Cardinal Agreement Definition
Comparing the two definitions mentioned above with the case examples, it can be seen that the definitions and cases do not easily match. However, it is always up to the contractor to prove that this is a substantial modification. Unfortunately, there is no precise method for determining whether a change is cardinal. • There is a cardinal change where redesigns « change the nature of the thing to be built ». Aragona Constr. Co. v. United States The doctrine of cardinal change offers protection against excessive change. However, if you are faced with an order to change the contract or policy, contractors and subcontractors should be careful. Invoking the doctrine of cardinal change is a seemingly tempting option, but it is extremely difficult to prove.
Trust in doctrine is incredibly risky, as there is no concrete standard for evaluating change. Before you do anything, you should check the contract with a lawyer to evaluate the best options. Luria Bros. &Co. v. United States was tried in 1966 by the Bundesgericht for claims and remains a guideline in this area. The project was an aircraft hangar, and by the sum of all the following parts, the court decided that the modifications were « cardinal »: the examples that use these definitions are: a change in backfilling methods in a construction project (Peter Kiewit Sons v. Summit Constr. Co.); the addition of a hospital building that has increased construction costs by one third or the removal of an entire building from a multi-construction contract (General Contracting & Constr. v. United States); 1,000 amendments to an equipment acquisition contract, making it essentially a development contract (Air-A-Plane Corp.
v. United States). Recognizing what constitutes a cardinal change is not an easy task and mistakes can have serious repercussions. If it is established that the proposed amendment is a cardinal, it could be considered a substantial breach. But if a construction company refuses to provide services because it thinks change is a cardinal change, that company could be hurt if it is wrong. Otherwise, there could be a happy medium. Other options may be available to consider significant (and possibly cardinal) changes. For example, the implementation of a new treaty covering the proposed amendment could work. Or a change to the existing treaty could do the trick. In any event, changes may be duly compensated for and taken into account. If the changes are significant and have resulted in delays, it may be possible to propose that another contractor or subcontractor be engaged to introduce the changes.
. . .