VB CGC Practice Group

VB CGC Practice Group
Vandeventer Black's Construction and Government Contracts Practice Group focuses on serving our business clients in the construction industry. We currently have offices in Norfolk and Richmond, VA, the OBX and Raleigh, NC, and Hamburg, Germany. For more information about Vandeventer Black, clink on the VB logo.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No Private Cause of Action for Excessive Retainage Withholding, But Subcontractor Does Have Related Contract Claim

In South End Construction, Inc. v. Tom Brunton Masonry, Inc., No. 7:12cv390, Feb. 25, 2013, Judge Turk of the WDVA, Roanoke, held that a subcontractor could not assert a private cause of action for a prime contractor's violation of the Virginia Public Procurement Act's 5% retainage withholding limit.  There is no express private right of action, nor has a Virginia court implied one.  This is similar to the conclusions in other cases addressing the prompt payment aspects of the VPPA.  However, Judge Turk concluded the subcontractor was not without a remedy, and granted the subcontractor leave to amend to address the excessive withholding as a breach of contract claim; not an unexpected result.  The complaint was not available in ECF so why that was not claimed initially in the complaint is unclear.  One would presume the PPA also affords a right of interest on the excessively withheld retainage; particularly given the clearness of the limitation in the VPPA. - nsl

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