COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients.

Questions and Answers for Owners / Developers

Should I be taking any steps now to protect my rights?

You should be reviewing the contract documents, especially regarding work suspensions, site safety and insurance, to make sure all proper steps have been taken and none of your rights or remedies are being prejudiced in any way. You should be coordinating your efforts with your contractor/construction manager and design team.

If my job is shut down but I believe I have a substantial need to continue work or the steps I should be taking?

If appropriate, you can submit an application to the proper governmental body to obtain permission to continue or start up a project. You should have the paperwork in hand before any work is performed.

If I believe that I have a potential claim or legal action against my contractor/construction manager, should I be taking any steps now?

You should be reviewing your contract to make sure you follow the correct claim procedure. You should be aware that almost all courts in New York are still basically closed and not accepting filings of any new legal actions. However, they are slowly reopening and will likely be accepting the filing of new actions in the next few weeks. You should consider preparing a summons and complaint now so that you are ready to file when courts reopen. The American Arbitration Association and similar organizations are generally accepting filings of new cases, but in-person hearings are on hold for now.

If I am about to enter into a new contract should I be taking any special precautions?

As a result of the pandemic it is especially important to review and reach agreement upon several contract provisions including, for example, ones relating to when the work should commence, force majeure, allowances, etc.

If you have questions about any of the above, or related issues, please contact Daniel Katz at (212) 684-0300 or daniel@riklawfirm.com.

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