Law of Construction Disputes, The

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Types of claim

Claims for money

In construction works, if the work as completed is defective, late or incomplete, the employer is entitled to the benefit of its bargain with the contractor and is entitled to be placed in the situation it would have been in had the contractor performed properly and/or to a sum of money to accomplish the same thing. Historically, in tort or breach of contract arising from property damage, damages are based on the diminution in the value of the property itself.1 This is changing and, lately, where damages are sought against a contractor (or other professional) for defective work, the measure of damages has become the cost of reinstatement and/or repair of the work, the view being that this is a more just measure, as the result will have been the foreseeable consequences of the defective work.2 Clarke LJ in the Maersk Colombo 3 case wrote:

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