What is the Measured Mile?
If you are a contractor trying to get paid for a claim on your construction project, then you have to prove that you were somehow damaged. Easier said than done – right?
The measured mile approach is one way for a contractor show or prove its lost productivity on a construction project. And, when it can be used, it is an approved method for measuring the lost productivity.
In the U.S. Industries, Inc. v. Blake Construction Co., Inc. case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit gave its stamp of approval:
“USI’s proof of disruption damages consisted of statistical and financial data and expert testimony showing that after May 31, 1975 (when USI felt the effect of Blake’s disruptions), its labor costs increased significantly. The increase was shown by comparing labor costs before and after that date. Such comparison of the cost of performing work in different periods is a well-established method of proving damages, which frequently has been used in breach of contract cases.”
How does the Measured Mile work?
The Measured Mile is a method that is designed to create a control period drawn from when labor/material production on the project was at its normal rate. Then, compare that against the time period(s) when the contractor was being negatively affected (i.e., delayed, disrupted, suspended, etc.). So, the control figures come straight from the construction project, when the project is moving along as everyone would have expected.
When you compare a typical day of production on the project versus the amount of production on an affected day, then the difference shows how much the contractor was being impacted.
To have an expert use the Measured Mile method, you will need to sufficiently document your production on the project.
And, although the calculations sound relatively simple, and in theory it is simple, the actual calculations can be much more complicated than they sounds. Effectively using the measured mile approach often requires expert analysis. Expert witnesses and consultants frequently make these assessments and testify about them, when necessary, at a trials, mediations or arbitrations.
If you are looking for a more detailed explanation of how it works, Matt DeVries has a good blog post on the Measured Mile in the context of transportation projects, and one more recent post where he talks about the Measured Mile more generally.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are being impacted in some manner on a construction project and it is causing you to incur costs, then you might be entitled to a claim for this type of damages.