July 9, 2018

Construction Alert: Massachusetts High Court Rules that Contractor Can Pursue Claims Despite Contractor’s Own Breach

In a ruling last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a contractor’s material breach – even an intentional breach – will not necessarily prevent the contractor from recovering for work that they performed.  In G4S Technology LLC v. Massachusetts Technology Park Corp, the Court stated,

We thus conclude that in evaluating the contractor’s good faith and right to recover under quantum meruit, we must consider the parties’ actions, the different contractual breaches and the damages they caused, and most importantly the value of the project provided as compared to the amount paid for that work.  We must, in the end, balance the equities and produce a just result.

This ruling overturned decades-long precedent, which had previously held that contractors may not sue for payment absent strict compliance with the contract’s requirements. 

For more information, contact Kenneth E. Rubinstein, co-chair of Preti Flaherty's Construction Law Group at [email protected].