A Condition Precedent is a Condition Precedent

Owner and contractor modified the A201 General Conditions to state that a decision by the Initial Decision Maker (presumably the architect) is a condition precedent to arbitration. When the contractor pursued arbitration against the owner for $919,856, the owner filed suit to stay the arbitration.

The court made short shrift of the situation. “It is undisputed that the claims [the contractor] seeks to make were not first referred to the Initial Decision Maker for initial interpretation. Thus, under the plain terms of Section 15.2.1 [of the A201] a condition precedent to arbitration has not been met and [the contractor] is therefore not entitled to proceed with Arbitration against [the owner].” The court issued an order to stay the arbitration.

The condition precedent that the parties put in their contract was to be enforced. This case is a good reminder to pay attention to conditions such as this, to avoid wasting time and energy. The case is LoCascio v Hobbs, Inc., 2020 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3200, 2020 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3200 (July 8, 2020).

About Stan Martin

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Stan Martin holds a law degree and an undergraduate degree in architecture. He has been involved with the construction industry for more than 45 years, working in construction prior to law school and beginning his construction law practice. Over the course of his career, he has served on boards and committees for organizations including the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts, the Boston Society of Architects, and the Massachusetts Building Congress.

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