In Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. v. Department of the Interior, CBCA 5168 et al. (Feb. 27, 2019), the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA or Board) recently reiterated that a contractor need not assert every conceivable legal theory of relief as soon as it encounters an unforeseen condition on a construction project.
Rather, a contractor may later be able timely to assert additional claims under distinct theories based on operative facts learned during discovery. Apropos of recently celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, this case indicates that discovery may be the rainbow that leads a contractor to a bigger pot of gold, i.e., operative facts that permit assertion of more valuable claims based on alternative legal theories.
In 2011, the National Park Service awarded Amec a contract to repair parts of the Alcatraz Cellhouse in the historic prison on Alcatraz Island. In January 2016, Amec appealed a contracting officer’s decision denying an equitable adjustment and schedule extension under theories of constructive change and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing. The Board docketed that appeal as CBCA 5168.
During discovery, Amec decided to allege alternative grounds for relief. Indeed, in August 2018, Amec submitted a new claim for more money than it sought in the already docketed appeal — based on different operative facts and under the distinct theories of superior knowledge and negligent estimates. Amec appealed the denial of that second claim to the Board, which was docketed as CBCA 6298 and consolidated with CBCA 5168.
Keep reading this article at: https://www.insidegovernmentcontracts.com/2019/03/cbca-recognizes-that-discovery-may-uncover-new-claims/