The Dotted Line: Construction’s Top 3 Disputes, and How to Avoid Them

Joe Bousquin, Construction Dive

Sometimes it seems like legal disputes, claims and litigation are just part of construction’s DNA.

“Most contractors are veterans at battling it out at the courthouse,” said Marc Gravely, a San Antonio, Texas-based construction attorney who typically represents owners in disputes. “Nobody likes conflict, but contractors seem to mind it less.”

Just look at the latest construction dispute analysis from HKA, the U.K.-based risk mitigation consultant. Of the more than $325 billion in projects it analyzed in the Americas this year, disputed dollar amounts averaged about 33%, or one-third, of average project costs.

The top three causes of disputes in the region, according to the report, were:

  1. Change in scope.
  2. Physical conditions that were unforeseen.
  3. Design that was incorrect.


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