• AGC MA Joins with Industry Allies on SJC Amicus

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    November 14, 2017

    AGC MA joined five other allied construction organizations in filing an amicus brief to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) this month to voice industry opposition to a lower court ruling adverse to the construction industry.  The lower court ruling turned on an obscure decision from 1906, which resulted in a contractor forfeiting $14 million in contract balance and claims. 


    The dispute stems from a design/build contractor working on a State project in Western Mass. that was owed $4 million on its base contract. They further submitted claims in excess of $10 million when the State issued a certificate of final completion. The State successively argued at trial that based upon an obscure 1906 decision, the State did not owe the $4 million contract balance nor submitted changes to the design/build contractor because it intentionally deviated from contractual payment terms.  


    If the lower court ruling stands and the formerly obscure 1906 ruling becomes operative law, it will act as a construction specific “carve out” for contract law that deviates from all other commercial contract law in the Commonwealth.  The effect of this carve out would be that any intentional deviation from any contract document could result in the forfeiture of all monies owed to a contractor for work performed and not paid. 


    AGC MA member Hinckley Allen is auguring before the SJC on behalf of the design/build contractor.


    Robert Petrucelli, President & CEO

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