other court intervention might be necessary, said attorney Meagan Bachman with Crowell & Moring LLP, to address specific performance issues or obtain injunctive relief. For example, a court or an arbitrator might have to step in to prevent one of the parties from “changing the status quo” of a project before there is a chance to work out the dispute, she said.

An owner, for instance, might file a lawsuit for injunctive relief to prevent a contractor from taking actions that would be destructive, she said, such as removing falsework being used to support a building under construction or similar kinds of temporary works, as part of a dispute-related demobilization.

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