Monday, July 23, 2012

Who is Mike M. Johnson and Why is He Important?

Mike M. Johnson was a contractor in Washington State whose name is attached to a lawsuit that continues to have repercussions in the construction industry.

Contractor Documentation of Change Order Requests:  In Washington State, in 2003, the State Supreme Court issued a decision in the Mike M. Johnson v. County of Spokane case, in which the court held that the contractor, Mike M. Johnson, was bound to the strict notice and documentation requirements of the contract for change order requests, and that by failing to follow those procedures, they essentially forfeited their right to relief for change order work.  

Prejudice Standard:  The court ruling has been very controversial with contractors and there have been unsuccessful attempts to have state legislation passed that would institute a prejudice standard for filing of notice and documentation.  In other words, if the owner was not prejudiced or damaged by the failure of the contractor to meet the strict time constraints of the contract, the claims could nevertheless be considered.

John Ahlers and Lindsay Taft
Resources:  Seattle construction attorneys John P. Ahlers and Lindsay K. Taft have written extensively on the subject, most recently in two issues of the Washington State Bar News.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2012 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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