Contract Unambiguously Held Contractor Responsible For Subs' Defective Work

Monday, May 28, 2018 7:10 am
June 2018 - Volume 40 Number 6

Contract Breach --- Defects

ASP Denver, LLC v. Lend Lease (US) Constr., Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis75101 (District of Columbia, May 3, 2018)

A contractor failed to prove a contract definition of “defective” was ambiguous or that its contractual liability was narrow enough to escape responsibility for the “defective” work of its subs.

Lend Lease (US) Construction, Inc. (Lendlease) was the general contractor on an ASP Denver, LLC (ASP) project to construct a building’s window system. Lendlease subcontracted out various parts of the window installation. Over time, ASP noticed defects, including spotting and fogging, in many of the 1,943 insulated glass units (IGUs) in the installed window system.

ASP filed a motion for summary judgment claiming breach of contract against Lendlease because its widow installation work did not conform to the project’s contractual requirements. Lendlease argued that, due to contract ambiguities, ASP could not hold the contractor responsible for work done by its subs. The court disagreed and granted ASP’s partial motion for summary judgment.

AIA contract held contractor solely responsible for subs’ work

The parties’ contract consisted of the standard owner-contract agreement, the Modified AIA Document A201-1997, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, as well as project drawings and specifications. The contract terms permitted Lendlease to enlist subcontractors to complete work on the project, which it did.

Before the court, Lendlease argued that, although it did execute the above agreement, it did not execute the General Conditions and could not therefore be held r[..]