Skip to Main Content
Services Talent Knowledge
Site Search


Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

December 23, 2008

Failure To Inspect Project Site Precludes Claim For Additional Costs

Rapid Demolition Company, Inc. v. State of New York, 856 N.Y.S.2d 921 (App. Div. 2nd Dep't, September 23, 2008)

This case addresses claims made by public contractors for additional costs arising from differing site conditions. The demolition contractor sought to recover costs for extra work because the concrete deck overlay on a particular bridge was significantly thicker than was represented in the bid documents.

The contract stated that the contractor relied on information secured by personal investigation and research, and not from the estimates or records of the public owner; and that the contractor would not make any claim against the State based on the estimates, tests, or other representations by any officer or agent of the State, except as contained in the contract specifications.

The demolition contractor admitted it had failed to investigate the thickness of the concrete deck overlay prior to signing the contract. At trial, evidence was presented that simple visual inspection would have revealed the true thickness of the deck.

Not surprisingly, the demolition contractor's claim for allegedly unanticipated costs related to the deck thickness was denied. The court did mention, however, that a showing of fraud or misrepresentation as to existing conditions could be enough to overcome a contractor's reliance upon its own inspection.


This case does not represent a new development in the law, but rather highlights the importance of exercising proper diligence when bidding on projects, whether public or private. All standard contract forms impose an obligation to perform pre-construction inspections of the project site. Contractors who enter into those contracts having failed to inspect do so at their own peril, and will face a difficult challenge explaining why their failure should entitle them to additional costs.

If you require further information regarding the information presented in this Legal Alert and its impact on your organization, please contact any of the members of the Practice Area.


Click here to sign up for alerts, blog posts, and firm news.

Featured Media


COVID-19 Business Interruption Update: New York High Court Affirms in Favor of Insurer


USFWS Introduces General Permit for Bald and Golden Eagle Incidental Take


ORES Executive Director Issues First Denial of Section 94-C Permit Application Following Applicant's Partial Loss of Site Control


New Details About OPWDD Spending in the New York State FY 2025 Executive Budget


Second Circuit Reverses in Favor of Insured in $600,000 Fire Loss Case


New York State Minimum Wage Increases Are Here: Are You Compliant?

We're Growing in DC!

We’re excited to announce Barclay Damon’s combination with Washington DC–based Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram. SLS’s 10 lawyers, three paralegals, and four administrative staff will join Barclay Damon while maintaining their current office in DC’s central business district. Our clients will benefit from SLS’s corporate, real estate, finance, and construction litigation experience and national energy-industry profile, and their clients from our full range of services.

Read More

This site uses cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site and in some cases direct advertisements to you based upon your use of our site.

By clicking [I agree], you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For information on what cookies we use and how to manage our use of cookies, please visit our Privacy Statement.

I AgreeOpt-Out