We built a beautiful new building. Our customers and employees love it. What many of them don’t know is that the “AC” part of the HVAC is jacked up and summer is a-comin’. I complained and the GC came to my office with a tray of cookies and blamed it on “my” design criteria. My project manager thinks his subs were deficient. I like cookies but I don’t like BS. How is it my fault that the building is a sauna? What should I do to exit the blame game and get the building I want?
Dear Cookie Man,
First of all, we dig cookies. Peanut butter with fork marks are very well designed IMO. Never trust a person who won’t eat a cookie. Eating two cookies is preferred. Eating more than two is a secret. So I sure hope you ate a cookie or two (wink) before you called BS.
You have many litigation options, but suing everyone for everything is a poor way to go about your life. Try proposing a “pass-through” agreement, also referred to as a “liquidation agreement.” These agreements essentially remove you from the case by assigning your claims to the GC, who then can sue your design team and the GC’s own subs until the proper liability is apportioned between those who designed or built the HVAC system that is on the fritz.
Send your GC and its counsel some pecan sandies and let the negotiations begin, YouDig?
John Swansinger is the author and founder of YouDig and is a partner in Buckingham, Doolittle & Burrough, LLC‘s real estate and construction practice group. He works with contractors, developers and construction owners on construction law issues including construction contracts, commercial agreements, construction litigation, subcontractor issues, insurance liability, breach of contract and more. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216.615.7356.
YouDig is an online resource that connects the construction community with vital issues affecting the industry and is a component of the business law firm Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC that is specifically geared toward construction.