Client’s Contract Terminated before Work Completed on Restaurant Build-Out: Tenant Claims Delay by Client Justified Hiring Replacement Contractor to Finish Work; Jury Verdict in Favor of Client

Construction CaseWe represented the plaintiff, a general contractor, who had furnished labor and materials in the build-out of a shopping center restaurant in Mesa, Arizona. Our client had been hired by the shopping center owner to perform the so-called vanilla shell portion of the work, and by the tenant to do the tenant improvements.

The project took longer than expected, and the tenant terminated our client’s contract before completion, and without paying the balance of the contract price. The tenant then hired another contractor to finish the tenant improvements. Our client’s contract with the property owner was complete at the time, and the owner had paid our client for the vanilla shell portion.

Our client sued the tenant for the money owed under his contract at the time of termination, and the owner to foreclose his mechanic’s lien against the property. The tenant counter-sued for breach of contract, contending that the project had not been timely completed by our client. The case was tried to a jury in superior court. Verdict in favor of the plaintiff. Total judgment: $71,000.

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