This blog focuses on real estate, land use and construction-related topics affecting Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metro area. With topics ranging from contract drafting and negotiation to local and regional land use project updates, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman provide timely insight and commentary on the issues affecting owners, builders, developers, contractors, subcontractors and other players in the industry. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

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In Virginia, Better Give Notice of Claims on Time: Commonwealth v. AMEC Civil, LLC
September 16, 2010
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Topics Litigation

The Supreme Court of Virginia has issued its long awaited notice decision in the Commonwealth v. AMEC Civil LLC case.  The result is a pretty painful smack-down of the substantial bulk of the contractor's claims based on lack of statutory notice.  Not surprisingly, the court strictly construed statutory notice requirements for claims against the Virginia Department of Transportation under the umbrella of its historic strict statutory construction rules.  Notice was deemed a condition precedent.  Actual notice, which had originally satisfied the trial court due to lack of prejudice to VDOT, failed to comply with the statute's requirement for written notice.

What are the take-aways?

  1. If you think you may be entitled to additional compensation, ask for it in writing and reserve your claim rights;
  2. Scrutinize your contracts closely for all claims and notice requirements;
  3. Scrutinize any applicable statutory notice provisions closely as well;
  4. Do not trust the other side playing along and being fair and taking care of you, that is the path to potential ruin;
  5. If you have any inkling of of a dispute, make sure you formalize all claims and demands and notices in writing;
  6. Do not expect project meeting minutes and e-mails to suffice to establish notice.

  • Timothy R. Hughes

    Timothy Hughes is the managing shareholder of Bean, Kinney & Korman. In that role, Tim is charged with managing the strategy, talent, and finances of the firm.

    Tim’s practice started in litigation and alternative dispute ...