Subcontractor Forfeited Right to Damages by Abandoning Project Prior to Completion

Colin C&M Corp. v. Bacon Constr. Co., 2007 WL 4711503 (Mass. Super. Ct. Dec. 7, 2007)

In this case, the Superior Court considered a subcontractor’s claims against a general contractor and the general contractor’s counterclaims relating to a public high school construction project.  In finding for the general contractor, the court found that the subcontractor was not entitled to damages because it walked off of the project and therefore failed to comply in strict accordance with the subcontract.  Further, the court found that the general contractor was entitled to damages because it had to finish the subcontractor’s work and pay outstanding invoices to the subcontractor’s vendors.

Before trial, the trial court had allowed the general contractor’s motion in limine to preclude evidence related to the subcontractor’s claims for quantum meruit.  At the close of evidence, plaintiff filed a motion pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P 15(b) to add a count in quantum meruit.  The court found that the plaintiff was not entitled to quantum meruit damages because it did not prove either substantial performance or good faith, and thus denied the motion to amend the complaint because the motion was futile.

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