Q: Can GC refuse to pay a change order if the work was performed but the change order wasn't turned in by a specific time?
We are subs on a job in NC. The GC, from out of state, needed extra work done, which we did on good faith basis without making them sign a change order before we did the work. Now they are saying since the change order wasn't turned in by a certain timeline, they don't want to pay it (around $800K). Can we walk off of the job until it's paid? Yes, the timeline is in a contract; however, I know that just because it's in a contract, doesn't make it legal. The number of change orders on this site has been voluminous. They have been more than difficult to work with and we are having a hard time getting paid by them even for change orders already approved and paid to them by the owner. Obviously, we are not doing anymore extra work without a signed change order. What recourse do we have? I was a paralegal for over 30 years and I can't believe a judge would deny any payment at all.
A: It would probably be best to have an attorney review the contract before providing you advice on this question. Generally speaking, the terms of the written contract are enforceable. I think ultimately the contractor would have to show some prejudice that occured due to the failure to submit on a timely basis. If they authorized the work and you did the work, then they clearly got the value of the work performed. The contract probably also says that all change orders have to be in writing, but they have probably been requesting and paying for change orders without writings, so there is a question of whether they may have waived certain provisions of the contract by conduct.
A: There are a number of options to secure a payment for work already performed. In certain circumstances you may be able to bypass GC and go directly to the owner of the project. I don't typically handle construction law matters but I would take a look at it for you, as there is enough at stake to make it lucrative (just being honest). Contact an attorney.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.