Court rules against contractor that wrongfully demanded early payment in contradiction of the payment schedule it signed

Remodeling Constr. Serv. v. Minter, 78 A.D.3d 1677, 913 N.Y.S.2d 446 (NY App. Div. 4th Dep’t Nov. 19, 2010)

In Remodeling Constr. Serv. v. Minter, a construction company was denied further payment where it demanded more payment than it was contractually owed.  Defendant hired plaintiff construction company to rebuild defendant’s house.  The parties agreed in writing that payment would be meted out according to a payment schedule.  According to the schedule, the drywall installation was a prerequisite to the fifth payment.  After completing all the work necessary to receive the first four payments, and having received the first four payments, plaintiff then refused to install the drywall.  Plaintiff refused to continue unless defendant paid plaintiff additional sums.  Defendant refused and plaintiff brought suit for breach of contract.  The court found that according to the contract, plaintiff was entitled only to the first four payments.  The court held that plaintiff breached the contract by refusing to perform and wrongfully demanding the fifth payment.  Plaintiff’s claim was dismissed.

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