Thanks to Rob Pitkin (@KCconstrlawyer) for calling my attention through Twitter to a recent Miller Act decision out of Louisiana Eastern District federal court: Contracting King, Inc. v. Creek Services, LLC.
There is nothing ground breaking about this decision, but it does contain a nice long discussion of the Miller Act’s statute of limitation. In case you don’t know about the Miller Act’s time limitations, read all about the Miller Act on our blog, or take a look at the court’s explanation here:
An action brought under 40 U.S.C. § 3133, “must be brought no later than one year after the day on which the last of the labor was performed or material was supplied by the person bringing the action.” § 3133(b)(4).
(Remember too that certain parties must also file a Notice of Miller Act Claim within 90 days of last furnishing labor and/or materials).
But knowing this 1-year requirement is only half the battle. You must also understand what starts the 1-year clock, or in other words, what the law means by “last of the labor was performed or material was supplied.” Does that include warranty work? punchlist work? off-site project close-out work? The Contracting King court explains:
The majority of circuits that have addressed this issue have held that remedial or corrective work or materials, or inspection of work already completed, falls outside the meaning of ‘labor’ or ‘material’ under [the statute of limitations]. Citing U.S. v. International Fidelity Ins. Co., 200 F.3 456, 459 (6th Cir. 2000).