Contractor Must Provide Written Notice of Protest to City

October 1, 2018 Posted in Case Law Review

A contractor was hired by the City of Olympia to replace a deteriorating culvert. The contract contained a standard “notice of protest provision” that required the contractor to give a signed written notice of protest if it disagreed with anything required in a change order or other instructions from the City’s engineering department. When its relationship with the city deteriorated, the contractor sued the City for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The contractor argued that the City had unreasonably rejected its plans that it submitted for the project. The City successfully dismissed the lawsuit arguing that the contractor had failed to provide a signed written notice of protest of the change order on which the contractor’s claim was based. Washington’s Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the contract was required to provide written notice of protest each time the City unreasonably rejected the contractor’s submitted plans. NOVA Contracting, Inc. v. City of Olympia, 191 Wash. 2d 854 (2018).

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