Category: Bond Claim

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Washington Supreme Court Affirms Brightwater Decision Regarding Application of Olympic Steamship to Sureties

On July 6, 2017, the Washington Supreme Court confirmed that the equitable rule announced in Olympic Steamship—providing for attorney fees where the insurer compels the insured to take legal action—applies to performance bond sureties on public projects.[1]  In King County v. Vinci Construction Grands Projects/Parsons RCI/Frontier-Kemper, the Court affirmed the trial court’s award of over … Continue Reading

On Guard: A Look at Subcontractor Default Insurance

Whether you call it SDI or SubGuard, subcontractor default insurance is yet another consideration for public and private project owners as they look at protection from subcontractor default.  But what exactly is this relatively new option and when is it most appropriate?  In my recent article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, I discuss SDI, … Continue Reading

Five Questions an Owner Should Ask About Insurance and Bonds

Contractors often have limited liquid assets, so insurance and bonding are often the best resources available to an owner to protect against contractor default or defective work. However, not all policies and bonds are created equal, and owners should make sure these resources provide the security the owner needs. In my recent article for the … Continue Reading

Lien Rights of Employee Benefit Plans Clarified in Washington

A question left open in Stoel Rives’ recent Washington lien law treatise relates to the lien rights of employee benefit plans. The rights granted in RCW 60.04.011(4) (where benefit plans are included in the definition of “furnishing labor”) were called into question by two Washington Supreme Court decisions barring employee benefit plans from pursuing lien-like … Continue Reading

Surety Has “Sole and Absolute Discretion” to Settle Bond Claim in California

While surety bonds have always been required for most public projects, they are being used extensively in many large private construction projects by project owners to secure faithful performance (or payment via settlement) of the contract if the contractor defaults.  But does the contractor have the same standing and rights against the Surety as an … Continue Reading

Idaho Verifies That Priority Position Remains Relevant After Bond Posting

In a case of first impression in Idaho, the Supreme Court in American Bank v. Wadsworth Golf Construction Co. of Southwest, No. 39415 (Idaho Aug. 16, 2013) (slip op.), determined that priority of lien filings on a property remain subject to a lien priority analysis even after a statutory lien release bond is filed to … Continue Reading

The Increasing Importance of Performance Bonds

There are now 25 states in the U.S. that hold that construction defects are not an “occurrence” and are therefore not covered under commercial general liability policies insuring contractors.  Couple this troubling statistic with the ever increasing number of policy exclusions and limitations, and we begin to realize that in many situations the contractor’s insurance … Continue Reading

Bond. Performance Bond.

Performance bonds—insurance-like arrangements in which a surety (the bonding company) contractually agrees to pay for the performance of a principal (the contractor) to an obligee (the owner) in case the principal fails to perform the obligations of its contract—should be used more often in construction agreements to provide owners with a source of funds to … Continue Reading
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