Construction Projects Can Proceed During Illinois Stay at Home OrderMarch 23, 2020 – Legal Alerts
Contractors, owners, subcontractors, suppliers, and sureties have all asked how the Illinois governor’s executive stay-at-home order impacts construction projects in the City of Chicago. The City Department of Buildings issued a clarification stating construction is deemed an essential infrastructure exception and can proceed. However, all construction projects must adhere to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) nationwide safety protocols addressing COVID-19 health concerns.
There are many unknowns which will undoubtedly continue to unfold in the coming days and weeks. Owners may decide to shut down projects. Contractors may face a shortage of laborers due to health concerns and have no choice but to stop work. Supply chains may be unable to meet project demands. Complications may arise if one party asserts the CDC safety protocols are a hindrance to performance, but others object, remain mobilized and stand ready to perform.
It is imperative that parties be aware of their contract and insurance provisions to best protect them from the impact of COVID-19 on pending and/or future projects. There will be discussion regarding the application of force majeure clauses to delays and interruptions triggered by COVID-19. Issues will arise regarding the proper mechanisms to timely protect lien rights, including electronic filings within the applicable statutory time frames due to agency closures.
It is essential for the parties to have a thorough understanding of all notice requirements, the elements of proof, and whether time extensions or damages are appropriate remedies for interruptions due to COVID-19. If you have any questions, please contact the authors or your Dinsmore attorney.