If You Want to Collect From The Owner - Remember Your Time Is Limited

Judge Bredar of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland recently buttressed the well-established doctrine that a subcontractor cannot sue an owner for the debts of the general contractor by using an unjust enrichment or quantum meruit theory of recovery. The judge also held, in the case of Elite Construction Team, Inc. v. Wal-Mart, that attempts to establish a constructive trust are also doomed to failure. A subcontractor may bring a mechanic's lien claim (within applicable time limits of course) or can garnish the contractor's share after obtaining a judgment. 

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