The Supreme Judicial Court recently exhorted subcontractors to make sure they know the terms of general contracts before agreeing to import them in a wholesale fashion into their own subcontract.
A recent Supreme Judicial Court decision should provide subcontractors who perform work on public projects with welcome assurance that payment bonds provide meaningful protection against non-payment. In Costa v. Brait Builders Corp., 463 Mass. 65 (2012), the SJC held squarely that a subcontractor's rights under a statutorily required payment bond cannot be waived in a private contract between subcontractor and general contractor. Since mechanic's liens are unavailable in public projects, we at Fitch Law Partners LLP view the security Costa affords subcontractors as important.