Blinderman Construction Co., Inc. v. United States

695 F.2d 552 (1982)

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Blinderman Construction Co., Inc. v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
695 F.2d 552 (1982)

Facts

Blinderman Construction Company, Inc. (BCC) (plaintiff) entered into a contract with the Department of the Navy (Navy) (defendant) to furnish and install gas, electric, hot water, and condensate meters in 656 apartments on an Illinois naval base. Under the contract, BCC was required to give each apartment at least three days’ notice before commencing work in that unit. The project required coordinating the work of multiple subcontractors, all of which had to be done in a set sequence. BCC was required to provide the Navy with periodic progress reports and a reasonable construction schedule. The Navy approved BCC’s construction schedule. After commencing work, BCC had substantial difficulties notifying, and gaining access to, 60 of the 656 apartments. The Navy, after being notified by BCC about the access issues, coordinated access to those 60 apartments, which took significant time. The delayed access forced BCC’s subcontractors to backtrack to previously inaccessible apartments to ensure all work was completed in the proper sequence. Because of the access delays, BCC completed the contract work two weeks behind schedule. The Navy assessed liquidated damages for two weeks of inexcusable delays. BCC appealed to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (Board), arguing that (1) the two-week delay was caused by the Navy’s failure to provide timely access to the apartments; and (2) the Navy had an implied duty to provide that access because of the contractual requirement that BCC complete construction in accordance with a Navy-approved work schedule. The Navy countered, arguing that BCC’s conduct contributed to the delays. The Board denied BCC’s appeal, holding that it was BCC’s obligation to obtain timely access to the apartments. BCC appealed to the Federal Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cowen, J.)

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