United Riggers & Erectors v. Coast Iron & SteelAnnotate this Case
This case arose out of a payment dispute between Coast, a contractor, and United, Coast's subcontractor. On appeal, United challenged the trial court's finding in favor of Coast, arguing that the trial court erred in finding that Coast was not liable for extra payments, as well as for failing to assess penalties and attorney’s fees against Coast for its delay in forwarding the retention payments. The court held that, pursuant to Civil Code section 8814, subdivision (c), a contractor is entitled to withhold a retention payment only when there is a good faith dispute regarding whether the subcontractor is entitled to the full amount of the retention payment. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the trial court as to this issue. On remand,
the trial court is directed, pursuant to section 8818, to award United penalties. Consequently, the court reversed the award of attorney fees as to the retention payments and remanded the issue. The court need not reach the merits of the breach of contract claims because United has failed to show that the trial court erred in its determination that United failed to prove damages. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.