It’s typical for subcontracts to include a clause binding the subcontractor to the decisions of the project architect. Such terms help general contractors and construction managers at-risk avoid obligations to subs below that can’t be passed through to owners above. That’s a sensible and enforceable risk allocation most of the time.
But not all of the time.
Sometimes, the architect doesn’t play fairly. Sometimes, the prime contractor fights hard for itself, but not hard enough for its subs. And sometimes, a statute might provide a remedy when the subcontract does not.
On such occasions, as discussed below, subcontractors might avail themselves of an escape hatch: