Cardinal Change

San Diego construction attorney Bryan Snyder represents clients in cardinal change matters relating to construction contract disputes. A cardinal change represents a contract request which is so far outside the scope of the project that it invalidates the terms of the original contract.

What Is The 'Cardinal Change Doctrine?'

The "cardinal change doctrine" is used by plaintiffs who are asking the court to relieve them from their contractual duties. This generally occurs because the change represents a request that is a severe deviation from the agreed upon contract. Plaintiffs who use the cardinal change doctrine are legally discharged from performing the contract and may also receive court-awarded damages.

Cardinal change issues are deceptive because the construction industry is inherently subject to contract change requests. Each construction project involves a myriad of contracts between many parties not limited to contractors, builders, and suppliers.

The court will examine whether or not to apply the "cardinal change doctrine" by evaluating how substantially different the request is from the original terms of the contract. For example, common changes construction contracts involve:

  • Inaccurate estimate in budget or resources
  • Requests for additional services and upgrades
  • Inability to finish construction in a timely manner
  • Any other unexpected changes that affect the outcome of the project

These changes are considered to be a common occurrence in the construction industry and are usually not considered grounds for a construction contract dispute. On the other hand, cardinal change disputes represent significant additions or deletions in the scope of a project. They may cause serious disruptions which often times result in significant loss of profits and damages.

However, it is best to speak to an attorney if you are experiencing contract disputes that cannot be resolved with effective negotiation between the parties involved.

Call Bryan today for all your construction legal and litigation matters 619-752-1102 or 800-611-2581 .

Construction contract attorney Bryan Snyder is experienced in cardinal change cases throughout San Diego and Southern California. He is familiar with how the courts will perceive a cardinal change issue. Some of the factors a court will examine include the cost, magnitude and complexity of implementing such a change.

If you feel that you have a legal case that involves a cardinal change matter, be sure to retain all the documents relating to the contract including faxes, notes and any other information relating to the project.

When it comes to litigating a construction contract dispute, details regarding the scope of the project are extremely important. Potential plaintiffs who are able to provide documentation of the severity and complexity of the change and how it differs from the original terms of the contract will increase the strength of their potential cardinal change claim.

Contact attorney Bryan Snyder today to schedule a consultation.