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Contractors in legal battle over Orlando theme park work

Construction is big business in Florida, and big projects require different types of labor and crews. Skyscrapers, condominiums and other large construction undertakings need the cooperation of many different contractors to get things together and ensure a property is safe and secure.

When conflicts come up between contractors, they can often be resolved with clear communication and setting expectations. But sometimes the law must get involved. Contractors may claim unpaid fees or sue for breach of contract if their needs are not met.

A general contractor is facing lawsuits in Orange County Circuit Court from five subcontractors who executed work on an Orlando resort. The claims, totaling near $3 million, range from ramp and railing installation to renovations of public spaces.

Disagreements between general contractors and subcontractors about unpaid bills rarely make it to court, according to an industry expert. "Plenty can go wrong in routine construction projects, let alone for a theme park where the work's complexity grows," he said.

Design changes may have delayed and complicated payments between the companies, and the general contractor also claims they were never paid by the client. "The sad part is they're not just punishing us — they're punishing subcontractors and suppliers," said a representative of the general contractor.

Delayed or unpaid fees can seriously damage companies that are unable to pay work crews and suppliers for completed work. Liens to recover funds can also damage clients and general contractors until they are resolved.

Contract disputes and other construction litigation may often be resolved in settlements and other court actions, including judges' and juries' decisions. Legal representation is often recommended for plaintiffs and defendants to ensure their interests are represented during legal proceedings.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Disney general contractor faced lawsuits from subcontractors claiming they weren't paid," Gabrielle Russon, Jan. 16, 2018

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