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Can Construction Litigation Address Issues Related to Winter Weather?

Posted on in Commercial Litigation

b2ap3_thumbnail_Capture.JPGBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

The winters in Wisconsin can be brutal. Extremely cold temperatures and major storms involving snow, ice, and strong winds can affect people’s lives in multiple ways, and these issues can also have an impact on construction projects. In cases where winter weather resulted in delays or other issues that caused one or more parties to experience financial losses, construction litigation may be necessary. For those who are looking to recover losses or who need to defend against claims related to cold weather, it is crucial to work with an attorney who has experience addressing these matters both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Addressing Delays or Damage Related to Winter Weather

Construction projects may encounter delays for a variety of reasons, and when delays are unreasonable, a property owner, developer, or other parties may take action to address their financial losses. If certain types of work are not completed within the expected time frame, this may affect a contractor’s or subcontractor’s ability to begin other types of work. A delay in the completion of a construction project can affect an owner or developer’s plans to use the property. If a delay results in a violation of a contract, one or more parties may pursue litigation to address the breach of contract.

In cases involving weather-related delays, the ability to recover losses may depend on the “force majeure” clauses included in a construction contract. These clauses will generally provide protection in cases where a violation of the contract’s terms occurred because of “acts of god” or other issues that could not have reasonably been foreseen. While major storms or cold weather may fall under this category, these conditions must usually be abnormal and unexpected. In Wisconsin, cold temperatures will usually be expected during the winter, and weather forecasts can be used to anticipate storms. In some cases, delays may be considered reasonable because of unusually severe weather. However, a party may claim that a breach of contract occurred because a contractor or another party failed to anticipate and prepare for expected weather conditions.

The parties involved in a construction project may also need to address the damage that occurred because of winter weather conditions. Insurance policies will often address situations where damage was caused by strong winds or the accumulation of snow and ice. However, there are some cases where litigation may be required to ensure that the proper insurance coverage will be applied. If construction defects occurred because of winter weather, such as an improper mixing of concrete during cold temperatures, a property owner may pursue litigation against a contractor or construction company that failed to follow the correct practices.

Contact Our Milwaukee Construction Litigation Attorneys

When cold weather, major storms, or other issues affect a construction project during the winter, one or more parties may take legal action to enforce the terms of a contract or recover financial losses. Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP can provide experienced legal representation in these cases, and we will work to ensure that our clients’ interests are protected at all times. Contact our Milwaukee, WI civil litigation lawyers today by calling (414) 271-1440.

Sources:

https://www.ejcdc.org/force-majeure-events-abnormal-weather-uncontrollable-delays-construction-project-contributed-kevin-obeirne-pe-vice-chair-ejcdc/

https://www.uslaw.org/files/Compendiums2021/Construction2021/Wisconsin_USLAW_Construction_Compendium_2021.pdf

https://content.aia.org/sites/default/files/2016-09/AIA-A201-2007-Free-Sample-Preview.pdf

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