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Can i invoice a general contractor for punitive damages ?

PennsylvaniaMechanics Lien

The general contractor has not paid me in full or not paid me at all for work on foreclosed properties. i am in the process of completing the attempt to file lien documents with you, and I am not sure if I can or how I should invoice the general contractor for also punitive damages. The General Contractor has caused me losses to my business and personal life that I would like to recover if even partly. How do you advise that i do that? Thank you

1 reply

Oct 16, 2018
I'm sorry to hear you've been going unpaid - there's nothing more frustrating than having to fight tooth and nail for what you've already earned. When it comes to mechanics liens, including punitive damages in a mechanics lien could ruin a claim. In New York, a lien claim is limited to amounts unpaid for labor, material, and equipment provided to the project. Other amounts - such as interest or punitive damages - cannot be included in a lien claim, and including those amounts could result in an exaggerated claim. When a mechanics lien claim is exaggerated, the lien claimant can actually open themselves up to liability as well - so it's typically wise to limit amounts of a claim to what's owed for work performed. Of course, most lien claims don't actually make it to court - they're typically negotiated and resolved beforehand. In those negotiations, a claimant could certainly push for the other party to pay amounts in excess of the claim for damages and suffering. But, that may be an uphill battle. If a lawsuit does become necessary, whether to enforce the lien claim or otherwise, a claimant could potentially claim other damages such as punitive amounts or interest penalties. Though, damages for personal suffering can be hard to prove.
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