The recent opinion out of the Eastern District Court of Virginia, Dickson v. Forney Enterprises, Inc., 2021 WL 1536574 (E.D.Virginia 2021), demonstrates that the federal Miller Act is not designed to protect ALL that perform work on a federal construction project. This is because NOT ALL work is covered under the Miller Act.
In this case, a professional engineer was subcontracted by a prime contractor to serve on site in a project management / superintendent capacity. The prime contractor’s scope of work was completed by January 31, 2019. However, the prime contractor was still required to inventory certain materials on site, which was performed by the engineer. The engineer claimed it was owed in excess of $400,000 and filed a Miller Act payment bond lawsuit on February 5, 2020 (more than a year after the project was completed).