Contractor disputes have bogged down a $2.5 billion New Jersey project to clear millions of tons of sediment in order to dig deeper channels in the Port of New York and New Jersey. The project’s aim it to permit bigger ships entry into the Port.
Five years ago, work had already begun when a Texas company, UTEX Environmental Services, complained that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was violating its patents. UTEX and the Port Authority worked out an unusual settlement – instead of suing, UTEX got a 15-year contract for the right to process all material dredged from New York harbor. Three, other dredging companies appealed to the Governor to block the settlement, complaining of UTEX’s lack of practical experience and the non-competitive process by which it received the lengthy contract. As a result, the arrangement remained in limbo for several years, and then the Port Authority eventually decided to start over and submit the lucrative project for a competitive bidding process.
Contractor disputes can add a lot of time and money to projects and if you are dealing with a New Jersey contract dispute, a Monmouth County business lawyer can help you make the right decisions.
Dealing with Contractor Disputes
Contract disputes cover many different areas. Some examples are:
- Payment (or non-payment) for services provided for in the contract
- Disagreements over payment for extra work or back work
- Misinterpretations of the contract
- Breach of contract
- Work stoppages and delays
Of course, ideally, you want to avoid contract disputes. The following are some of the steps you can take to avoid do so as much as possible:
- Use a good contract – this is probably your best line of defense. It is impossible to construct a perfect contract, but a good attorney can help you anticipate what might go wrong and create a contract that handles those situations. Do not take the creation and signing of the contractor contract lightly.
- Seek and review multiple contractor bids – it is best to learn as much as you can about several contractors, their reputations, and their past work and clients.
- Do not always pick the lowest bid – it may be the lowest bid for a reason. Remember that, in most cases, you probably should opt for quality over low cost. It will save you many headaches after the fact.
If you suspect you are be dealing with a contractor dispute and want it resolved as quickly and effectively as possible, contact an experienced Monmouth County business attorney at Garland & Mason, L.L.C.