Pennsylvania Supreme Court Unanimously Holds That Union Workers Are Not Subcontractors for Purposes of Pa. Mechanics' Lien Law


On April 17, 2014, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision eagerly awaited by owners, developers, contractors and others involved in the construction industry.

Interpreting Pennsylvania's Mechanics' Lien Law of 1963 (the "Act"), the state Supreme Court unanimously held in Bricklayers of Western Pennsylvania Combined Funds, Inc., Appellee, v. Scott's Development Company, Appellant, and Laborers' Combined Funds of Western Pennsylvania, et al., Appellees, v. Scott's Development Company, Appellant, that union workers (employees of the primary contractor) were not "subcontractors" as that term is defined in the Act, and that trustees of the union's employee benefits trust funds ("trust funds") were not entitled to file mechanic's lien claims on the employees' behalf for unpaid contributions to the trust funds.

This decision reverses the state Superior Court's decision and reinstates the trial court's order sustaining Scott's Development's preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer and striking the mechanic’s liens filed by the trustees.

Topics:  Liens, Mechanics Lien, Subcontractors, Unions

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, General Business Updates, Construction Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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