BTG Files Construction Lawsuit For General Contractor of $11.5 Million Home
The Business Trial Group (“BTG”) has filed a lawsuit over alleged nonpayment for new residential construction in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The BTG represents the general contractor against the owner of a home on Washington Road that is listed for more than $13,000,000. The home, which sits directly on the Intracoastal, was completed in September 2018. Despite properly meeting the terms of the construction agreement, the general contractor was not paid in full and is owed more than $350,000, the lawsuit claims.
It is all too common for contractors to not be paid the full amount they are owed for their work, even when the contract is properly and fully performed. An owner may calculate that they can get away with shortchanging a contractor, knowing it will cost the contractor more to sue than to simply take the loss.
The Business Trial Group turns this calculation on its head, however, because our contractor clients pay no hourly fees. And under Florida law, we are often able to recover attorneys’ fees, in addition to the full amount owed.
West Palm Beach Home Sold for $11.5 Million
In April of 2016, the Plaintiff entered into a construction agreement with 2914 Washington Rd., LLC, which is allegedly owned by Steve Bendat. According to the terms of the agreement, the basis of payment to build a new residence located at 2914 Washington Road, West Palm Beach, Florida would be the “cost of work plus a fee without a guaranteed maximum price.”
Work on the project began in May 2016 and was last performed on or about September 15, 2018. A Certificate of Occupancy was issued in September 2018.
Zillow describes the finished home as having six bedrooms, ten bathrooms, more than 6,600 total square feet, a 100 ft. dock, seven fireplaces, full home automation, and a guest house. When the lawsuit was filed, the home had an asking price of $13,500,000 but ultimately sold for $11,000,000.
It is all too common for contractors to not be paid the full amount they are owed for their work
The complaint states that the general contractor properly performed under the construction agreement, but the builder failed to make full payment to the contractor in the amount of $359,273.60. In response, the contractor recorded a Claim of Lien on the property. The contractor also retained the BTG to represent it in a legal action for nonpayment, which includes causes of action for breach of contract, lien foreclosure, and unjust enrichment.
Contingency-Fee Model Gives Contractors a Fighting Chance
Rising attorney fees continue to promote a Justice Gap between small business owners and wealthier parties.
With corporate litigation attorneys in South Florida routinely charging $400 – $1,000 per hour, many individuals and small businesses cannot afford the complex litigation that can arise in construction disputes.
Research from the National Center for State Courts shows that the median cost of contract litigation exceeds $90,000. Depending on the case, in Florida, actual fees are often much higher.
Forced to pay an attorney exorbitant hourly fees, clients often must choose between giving up the legal fight, accepting a subpar settlement, or going broke from legal fees. For a client owed construction fees of $350,000, legal fees of $90,000 – $100,000 would effectively wipe out their profit margin.
We are often able to recover attorneys’ fees, in addition to the full amount owed
Defendants understand the difficult financial situation that construction dispute plaintiffs find themselves in. Knowing how expensive it will be for a contractor to file a lawsuit, a builder or developer might intentionally underpay in order to receive a discount on work performed.
Such underhanded tactics do not work when a contractor hires the BTG to represent them. Without the burden of hourly fees, our clients can pursue the full value of their claim, even in the most complex and high-stakes disputes.
Receive a Free Review of Your Construction Dispute Case
By charging only for results, and not for hours, the Business Trial Group helps to level the playing field for small businesses.
BTG is Florida’s largest contingency-fee commercial litigation practice. We were founded on the principle that business cases should be decided on the merits—not on the financial strength of the litigating parties. Our lawyers charge no hourly fees, and no fees at all unless we win.
To discuss your claim with an attorney at no charge and with no obligation, please contact us.