In 2015, Hall County (Georgia) brought legal action against Selective Insurance Company of America, Inc., the surety company for contractor Ruby Forrest. Hall County had contracted Ruby Forrest to complete and maintain sidewalk systems within three residential subdivisions that Ruby Forrest owned and was developing. Ruby Forrest did not complete the work as promised, and Hall County brought action against the contractor’s surety to recover under performance / maintenance bonds for uncompleted work and to assert bad faith claim for punitive damages and attorney fees.
Selective Insurance did not dispute that it had issued the bonds, that Ruby Forrest did not complete the sidewalk systems within the bond periods or their extensions, or that Hall County provided Selective Insurance with timely notice of Ruby Forrest’s failure to complete the work. Instead, Selective Insurance asserted that the original claim by Hall County was time-barred under a provision in the bonds that stated that “the Issuer will have no more liability after” the expiration date of the bond.