Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reverses Superior Court, Rules Union Benefit Fund Lacks Standing to File Mechanics’ Lien on Property

Client Advisory masthead new logo 2

 www.archerlaw.com                                                                                                          April 2014

 

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reverses Superior Court, Rules Union Benefit Fund Lacks Standing to File Mechanics’ Lien on Property

 

In 2011, an en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that trustees of a union benefit fund can bring claims under the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law. Bricklayers of Western Pennsylvania Combined Funds, Inc. v. Scott’s Dev. Co., et al. This case potentially made owners liable for their contractors’ failure to pay union pension and benefit payments.

 

On April 17, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, reversed the Superior Court, holding that the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law only allows contractors and subcontractors to file mechanics’ liens and the trustees were neither contractors nor subcontractors. The Court held that the Mechanics’ Lien Law should be construed in conformance with its language and not expanded to allow additional lien rights where not expressly provided in the law.

 

The Superior Court decision had been interpreted as a dramatic change in Pennsylvania mechanics’ lien law. The Supreme Court’s reversal restores the law to the general understanding of Pennsylvania mechanics’ lien law prior to the 2011 opinion that only contractors and subcontractors can file mechanics’ liens in Pennsylvania.

 

If you have questions about or would like to discuss the Bricklayers case or a related matter, please contact J. Bradford McIlvain, Esq., of Archer’s Construction & Real Estate Practice Groupat (215) 246-3152 or jmcilvain@archerlaw.com, or any member of the Group  at any of our offices listed below.

 

DISCLAIMER: This client advisory is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal or tax advice, and may not be used and relied upon as a substitute for legal or tax advice regarding a specific issue or problem. Advice should be obtained from a qualified attorney or tax practitioner licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where that advice is sought. 

 

Quick Links

Haddonfield, NJ 856.795.2121   Flemington, NJ 908.788.9700      Wilmington, DE 302.777.4350 

Princeton, NJ 609.580.3700       Philadelphia, PA 215.963.3300    Georgetown, DE 302.858.5151 

Hackensack, NJ 201.342.6000   Red Bank, NJ 732.268.8000      New York, NY 212.292.4998