It’s been a rollercoaster. But the ride appears to be over.
In United Riggers & Erectors, Inc. v. Coast Iron & Steel Co., Case No. S231549 (May 14, 2018), the California Supreme Court addressed whether a direct contractor can withhold payment from a subcontractor based on the “good faith dispute” exception of the state’s prompt payment laws if the “dispute” concerns any dispute between the parties or whether the dispute must be directly relevant to the specific payment that would otherwise be due.
California’s Prompt Payment Laws
California has a number of construction-related prompt payment laws scattered throughout the state’s Civil Code, Public Contracts Code and Business and Professions Code. Their application depends on the type of construction involved, whether public or private; the type of payment involved, whether a progress payment or retention; and who is paying, whether it’s a private owner, public entity, direct contractor, or subcontractor.