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Mar 31, 2015

Judgment Obtained for Clients in Mechanic's Lien Case

Following a bench trial in St. Louis County, Missouri, Baker Sterchi received a judgment in favor of its clients, Allen Edmonds and Plaza Frontenac, a large upscale shopping mall. The case involved unique issues of law relating to the ability of subcontractors providing tenant improvements to an individual store to be able to assert mechanic’s liens on the entire mall. The parties stipulated that the work of both lien claimants was in conformance with the contract and that while Allen Edmonds paid the contractor, the contractor did not in turn pay the lien claimants.  The case turned on Baker Sterchi’s defense that the scope and extent of the work performed by the claimants did not substantially and permanently benefit the mall owner.  Consequently, the liens were improper and should be denied.  After considering the evidence, the Court found in favor of Baker Sterchi’s clients and found the lien claims to be null and void because the work was not of a “substantial and permanent” improvement to the mall owner.