Subcontractors Have Remedies, Even if “Pay-if-Paid” Provisions are Enforced

Two contractors in front of crane

The general contractor asserted that the pay-if-paid provision in the subcontract precluded recovery by the subcontractor.

February 19, 2019
John P. Ahlers - Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC

In a recent case in Kentucky[1], a sub-tier subcontractor sued the general contractor and owner for failure to pay for extra work. At the trial, the court held the subcontractor was entitled to recover under the theories of implied contracts and unjust enrichment, even though the subcontract contained a “pay-if-paid” clause. All parties appealed. In particular, the general contractor asserted that the pay-if-paid provision in the subcontract precluded recovery by the subcontractor. The issue was petitioned to the Supreme Court of Kentucky.

The question to be resolved by the Supreme Court of Kentucky was whether a pay-if-paid provision was enforceable as between a general contractor and subcontractor, and if so, whether the subcontractor could nevertheless pursue the owner directly for payment notwithstanding a lack of privity between the owner and subcontractor.

Mr. Ahlers may be contacted at john.ahlers@acslawyers.com



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