New Mexico contractor Shiver Construction Company (Shiver) is currently facing legal action after allegedly failing to pay subcontractors more than $600,000.
According to court documents, Shiver Construction Company (Shiver) claimed in March 2021 it had never been paid by project owner UNS Energy Corporation (UNS) and refused to make any payments to its subcontractors before ceasing all communications with UNS.
Six subcontractors have since filed liens, resulting in UNS filing suit against Shiver for breach of contract, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation, among other violations.
The payment dispute follows work on Arizona’s Oso Grande Wind project. Tucson Electric Power, the parent company of UNS, completed the 24,000 acre, 62-turbine farm in late 2020. The $370 million project was projected to provide renewable energy for over 90,000 homes across Arizona.
Shiver contracted with project owner UNS in January 2020 to perform operation and maintenance work on the wind farm. Over the course of roughly 13 months, Shiver collected several progress payments totaling $4.2 million.
According to court documents, the contract between Shiver and UNS required Shiver to pay its subcontractors within seven days of each progress payment. Shiver allegedly told its subcontractors that it had never been paid by UNS, and would not be able to make its payments to them.
Shiver claimed it had taken “a financial beating” on the Oso Grande wind farm project — but court documents provide no explanation for why it has failed to make payments.
It’s not clear if Shiver ever made any payments to its subcontractors, or if it withheld funds entirely. But by February 2021, the liens started rolling in. As of time of reporting, six subcontractors have outstanding mechanics liens listing Shiver as the general contractor totaling over $600,000.
Levelset’s payment profile — which tracks the number of reported incidents with contractors — displays a steadily increasing log of problems reported by other construction professionals with Shiver since 2019. Cash flow issues are common across the industry, especially in the wake of the global pandemic, but that doesn’t explain Shiver’s initials claims that it had never been paid.
To date, there is no evidence that Shiver has attempted to dispute the lien claims or post any bonds to alleviate problems caused by the liens. By April, Shiver reportedly stopped responding to all correspondence from UNS.
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