Pa. High Court Says Unions Can't Push Claims Under Lien Law

Law360, Philadelphia (April 18, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the state’s mechanics’ lien law does not allow trustees of union benefit funds to bring claims for nonpayment as subcontractors against employers and owners, reversing a Superior Court decision that favored two western Pennsylvania unions.

All six justices who heard the case in 2013 disagreed with the liberal interpretation of the Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 that an en banc Superior Court panel supported, concluding that unions and benefit fund trustees do not qualify as subcontractors as a result of collective bargaining agreements with employers.

“Although the 1963 Act is intended to protect...

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