Risk Management and Contracting after Hurricane Irma: Suggestions to Avoid a Second Disaster

September 14, 2017
Stephen H. Reisman, Gary M. Stein & Adam P. Handfinger – Peckar & Abramson, P.C.

Peckar & Abramson attorneys have assisted contractors in the immediate aftermath of several Hurricanes, including Andrew in 1992, Wilma in 2005, 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 areas, but which may be affected by material or labor shortages; and
  3. Requests for assistance in recovery/clean-up/rebuild eff orts, which would be new projects.

Projects Directly Impacted By Hurricane Irma:

1. Immediately review each Owner contract 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 carbon copy 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.

Reprinted courtesy of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP attorneys Stephen H. Reisman, Gary M. Stein and Adam P. Handfinger
Mr. Reisman may be contacted at sreisman@pecklaw.com
Mr. Stein may be contacted at gstein@pecklaw.com
Mr. Handfinger may be contacted at ahandfinger@pecklaw.com


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