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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Are claims against a subcontractor's payment bond governed by the bond terms themselves, or by some provision of the Hawaii Public Works Statute for a public project in Hawaii?

Are claims against a subcontractor's payment bond governed by the bond terms themselves, or by some provision of the Hawaii Public Works Statute for a public project in Hawaii?

HawaiiBond Claims

The prime contractor had a subcontractor post a payment bond on a public Hawaii Department of Transportation project. The Hawaii Public Works statute speaks only to prime contractor payment bonds, and not to subcontractor bonds. So what is the law for making claim on a subcontractor's payment bond?

1 reply

May 13, 2019
That's a great question. Prime contractors are required to post payment bonds in accordance with their state's Little Miller Act, but when a prime contractor requires their subcontractor to provide a payment bond, that is generally not a creation of statute - so, potentially, such a bond might be secured under terms that are different than the prime contractor's. At the same time, typically, (if a prime requires their subs to provide bonds) a prime contractor will require their subs to provide a bond under the same material terms of the bond the prime themselves provided. But, in a situation where this is unclear, looking to the contract terms which require a subcontractor post a payment bond and looking to the terms of that bond itself should help to provide some clarity on the issue. If the contract is completely silent as to whether the bond must be made in the same or similar manner as the prime's payment bond, and if the bond itself doesn't cite any statute, it would likely indicate that the payment bond is made irrespective of any statutory requirement. Further, reaching out to the surety might also provide some clarity.
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