Close X

ARTICLES

Accidental Lapse of Contractor Bond Precludes any Action by Contractor to Recover for Work Performed.

Posted by John K. Kilpatrick | Mar 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

Abacus Fine Carpentry, LLC v. Vivian H. Wilson and Russel D. Wilson

This opinion out of Division One of the Washington Court of Appeals arose out of a dispute between Abacus Fine Carpentry, LLC (“Abacus”) and Vivian and Russel Wilson. (Not that Russell Wilson.) In April 2016, the Wilsons hired Abacus to install cabinet doors, drawers, and appliance panels to pre-existing custom-built cabinets at their home. Abacus' bond was cancelled effective June 17, 2010.
 
Abacus filed suit against the Wilsons claiming they owed payment for the cabinet project. The Wilsons filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of all claims. The Wilsons claimed that under RCW 18.27, Abacus' failure to maintain a contractor's registration bond barred it from collection on the contract. The trial court denied the Wilsons' motion. The matter was heard on appeal under discretionary review.
 
Under Washington law, if a contractor's bond lapses or is cancelled, the contractor's registration is suspended via RCW 18.27.040(1). Abacus argued that when a contractor's bond is cancelled, action is still required from the Department of Labor & Industries before the suspension becomes effective. The Wilsons, on the other hand, argued that a contractor automatically loses their registration through operation of law, meaning no action by the Department of Labor & Industries is required.
 
The Court held that the plain language of RCW 18.27.040(1) established that no action was required by the Department of Labor & Industries to suspend Abacus' registration. Thus, by virtue of the automatic suspension of its registration, Abacus was barred from pursuing a claim for work in which it engaged in while being unregistered. 

About the Author

John K. Kilpatrick

Associate John earned a Bachelor of Arts from Eckerd College, where he played baseball. John received his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in 2014. Prior to moving to Seattle, John was an Assistant Public Defender in Clearwater, Florida where he was able to get significant trial exper...

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Comments have been disabled.

Contact Us Today

Scheer.Law PLLC will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.