Court Strictly Interprets Notice Requirements in Construction Contract

Marcor Remediation, Inc. v. County of Broome, 847 N.Y.S.2d 702 (N.Y. App. Div. 2007)

In this case, defendant hired the plaintiff contractor to perform lead abatement work.  The contractor sued for breach of contract and quantum meruit, alleging that the county had failed to pay for work performed.  The terms of the contract prohibited plaintiff from bringing any action arising out of the contract unless plaintiff “strictly complied with all requirements relating to the giving of notices and information with respect to such claim . . . .”  The contract further required plaintiff to file a “verified, detailed statement” in order to claim that it performed revised work under the contract, as plaintiff claimed here.  Plaintiff appealed after the action was dismissed by the trial court.

The appellate court affirmed, finding that plaintiff had failed to provide a "verified, detailed statement."  The court explained:   “compliance with notice of claim provisions of a municipal contract constitutes a condition precedent to the commencement of an action for breach of contract which may only be avoided if the municipality acted in a manner that precluded the other party from complying.”

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