Bradley attorney Aron Beezley was quoted in Law360 on how contractors can recover shutdown costs and what to do if the government fights back against a cost claim.
“[An] important thing for contractors to do is to document steps that they’ve taken to mitigate costs,” Beezley said. “If a contractor can document that it tried its hardest to reassign employees during a work stoppage but was unable to do so, that documentation could come in handy later.”
In Raytheon STX Corp. v. Department of Commerce, a case related to a shutdown during the Clinton administration, the board rejected the government’s argument that it was protected by the Sovereign Acts Doctrine, which would allow it to avoid liability for obstructions to performance on a federal contract related to its “public and general acts a sovereign.” Instead, a specific contract clause overrode that general immunity from liability, the board found.
“Ultimately, the [board] agreed with the government that a sovereign act did happen; however, the board found that that specific contract contained a provision that warranted that the contractor would have access to the government facility at all relevant times and that as a result of that express promise in that contract, the government effectively implied that it would be responsible for costs incurred if the contractor did not have access,” Beezley said. “That is a case that often gets cited by contractors.”
The complete article, “Contractors Must Act Quickly to Recover Shutdown Costs,” first appeared in Law360 on January 30, 2019.