If am not directly involved in the bond relationship (neither the insurer or obligee), can I make a bond claim?

5 months ago

I need to know if a party who was not a signatory to the bond contract, but was directly impacted by the negligent actions of the principal, is able to make a claim against the bond.

Chief Legal Officer Levelset

In Oklahoma, on any public work of improvement (or private project on public land) over $50,000, the direct contractor must obtain and furnish a payment bond for the protection of protect participants against nonpayment.

The beneficiaries of the payment bond are subcontractors, laborers, and material suppliers providing labor or material to the project, apparently regardless of project tier. This means that nearly all parties providing labor or material to an Oklahoma project protected by a payment bond pursuant to the state’s Little Miller Act are able to make a claim agains the bond, provided the requirements to do so are met.

In Oklahoma, a claimant must make their bond claim within 90 days of last furnishing labor or material to the project by delivering notice of the claim to the GC and the surety. And, an action to enforce the claim must be initiated within 1 year from the last furnishing date.

Additionally, Oklahoma requires many contractors to obtain a contractor license bond in order to be licensed. This is, as you mention, a contract between the contractor, the state (through the licensing agency Construction Industries Board), and the surety. The beneficiary of the license bond is the state licensing agency, who can make a claim to the extent the contractor doe snot meet the rules and regulations of their license. However, Oklahoma also requires contractors to obtain a payment bond – of which third parties performing work on the project may be beneficiaries.

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