Surety Found Not Liable for Attorneys Fees without Express Provision in Bond

Titan Stone, Tile & Masonry, Inc. v. Hunt Constr. Group, Inc., 2008 WL 2038857 (D.N.J. May 12, 2008)

In this case, the court ruled on a motion for reconsideration of a finding that a subcontractor who defaulted on performance, but not the surety, was responsible for the attorneys fees of the general contractor, Hunt Construction Group.  The court applied the principle that a surety can be held liable only in accordance with the strict terms of its undertaking, and found that the surety bond in this case did not specifically provide for reimbursement of attorneys fees.  Hunt argued that the obligations of Titan under the performance bond should be coextensive with those of Titan under the agreement.  The court rejected this argument as inconsistent with the purpose of a performance bond, which is to provide the general contractor with the funds to complete the project upon the default of the subcontractor, not to make the general contractor whole.

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