Florida construction projects are often the work of delegation and cooperation. For example, an entity may wish to build a facility and need the help of construction experts. Those experts may take on the great task of managing the project but along the way may hire additional entities to perform work on the project. A project developer may therefore retain a general contractor to manage the project and that general contractor may retain an array of sub-contractors to help them get the work done.
Just such an arrangement of delegation occurred when two professional baseball teams, the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, decided to construct a new training facility in southern Florida. The costly project was managed by Hunt Construction Group and three other entities that formed a joint venture for the project. After securing management of the project, Hunt and the other contractors acquired contracts with sub-contractors to build the more than $150 million facility.
However, many of the sub-contractors that leveled ground, completed electrical work, and took care of other critical building tasks are now claiming that Hunt and the baseball teams in turn have failed to pay them for their work. Some of the sub-contractors have chosen to sue for their unpaid expenses and owners of some of the companies are watching their businesses slide into financial peril as the wait for payment.
Construction litigation over nonpayment can be critical for businesses that need incoming revenue to keep their employees in jobs and their doors open. As the construction litigation lawsuits associated with this story progress it will be important to see how Florida courts decide if any how liability for losses should be assigned.
Source: The Palm Beach Post, “Millions in unpaid bills face contractors at Astros/Nationals ballpark,” Joe Capozzi, Nov. 10, 2017