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Builders Can’t Collect Damages From 9/11 Delay

(CN) - A construction company cannot collect delay damages from the U.S. Army after it was unable to work at a military base for 41 days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Federal Circuit ruled.

Conner Brothers Construction signed a contract in 2000 to erect four headquarters buildings for the 75th Army Ranger regiment in Ft. Benning, Ga.

Immediately after the attacks, Ft. Benning was restricted to mission-essential personnel, and the construction workers had to leave. The job was about 70 percent complete.

Conner filed a complaint against U.S. Secretary of the Army Pete Geren for the 41-day delay before workers were allowed to return to the job site.

The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals rejected Conner's request for delay damages, and Judge Bryson of the Washington, D.C.-based federal appeals court affirmed the decision.

"The exclusion order that temporarily shut down Conner's performance was a sovereign act," Bryson wrote. "The decision to exclude Conner was simply an extension of the broader access restrictions implemented to respond to the emergency created by the terrorist attacks."

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