In the recent case of Granite Construction Co., ASBCA 62281, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals granted partial summary judgment to a contractor that sought delay damages under FAR 52.242-14, Suspension of Work—overcoming the Government's argument that the delays were contemplated under a separate clause for adverse weather delays.
The contractor, Granite Construction Company (Granite), sought compensation for 19 days of delay following impacts from Hurricane Harvey and the Government's related directed suspension of work. The total suspension and delay period was 49 days, but the Government agreed to compensate Granite for 30 days under the Suspension of Work clause, which permits compensation to contractors for delays that last for "an unreasonable period of time."
For the remaining 19 days, the Government granted a time extension but refused to compensate Granite for the delay period. The Government argued that the 19 days were contemplated under the contract, which included a chart of monthly anticipated adverse weather delay days. The adverse weather clause provided a procedure for determination of time extensions for unusually severe weather.
Granite's motion for summary judgment asserted that it was entitled to compensation for the full 49-day period under the Suspension of Work clause, arguing that the Government had acknowledged the delay period was unreasonable when it paid for the 30-day delay.
In granting partial relief to Granite, the Board held that the adverse weather clause was inapplicable to deny relief to Granite and did not override the provisions of the Suspension of Work clause. Rather, the adverse weather clause applied only to the contract's default clause for the purpose of calculating the number of excusable weather delays.
Granite also argued the Government's agreement to provide compensation for more than half of the delay period, prior to the initiation of litigation, was confirmation that the delay period was unreasonable. However, the Board rejected this argument for purposes of summary judgment on the grounds that the question of whether the delay period was "unreasonable" constituted an issue of fact and could not be resolved on summary judgment.