Construction Disputes

Ross Forensics professionals have broad expertise assisting clients in the construction industry.  We are experienced in both the analysis and preparation of construction damages claims, including quantification of damages relating to issues such as:  changes in work scope; work package coordination; differing site conditions; project schedule delays; construction defects; adverse weather; contract termination (whether for convenience or default); and, jobsite access constraints.  Our work frequently addresses:  delay and disruption; lost labor productivity and inefficiency; equipment pricing; and, extended site and home office overhead, among other issues.

We also have been retained to address False Claim allegations and to analyze claims for consequential damages, such as loss of profits and business loss arising from the performance of construction contracts.

Our professionals have a balanced perspective which is the result of having been retained over the years on behalf of numerous different parties to construction projects, including:  EPC contractors; general contractors; subcontractors; project owners/employers; engineers; and, design professionals.

We are very familiar with all phases of the construction process and are experienced analyzing project records including, for example:  bid and budget documents; project cost reports; variance reports; unit rate, production and productivity reports; subcontractor documents; equipment utilization reports; and, material distribution reports.

We have been retained on a broad array of projects including:  fossil fuel and renewable energy power plants; resort hotels; subways; museums; educational facilities; airports; correctional facilities; tunneling and underground construction; mixed use structures; and, pipelines.  These projects have included EPC, new build, expansion and renovation works.

Ross Forensics professionals have provided expert testimony on a broad range of construction damages issues in numerous depositions and trials in state and federal courts nationwide, domestic arbitrations, international arbitrations and before Dispute Review Boards and other ad hoc tribunals.


Case Studies in Construction Disputes

DRAM Wafer Plant

Our professionals were retained by the defendant general contractor to analyze various subcontractor claims in excess of $30 million in connection with construction of a $1.2 billion memory chip (wafer fab) manufacturing facility.
We also were asked to respond to the owner’s $40 million claim for alleged business losses due to construction delays.  With respect to the business loss claim, our analysis demonstrated that a global surplus in DRAM chip supply and attendant fall in market prices led to production curtailment and plant shutdowns worldwide.  As a consequence, the construction delays resulted in no loss of profits to the owner.
On the basis of our findings, the business loss claims were resolved.  With respect to the subcontractor claims, only one (totaling $17 million) proceeded to arbitration.  Our analysis of that claim demonstrated the damages approach advocated by the opposing expert was pervasively flawed.
Steve Ross provided expert testimony at arbitration wherein the tribunal granted a directed verdict on damages in favor of our client.

State Correctional Facility

Our professionals were retained to assist a general contractor with the quantification of a claim for damages resulting from owner delays in completion of a maximum security state correctional facility. 


Our analyses focused on quantifying the contractor’s time-related costs as well as assessing subcontractor claims.  We also were asked to respond to the State’s $13 million counterclaim. 


With respect to the counterclaim, our analysis demonstrated that the damages claimed by the State were speculative and unrelated to matters asserted to be the contractor’s responsibility. 


Steve Ross provided expert testimony at arbitration after which the tribunal dismissed the State’s entire counterclaim and awarded the contractor in excess of $6 million.  In awarding damages, the tribunal relied on the daily site and home office overhead rates we calculated.

Municipal Art Museum

Our professionals were retained by counsel for a public development authority to evaluate significant claims brought by the general contractor and its major subcontractors in connection with construction of a municipal art museum. 


We analyzed each of the claims and assisted the development authority at mediation.  The contractor and the development authority successfully resolved their dispute though mediation. 


We were subsequently retained directly by the general contractor to assist it in negotiating and settling each of the subcontractor claims.

Pipeline Construction – Weather Impacts

Our professionals were retained by counsel for a general contractor to assist with quantification of a claim for builder’s risk insurance coverage relating to unprecedented precipitation during the construction of a 28 mile gas pipeline through mountainous terrain. 


We undertook an independent assessment of the quantification of the contractor’s claim and issued an expert report with our findings.  We also analyzed and responded to reports issued by construction and accounting experts retained by the insurer. 


Steve Ross provided expert testimony in deposition in United States District Court. The matter was settled shortly thereafter, following mediation.

Hydro Electric Project – Contract Termination

Our professionals were retained by counsel for an electric utility in Alaska to assist with preparation of a claim for damages resulting from the alleged of breach of contract by a subcontractor leading to a default termination by the utility. 


Our work focused on quantifying the utility’s damages which included:  1) increased costs to complete the unfinished contract work of the subcontractor; 2) additional support costs incurred by the utility; 3) costs to respond to and resolve a resulting government investigation; 4) unpaid vendor costs owed by the subcontractor; 5) increased materials costs attributable to the delay; 6) liquidated damages; and, 7) lost margin on forgone power sales from delayed operation of the plant. 


In addition, we evaluated the contractor’s counterclaim for damages related to its allegation of wrongful termination and assisted counsel with deposition preparation for the opposing expert.  We issued an expert report summarizing our findings. 


Steve Ross provided expert testimony in deposition in Superior Court.  The matter settled shortly thereafter.

Contract Termination – Dredging Project

Our professionals were retained by counsel for an owner to assist with quantification of a claim for termination for default in connection with a $40 million dredging project. 


Our work focused on identifying the increased costs to complete the unfinished contract work of the terminated contractor and other damages suffered by the owner.  We also were asked to respond to the contractor’s $13 million counterclaim. 


Steve Ross provided expert testimony at trial in United States District Court.  The jury awarded our client in excess of $6 million (essentially the full value of the claim) and rejected the contractor’s counterclaim in its entirety.