In its March 11, 2021 opinion, Division Three of the Washington Court of Appeals considered whether the 90-day period to record a claim of lien is extended by a contractor performing work after substantial completion to correct nonconforming work – usually referred to as “warranty work.” In the case of Brashear Electric, Inc. v. Norcal Properties, LLC, the Court strictly construed the statutory term “repairing” to exclude the contractor’s correction of its own work and rejected the notion that warranty work extended the 90-day timeframe to file a lien claim.
Norcal Properties, LLC (“Norcal”) and Blue Bridge Properties, LLC (“Blue”) own adjacent properties. Norcal and Blue separately contracted with Vandervert Construction (“Vandervert”) to construct a building on each property. The prime agreements’ substantive provisions were identical. Vandervert subcontracted with Brashear Electric, Inc. (“Brashear”) to work on both projects.
Under the prime agreements, Vandervert promised to correct nonconforming work up to a year after substantial completion. Vandervert’s subcontracts with Brashear required Brashear to assume the prime agreements’ warranty provisions.