By Larry S. Logsdon

Owner Required to Provide Notice and Opportunity to Cure

City of Mobile v. Bill Harbert Con-str. Co., 2009 WL 2343710 (Ala. 2009).

In this case, the general contractor sued the City of Mobile alleging that it had been wrongfully ter­minated from two projects for the City. The contractor argued that the contract between the parties required the City to provide suf­ficient notice and an opportunity to cure, and that the City had not complied with the contract when it terminated the contractor. In response, the City argued that the contractor repudiated its obliga­tions by sending three separate letters to the owner disputing re­pair methods on the project, and that the board was thereby ex­cused from providing notice and an opportunity to cure. However, the Court held that the letters from the contractor to the project manager were not a repudiation of contract, and rather reflected a dispute between the contrac­tor and the manager a method of performance of the project. Therefore, the City was required under contract to provide a 10-day notice and an opportunity to cure before it could terminate its contract with the contractor.


Subcontractor Required to Indemnify Contractor Against Claim Made by Other Subcontractor

Doster Constr. Co. v. Marathon Electrical Subcontractors, 2009 WL 3064789 (Ala. 2009).

Indemnification claim that crane-testing subcontractor made against general contractor regarding crane-testing subcontractor’s liability concerning personal injuries sustained by electrical subcontractor’s employ­ee, who was injured while repairing crane, fell within parameters of indemnity clause of subcontract between general contractor and electrical subcontractor; employee’s own negligence contributed to accident, and crane-testing subcontractor’s claim concerned a liability of general contractor that arose indirectly from neg­ligence attributable to electrical subcontractor.


Bonding Company Must Disclose Financial Stability of Contractor if Asked by Owner

Travelers Cas. & Surety Co. v. Crystal Towers, LLC, 2009 5068823 (S.D. Ala. 2009).

In this case, the court was asked to decide whether a bonding company who provides a payment/performance bond has a duty to disclose to the owner the financial strength of the contractor. The court held that when an owner specifically inquires about the contractor’s financial strength and its ability to complete the project, the bonding company could have an obligation to disclose all material facts within its knowledge.


Repair Work to Residence Required License

Hollinger v. Wells, 3 So. 3d 216 (Ala. Civ. App. 2008).

In this case, a contractor was hired by a homeowner to make repairs to a residence. Thereafter, the contractor sued the homeowner alleging breach of contract and seeking a lien against the resi­dence alleging amounts due un­der the contract. The homeowner claimed that the contract with the contractor was not valid since the contractor did not have a valid license as a homebuilder pursu­ant to Ala. Code § 34-14a-1. The contractor responded by arguing that the evidence failed to show that the building upon which the contractor performed repairs was a “residence” or “structure” within the meaning of the licen-sure statute. However, the court held that the contractor was re­pairing or improving the defendant’s residence, which included roofing work, repairs to the back porch, replacement of metal in eaves, and replacement of crown molding. Since it was undisputed that the contractor never had the requisite license pursuant to the Homebuilders Licensure Statute, the court held that he was statu­torily barred from bringing or maintaining a breach of contract action.


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