The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
All the standard forms of building contract make specific provision for the liabilities which are at the contractor or employer's risk and which party is to insure those risks.
However, if the building contract is oral, or if the written terms are silent, then the common-law provisions will prevail.
The contractor's liabilities are:
liability in tort to third parties for injury, death or damage to property caused by the contractor's negligence, and
liability to the employer in respect of damage to the works caused by the contractor’s own negligence or for breach of contract
The contractor is not liable to the employer if the works are damaged by any cause other than the contractor’s own negligence or breach of contract. For example, damage caused by fire, flood, theft, etc or damage that was an inevitable result of carrying out the work, would not be at the contractor’s risk.
The contractor's liability for damage to property was limited following the decisions in D and F Estates and Murphy v Brentwood.
The contractor may purport to limit or exclude liability. However, under
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