You are reviewing a contract modification and notice a paragraph titled “Release of Claims.” Do you know what claims will be released by this language?
Or worse, the contracting officer just issued a final decision rejecting your claim (under the Contract Disputes Act) because the release in a contract modification constituted an accord and satisfaction. Did you sign that release and realize its impact?
The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals’ (CBCA) recent decision in Perry Bartsch Jr., Constr. Co. v. Dept. of the Int., CBCA 4865, 5071 (December 8, 2016) helps contractors answer these questions and understand the scope and contours of a release. Generally, this case offers important guidance about how to draft a release in an effective and narrow way, and the types of factors that the CBCA will consider when interpreting a release. Specifically, this decision addresses the issue of whether an apparent global release of claims, contained in just one of many contract modifications, can extinguish all potential claims against the Government.
For a more complete review of the Bartsch decision and its implications, continue reading this article at: https://www.insidegovernmentcontracts.com/2016/12/contract-release-release-claim-classic-contract-tongue-twister/