Pierce Revisited

In May, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in Pierce Foundations, Inc. v. JaRoy Construction, Inc.1 that a subcontractor in privity of contract with a general contractor did not have to file a lien on a public works contract, in order to preserve its claim against the surety.

The decision was 4-3, with vigorous dissents by Justices Knoll, Guidry, and Hughes. The Court’s rationale has sparked debate about whether the Court had fairly considered all relevant issues prior to reaching this result.

Recently in Gootee Constr., Inc. v. Dale N. Atkins2, the Louisiana Supreme Court granted writs and ordered the Fourth Circuit to reconsider its ruling “in light of” Pierce. This presents an opportunity for the industry to request that the Fourth Circuit reconsider and refuse to apply the Louisiana Supreme Court’s ruling in Pierce.

  1. Pierce Foundations, Inc. v JaRoy Construction, Inc., 2015-0785 (La. 5/3/16), 190 So.3d 298.
  2. Gootee Construction, Inc. v Dale N. Atkins, et al., 2015- 0376 (La. App. 4 Cir. 11/4/15), 178 So.3d 629.

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