Dear YouDig? Archives


Flushing Out Prevailing Party Clauses

Dear YouDig?,
We just went through a ridiculous three-year odyssey with our commercial plumbing contractor on a 250 unit housing development. Plumber failed in designing its work, installing its work and, even when asked nicely, correcting its work. It was so bad that when we test flushed a toilet, the garage door opened and distant bells tolled. Well something like that. Anyway, we finally hired a replacement to make it right. The original plumber then had the gall to sue us based upon some crazy theory that we gave them bad criteria. We countered. Three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later we “won” in court. We feel we should get our attorneys’ fees paid. Our lawyers say, “tough luck.” What is this nonsense?


5 Tips for Top Gun Subcontractors (don’t get your goose cooked)

Dear YouDig?,
Our “Top Gun” bid team is thrilled to have secured a prime plumbing subcontractor on a new hospital project. One problem, the general contractor trashed our form. We are stuck with a mind boggling 60 page subcontract that references another 80 page AIA prime contract. Should we try to change it or should we “sign and drive” and just get on with it? We hate to lose work on lawyer issues.


Getting it “just right” with contractors

Dear YouDig?,

Long story short, we have major problems with our HVAC. When it’s warm out it’s too cold in. When it’s cold out … that’s right … it’s warm in. We call contractors in to adjust. They climb into the ceiling, fiddle around a bit and then come down and say “problem solved.”

Naturally, they then leave an invoice and take off. We say “see ya soon” because we know … the problems will start up again and again and again. Our staff needs five changes of clothes for adapting to the changing indoor weather conditions. We are tired of the climate drama in house. Why so much tinkering? Are these HVAC contractors running some kind of a scam?



Escalation Clauses– Don’t Get Caught Napping!

Ok, as a design-builder we all know that the supply chain delays and material shortages are for real. Well, you guessed it, the price of the steel package went through the roof on our largest GMP project. We asked for a CO based on force majeure but the owner ghosted us.
Apparently, there is no specific reference to price escalations in the FM clause. Is this legit or were we caught snoozing during the contract negotiation? Are we going to get stuck with eating 25% increase in our steel package unless we can win some sort of claim? And, what gives with the one-sided escalation?
Caught Napping?


Making Jack Talk – The Attorney Client Privilege

Dear YouDig?,
I am dealing with a very sensitive problem related to a large project. Someone on our team may have (and I emphasize MAY) done something that could put us in jeopardy. I don’t like to hire lawyers. Who does? I am not sure I can trust anyone to help solve this problem. This time I need to have a candid discussion about our risks and my sense is I shouldn’t fly solo. Can I trust that what I tell my attorney stays between us? What is the “attorney client privilege” in the real world? I can’t afford any leaks on this one.
– Jack in the Trick Box