Timing Is Everything: Miller Act Notice Defect Saves Surety

National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP)

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The Miller Act protects subcontractors from nonpayment on federal projects by requiring prime contractors to issue payment bonds. To obtain relief under the Miller Act, a subcontractor must (1) give the prime contractor written notice of its claim within 90 days of the date it last performed work on a federal project and (2) file suit against the bond for any outstanding nonpayment within one year of the date work was last performed. A subcontractor’s non-compliance with these timing requirements, when applied strictly, can allow a surety to escape liability. In A&C Constr. & Installation, Co. WLL v. Zurich American Insurance Company (decided June 30, 2020), the surety, Zurich, was able to do just that. There, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a summary judgment ruling dismissing a sub-subcontractor’s claim for not complying with the Miller Act notice and suit timing requirements.

The complete article, "Timing Is Everything: Miller Act Notice Defect Saves Surety," was published as a blog by the NASBP July 21, 2020 and can be found at their website here.