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JOHN F. HARKINS CO. v. SCHOOL DISTRICT PHILADELPHIA (04/22/83)

filed: April 22, 1983.

JOHN F. HARKINS CO., INC.,
v.
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT



No. 358 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Philadelphia County, No. 2689 November Term, 1976.

COUNSEL

Martin Horowitz, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert W. Maris, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Wieand, Cirillo and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 313 Pa. Super. Page 427]

In this appeal we are asked to review the trial court's determination of the amount of increased compensation which a plumbing contractor was entitled to receive after the School District of the City of Philadelphia had temporarily advanced the date for completing a school construction

[ 313 Pa. Super. Page 428]

    project. The trial court's award of additional compensation was determined by the difference between the contractor's actual labor costs and the amount of the estimated labor costs included in his original bid, plus 15 percent for profit and overhead. In addition, the court made an award representing a ten percent saving which the contractor might have been able to make on the estimated labor costs contained in his original bid.

On April 28, 1969, a contract was entered between John F. Harkins Co., Inc., appellee, and the School District of Philadelphia, appellant, by the terms of which Harkins was to do the plumbing work in connection with the construction of West Philadelphia University City High School. The contract price was $1,092,920, and the contract terms established a completion date of 1,000 consecutive calendar days following receipt of notice to proceed. After construction had commenced, the school district, in an attempt to achieve an earlier occupancy date, issued a change order accelerating performance of the contract by approximately five months, from January 30, 1972 to September 1, 1971. In order to permit early completion, the district placed Harkins on overtime for a period of 26 weeks. On or about February 1, 1970, the school district revoked its earlier change order and reinstated the original completion date.

The contract between the parties permitted the school district to make changes and modifications so long as they were within the contract's general scope. The contract provided for an "equitable adjustment" by the school district in the event changes or modifications resulted in an increase or decrease in the contractor's cost of performance of the contract. The contract's general conditions, in paragraph 22(b), stipulated as follows:

(b) The determination of the increase or decrease in compensation to be paid the contractor for additions to or reductions to the work, respectively, shall be determined by application of unit prices as set forth in the special conditions of the contract, or, in those cases where unit prices are not applicable, by a lump sum mutually agreed

[ 313 Pa. Super. Page 429]

    upon by the Board and the contractor. If, however, unit prices are not applicable, and if the parties cannot agree upon a lump sum then additional compensation to be paid the contractor shall be determined by the actual net cost in labor and materials plus fifteen per centum (15%) for profit and overhead . . . . The ...


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