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Defense Verdict Relating to Fla. Stat. 255.05 Payment Bond Claim

Author:
November 12, 2019

Lee, Hernandez, Landrum & Carlson shareholder, Robert Carlson obtained a defense verdict following a bench trial in Miami-Dade County, Florida. 

The matter arose out of a claim of non-payment by a subcontractor under a Fla. Stat. 255.05 payment bond issued for a public school project.  The suit was initially brought against the surety and general contractor for the project.  The general contractor obtained summary judgment early in the litigation as the result of a pay-if-paid provision in its subcontract agreement.  The surety obtained summary judgment on the eve of trial relating to various unsigned change orders and proceed to trial on unpaid retainage based on its Statue of Limitation defense. 

Following two years of litigation and against seven highly aggressive lawyers for the subcontractor, Mr. Carlson was successful in obtaining findings that the only work performed within one year of suit was minor corrective work, and therefore, did not serve to toll the Statute of Limitations.  The case turned on impeachment of the subcontractor’s key witnesses through the clever use of metadata and other evidence in the project files. 

The next phase of the proceedings will be a request for a fee award as the prevailing party under Fla. Stat. 255.05(2). 


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