Client’s Contract Terminated Before Job Finished: Court Rules in Client’s Favor, Awards Attorney Fees

Construction CaseWe represented the subcontractor in this case. Our client agreed to install an epoxy floor system in an industrial building that was being remodeled as part of a multi-million dollar corporate park project in north Phoenix. The general contractor was the other party in this action.

The case was tried in the Maricopa County Superior Court. The parties entered into a subcontract agreement providing for our client to install an epoxy floor system over approximately 40,000 square feet of existing concrete. The work was to be done in two phases, to accommodate the occupant’s move-in schedule. (After the renovation, the building was to be used by a third party as a brake manufacturing plant.) Our client substantially completed all of its work on phase I of the project, consisting of approximately 23,000 square feet, and the general contractor then terminated the contract. The general contractor claimed that it was dissatisfied with our client’s work, and it hired another subcontractor to finish the job. The general contractor refused to pay our client for the work that it performed.

After unsuccessfully attempting to resolve the dispute, our client filed a lawsuit against the general contractor for breach of contract. The general contractor filed a counterclaim against our client for damages related to the allegedly defective work. The general contractor claimed that it was necessary to re-do our client’s work, which would involve removing heavy machinery and shutting down the plant for several days, at a cost of $224,000. After a two-day trial, the court awarded our client the value of the floor that it installed, $13,801, and dismissed the general contractor’s counterclaim against our client. The court also awarded our client attorney fees and costs in the amount of $28,196.

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