Commercial Construction Dispute Relating to Payment

We represented a material supplier in a commercial construction dispute in which our client was seeking in excess of $400,000 for materials supplied to the project. After the general contractor failed to pay the amounts due (and subsequently went out of business), we made a claim on the payment bond associated with the project. The surety company refused to pay our client’s claim on the bond, contending that our client was not entitled to recover because the project owner had issued joint checks payable to the general contractor and the owner. We successfully overcame the surety company’s reliance upon the “joint check rule” by prevailing on a motion for summary judgment. The court of appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed the summary judgment ruling in favor of our client. Accordingly, our client was able to recover the entire unpaid amount from the bonding company, plus interest and fees.