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Contractors have the right to be compensated when works are suspended due to modifications

Supreme Court ruling, issued on March 31, 2014 and recently made public, has clarified the right of contractors to receive compensation from Public Administrations in cases of suspension of works motivated by the need to draft modifications.
The resolution, which condemns the Administration to compensate a construction company with 68,546 euros for suspensions and delays in the execution of works, corrects the thesis held until now by the National Court, which in a previous resolution considered that the contractor, by not formulating reservations or protests to the modification, tacitly waived compensation for damages derived from the suspension.
The high court maintains that the contractor's acceptance of the processing of a modification does not mean waiving compensation for the damages that the suspension itself has generated.
According to the expert in Procedural and Regulatory Law at Marimón Abogados, Cayetana Lado, the decisive factor for these purposes will be proof that the suspension is not attributable to the contractor and to what extent. In his opinion, “this is a relevant clarification, since, on many occasions, contractors have doubts when it comes to regularizing situations via modified ones, precisely for fear that this will reduce or extinguish the eventual compensation for damages that may arise. the suspension may have caused them.”
In the field of administrative contracting, the lawyer explains, it is common for incidents to arise that must be resolved by resorting to the mechanisms provided for by law. And he cites as particularly common temporary suspensions of the execution of construction contracts caused by circumstances that prevent the execution of the contract under the conditions agreed upon with the Administration.

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