General Contractor Not Entitled to Damages for Performing Subcontractor’s Work, Where General Contractor Failed to Give Required Notice to Subcontractor

Rockwell Roofing, Inc. v. Jan Five Corp., 2007 WL 4248144 (Mass. Super. Ct. Nov. 15, 2007)

The Superior Court ruled on plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on both its claim and defendant’s counterclaim.  The court allowed summary judgment in part and denied it in part.  Plaintiff subcontractor filed the action against defendant general contractor and its payment bond surety.  The defendant general contractor filed a counterclaim for breach of contract.  The subcontractor moved for summary judgment on the general contractor’s counterclaim, arguing that the general contractor failed to provide notice as required by the contract prior to performing work on the contract that was the responsibility of the subcontractor.  Summary judgment was granted, dismissing this portion of the general contractor’s counterclaim.

On the claim that the general contractor had to perform extra work on the project, the court found that it was unclear as to whether the additional expenses and work were relative to the subcontractor’s failure to perform.  Therefore, the notice requirement did not apply and the consequential damages would be a question for the jury rendering summary judgment improper.  Finally, the court found that the plaintiff subcontractor’s claims for breach of contract and quantum meruit were questions for the jury so summary judgment was denied.

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