- Massachusetts High Court Voids Advance Waiver of Subcontractor Bond Rights
- September 12, 2012 | Authors: Kenneth E. Rubinstein; William Whitney
- Law Firms: Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, PLLP - Concord Office ; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, PLLP - Portland Office
Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a contract provision that required a subcontractor to waive its bond rights for work to be performed on a public project was void and unenforceable.
The court explained its ruling by noting, among other things, that the bond requirement set forth in M.G.L. c. 149 § 29 was designed to benefit subcontractors who work on public construction projects, as these subcontractors lack the right obtain a mechanic's lien. The court noted that Massachusetts already prohibits advance mechanic's lien waivers, and the same policy reasoning should apply to prohibit advance waivers of bond claims.
Contractors and subcontractors should be aware that the court only discussed claims involving bonds supplied pursuant to M.G.L. c. 149 § 29, and this ruling does not necessarily apply to other payment bonds.