• Court Drops Affirmative Defenses In Mechanics Lien Action for Construction of Stairs: Model Iron Works, Inc. v. Tiago Holdings, LLC
  • June 6, 2011 | Author: Aaron E. Zerykier
  • Law Firm: Farrell Fritz, P.C. - Uniondale Office
  • In a May 2, 2011 decision by Justice Oing the Court dismissed a number of the “standard” affirmative defenses pled in a mechanic’s lien/breach of contract action.

    The defendants’ affirmative defense that “complaint fails to state a cause of action” was allowed to survive as “mere surplusage.” The defendants’ affirmative defense that “the plaintiff was paid in excess of the fair and reasonable value of any work, labor, materials, services and equipment” was also allowed to survive because it was directly related to the mechanic’s lien claim. The defendants’ affirmative defense that the action was started after the statute of limitations agreed to by contract also survived dismissal because there was an issue whether or not this part of the contract was enforceable.

    However, the defendants’ affirmative defense that the “claims are barred in whole or in part by the equitable doctrines of waiver, estoppels and/or unclean hands” was dismissed because there was no showing that these affirmative defenses were viable. Similarly, defendants failed to show how the action did not comply with the Mechanic’s Lien Law so that affirmative defense was dismissed, as was the affirmative defense that plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the parties’ contract.

    Model Iron Works, Inc. v. Tiago Holdings, LLC, Sup Ct, New York County, May 2, 2011, Oing, J, Index No. 600857/10