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Panama Canal extension may be in jeopardy over contract disputes

Business deals come in all shapes and sizes in the Miami area, as well as anywhere else. Whenever large amounts of money are in play the stakes become that much higher. Likewise, when many different parties are involved the chance for disagreement also rises, which in some cases can lead to contract disputes or even litigation.

The Panama Canal has been helping ships move through Central America for decades. However, plans to upgrade and expand the canal are on hold again after talks between the country’s government and several companies broke down, recently. At issue is the $1.6 billion price tag for the expansion project. According to the business consortium Group United for the Canal, the country’s government ended the talks after failing to agree on who will foot the bill.

The ongoing disagreements concerning the cost have already lead to several court hearings as both sides try to figure out how they will come up with the needed finances to complete the project. According to reports, arguments over who is liable for the cost overruns are already being debated within the contract terms and could end up being decided in international arbitration courts.

If these companies, as well as Panamanian government officials cannot overcome their differences, then the plans to expand the canal will most likely be delayed even longer which could affect many businesses and the entire country of Panama. If you are involved in any kind of contract dispute or business litigation, then you will probably need the help of an experienced business litigation attorney who understands all the legalities in these kinds of disputes.

Source: Reuters, “Talks break down in Panama Canal contract dispute,” Sonya Dowsett, Feb. 5, 2014

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