Board-Certified In Construction Law By The Florida Bar

Miami contractor files suit for nonpayment

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2018 | Construction Law

Fort Lauderdale contractors understand the trouble caused by clients who can’t — or won’t — pay for the new builds and renovations they ordered done. Not only does this create immeasurable difficulties for the contractors themselves, but it also wreaks havoc with the subcontractors they hired to complete various projects.

A few months ago, a South Florida contractor had to sue a client for nonpayment. Back in May, Skanska USA Building filed a $300 million lawsuit against the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (FMOS) in Miami for nonpayment of years old invoices after Skanska assumed a lead role in the construction project, the Miami Herald reported.

According to plaintiff, FMOS quit making payments in November of last year when some work had not yet been completed. However, FMOS had already gotten its occupancy permit.

The attorneys for plaintiff alleges that FMOS expected Skanska to continue working without compensation. It also appears that they are not the only contractor to get stiffed on the museum project. Skanska was brought on by FMOS to complete construction when the nonprofit terminated their contract with Suffolk Construction. That contractor also filed a lawsuit against FMOS for $800,000.

It’s unfortunate when misunderstandings and/or unrealistic expectations lead to these types of situations between contractors and their clients. Litigating these matters is both time-consuming and costly and can result in a diminished reputation for those on both sides of the courtroom.

Not all nonpayment conflicts can be avoided, but many can. One thing that any contractor should do before signing a contract with a client is have a legal adviser thoroughly review the document. An experienced Fort Lauderdale construction dispute attorneys can pinpoint potential flaws in the contracts that can lead to future legal claims and litigation.