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Contract – Restaurant Renovation – Payments to Subcontractors – Extracontractual Work 

During the underlying proceedings between the project owner and the general contractor, the owner settled a claim by electrical subcontractor Carolina Construction Solutions (CCS) for $50,000. CCS was only hired after the project owner became frustrated by construction delays, demanded that the general contractor hire additional electricians, and approved a change order listing a cost of $37,397.45 to hire the additional electricians. The change order specified that it would be added to the original contract price. Consequently, the special referee properly declined to offset the owner’s liability to the general contractor by either its payment to CCS or by any alleged savings under the original contract. 

We remand for correction of a $100 clerical error but otherwise affirm the award of $176,794.99 plus interest to the contractor. 

The project owner argues the special referee erred in failing to award $71,784.52 on its counterclaim for lost profits resulting from the postponement of the opening the restaurant due to construction delays. However, the record reflects that most, if not all, delays were due to the owner’s actions or circumstances beyond the control of either party. The initial delay in starting construction was the result of the owner’s difficulty obtaining financing. Other delays caused by the discovery of mold in the long-vacant building and the owner’s change orders cannot be attributed to the contractor. Therefore, the special referee properly declined to award the owner damages for lost profits. 

Carter v. Eagles Landing Restaurants, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-021-22, 8 pp.) (Per Curiam) Appealed from Florence County (Eugene Preston Warr, Special Referee) Brooks Roberts Fudenberg for appellant; Gary Ivan Finklea and Patrick Buel Ford for respondent. S.C. App. Unpub. 

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