Archives: Subcontracting

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Contractor’s Inferior Knowledge and Mistakes Are No Excuse for Avoiding the Preclusive Effect of a Contractual Release

As the following decision demonstrates, careful recordkeeping can be critical to avoid forfeiting a claim upon the completion of a project with the government. Appeal of Merrick Construction, LLC, ASBCA No. 60906 (March 22, 2018). In Merrick, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA”) found that a contractor forfeited a claim against the Army […]

OHA Clarifies Ostensible Subcontractor Rule

At the end of last year, the Small Business Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) issued a decision that further clarified the “ostensible subcontractor” rule. This rule may result in affiliation when a small prime contractor is unduly reliant on its subcontractor. In Emergent, Inc. v. Kapsuun Group, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-5875 (Dec. 19, […]

The Limited Applicability of the Severin Doctrine

A recent Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) decision discusses the Severin doctrine and its impact on subcontractor pass-through claims, confirming that this defense to liability may only be used in very limited circumstances by the Government.  As a refresher, in a 1943 decision, Severin v. United States,[1] the Court of Claims held that a […]
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