When a homeowners sues a subcontractor for damage caused by the defective waterproofing work on retaining walls that the subcontractor installed, is it a complete answer for the subcontractor to say that it did exactly what the general contractor told them to do (regardless of what the standard of care is) and that the general contractor was satisfied with its work when it finished the job? A recent case holds that it is not.


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A recent California appellate court decision held that an employee of a subcontractor on a public works project has no right to recover a prevailing wage underpayment from the prime contractor. (See Violante v. Communities Southwest Development and Construction Company, (April 17, 2006, E037333) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ [06 C.D.O.S. 3209].) In Violante, the plaintiffs were employed by a subcontractor on a master planned community development with 2000 residences and many public improvements. Plaintiffs’ alleged that they were not paid prevailing wages for their work by their direct employer, the subcontractor, and brought suit against the general contractor.
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