Working with attorneys, general contractors and owners throughout the world, construction expert Paul Gogulski learned the ins and outs of Vince Lombardi's famous rule: "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." It has been said that this well-known quotation regarding winning encapsulates what is purportedly wrong with competitive sports. It is Mr. Gogulski's opinion that the same holds true for the claims process in the construction industry.
"What I've learned is a dilemma exists between those who believe in the Lombardi rule and those who feel that intellectual integrity should prevail," Mr. Gogulski said.
For example, a subcontractor on the Venetian Casino Resort in Las Vegas was awarded a contract for $3 million during construction. Mr. Gogulski was hired when the subcontractor's cost was $8 million and the project was 75% complete. By attending foremen meetings, observing field conditions, examining records, and talking to management, Paul found the subcontractor had badly underbid this design-build contract. He also found excessive errors and inefficiencies in the subcontractor's daily field management. While damages occurred that was attributable to the Owner and the Construction Manager, the subcontractor's claim omitted significant facts relating to their own operations. Final cost was four times the subcontractor's original bid. To go forward with these figures in developing a claim without a significant credit for the error in the estimate as well as for the subcontractors failing to perform is unethical in Mr. Gogulski's opinion. Those who believe in Vince Lombardi's rule will disagree.
In addition, the same subcontractor put the public at risk by failing to follow Mr. Gogulski's recommendations during a critical changeover of electric service when the building was partially occupied.
"Once situational ethics prevails over intellectual integrity, a line is crossed which is easy to justify in a culture where "winning is the only thing" Mr. Gogulski said. "I have witnessed this same occurrence on other cases."
If you concur that the construction industry is better served by intellectual integrity, then Mr. Gogulski would appreciate hearing from you. His firm has developed unique ways to reduce the cost of claims, and eliminate abuse from "situational ethics."
Photo Credit: Soccer Fit Academy
Paul Gogulski, PE has used his broad range of experience to resolve hundreds of cases throughout the country and overseas. He has reduced the cost of litigation during the claims process through skills greatly refined during the course of his career. His recent pioneering in refinements to risk management has led to improvements in the use of BIM and system engineering applications within the construction industry. Dedicated to his profession, Mr. Gogulski is presently working with a professor at a major university and a president of an established consulting firm in the development of software to reduce risk by integrating 4D technology within clients project controls.
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