Sloan & Co. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., No. 10-1725 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Developer refused to pay nearly $6.5 million under the prime contract ($5 million was due subcontractors) claiming deficient work. General contractor declined to pay a subcontractor, who sued on the surety bond. The surety asserted that term 6.f conditioned subcontractor's right to payment on contractor's receipt of payment. In the meantime, contractor settled with developer for $1 million--all it was able to pay--and subcontractor declined a pro rata share in return for a release of claims. The district court granted partial summary judgments in favor of subcontractor for an amount $91,790 less than the claimed $1,074,260. The Third Circuit reversed interpretation of the subcontract and rejection of surety's claim for proportional offset for legal fees incurred in the suit against developer, but affirmed denial of subcontractor's waiver claim, and remanded. The parties intended to share the risk of non-payment. Under 6f developer's payment to contractor is a condition precedent to contractor's obligation to pay subcontractor, yielding after six months to provide a mechanism that specifies when and for how much subcontractor may sue contractor. The contract created a mechanism for passing through subcontractor's remaining claims and pegging recovery to the amount that contractor received from developer for subcontractor's work.