NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Fourth District Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court’s judgement against a contractor by an unpaid material supplier.

Chief Judge James F. McKay III and Judges Terri F. Love and Regina Bartholomew-Woods issued the decision on March 21. The judges found that trial court erred in granting AP Interior’s motion for summary judgement, ruling that notice of nonpayment is required and “genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether proper notice was given.”

The case centers around a construction project on a 549,746 square-foot high-rise building at 225 Barrone St. in New Orleans. Roy Anderson Corporation (RAC), the general contractor on project, subcontracted with Ronald Franks Construction Company LLC (RFC). RFC then subcontracted its work to Coryell County Tradesmen (CTT), which purchased materials for the project from AP Interiors.

The appeal stems from a lien placed on the building by AP Interiors after the project was terminated. RAC used Travelers Casualty and Surety company of America to secure a lien release to free the building’s title. AP Interiors then filed suit against CTT, RFC, National American Insurance Company, RAC and Travelers for the money due, which was $40,236.45

The supplier subsequently filed a motion for summary judgement against RAC and Travelers for the unpaid balance. The contractor and surety appealed, saying the supplier didn’t comply with the Public Works Act’s notice of nonpayment requirements. They also alleged that “genuine issues of material fact remained.”

After a hearing, the trial court found AP’s lien to be valid and granted its motion for summary judgement. RAC and Travelers appealed. In it’s decision to reverse the judgement, the appellate judges agreed that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether notice was given because AP Interiors couldn’t produce evidence to confirm the notice of nonpayment.

“We reverse the judgement of the trial court granting AP’s Motion for Summary Judgement and remand the matter for further proceedings,” the appellate judges said in the decision.

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