I was contacted by the building owner about a mechanic lien I filed. I was told the project engineer spoke with the subcontractor (JN Glass) that has failed to pay me for my service and material and stated to them he had a dispute with my total charges. They emailed him stating he should resolve this matter with me. They also said they signed a lien waiver from the subcontractor (JN Glass) indicating he was paid in full. How do I move forward in this situation? It feel as I am back to my original position. The material in that building is still unpaid for as well as our labor. What can I do?
I need some clarification to answer. Who are you in the chain? GC? 1st tier subcontractor? Material supplier?
Who failed to pay you? The property owner?
I supplied material and labor to subcontractor of job. The subcontractor failed to pay me.
So you are a second tier subcontractor. So, the first thing you need to do is send your notice of intent to lien. I do not know if you have done so already or if you still have any time left. I also do not know what type of project this is: residential, commercial, or public works. If the project is not completed, you are going to want to include funds trapping language. Trust me when I say it's easier to sort the mess out when there is a lien notice and affidavit than it is when you blow all your deadlines. Consult an attorney and send the notices.
What the contractor did by representing to them that you had been paid when you had not is fraud. If you are able to file a lien against them and you file a lien against them, they're going to sue you to have it removed and they are going to waive the lien waiver in your face and you're going to tell them you were never paid and so the lien (assuming your notices and deadlines are correct) is proper.
You then will need to sue the 1st tier sub and the property owner. The property owner will also sue the GC who will sue the 1st tier sub. It's going to turn into a cluster. Someone will likely pay you during mediation.
E. Aaron Cartwright III
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