Not all claim waivers are appropriately titled “Waiver of Claims.” In fact, claim waivers can be found “hiding” without any advertisement or fanfare in a number of project documents, including change orders and applications for payment. So although getting work quickly approved and paid for is important, taking time to read the specific language in your project documents is just as important. Failure to pay close attention to this language could result in the waiver of key, unresolved project claims.
Further, and although it should go without saying, it is also just as important to read all of the terms of your contract. Important waiver language might not exist on the face of form project documents, but rather might be contained in the general and/or supplemental conditions of your contract and automatically incorporated into your form project documents. And these types of incorporated waivers can be just as enforceable.
So it is critically important to understand what you are signing and the implications it might have on future claims. This article will explore some of the common types of claim waivers that can be found in project documents so that you are better positioned to avoid inadvertently waiving claims in the future.