Contractor claims for differing site conditions remain fairly common. There are two types of DSC claims. Under a Type I claim, a contractor can obtain additional time and compensation where the contractor encounters a subsurface or latent physical condition at the project site that differs materially from the conditions indicated in the parties’ contract.
For example, contractors have successfully asserted Type I claims where the contractor encountered a groundwater table that was higher than indicated in the contract documents while performing underground work.
With a Type II claim, a contractor may be entitled to additional time and compensation where there are unknown and unusual physical conditions at the project site that differ materially from those ordinarily encountered and generally recognized as inherent in work of the character provided for in the parties’ contract.
An example of a Type II condition may be where a contractor performing a job that requires soil work encounters tough soils that are more difficult to excavate than expected and no bidder, no matter how experienced, would have anticipated the conditions actually found.
If a contractor believes it is entitled to additional time and compensation on a project due to a DSC, the contractor should consider submitting a claim. There are four things a contractor should know about DSC claims: