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Attorneys James R. “JR” Clary, Jr., Christopher S. Suba, Casey D. Neale and Briton J. Myer

Understanding contractor default litigation

On Behalf of | May 11, 2022 | Construction Law

Construction projects in Louisiana are not always as smooth as contractors and other stakeholders expect them to be. Sometimes, the contractor defaults on the project, leaving the owner high and dry. When this happens, construction litigation may be the only recourse.

What happens in contractor default litigation?

In construction law, contractor default litigation arises when a contractor breaches their contract with the owner, usually by failing to complete the work or meet other contractual obligations. This can leave the owner in a difficult position, as they may be left with an unfinished project and no recourse against the contractor.

There are a few options available to owners in this situation. They can try to find another contractor to complete the work, sue the defaulting contractor, or do both. This can be a difficult task, as construction contracts are often complex documents.

How does contractor default litigation work?

If an owner decides to sue a defaulting contractor, they will need to prove that the contractor breached their contract. The owner will also need to prove that they suffered damages as a result of the breach. Once these elements are established, the owner can file a lawsuit against the contractor.

If the owner is successful in their lawsuit, they may be awarded damages. These damages can include the cost of completing the work, the cost of any repairs that were necessary, and other losses suffered by the owner as a result of the breach.

What are the risks of contractor default litigation?

While contractor default litigation can be a helpful tool for owners, it does come with some risks. First, construction litigation can be expensive and time-consuming. Second, the outcome of the litigation is never guaranteed. Even if the owner has a strong case, they may not be able to recover damages if the court does not rule in their favor.

Owners should weigh the risks and benefits of construction litigation before deciding whether to sue a defaulting contractor. In some cases, it may be the best option available, while in others, it may be better to try to negotiate a resolution with the contractor.