Subcontractor sues for payment on Baton Rouge casino project

A suite of subcontractor liens relating to construction of Baton Rouge’s L’Auberge Casino and Hotel has the casino’s owner, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, pointing a finger at the project’s general contractor, Manhattan Construction Company. Four subcontractors have filed liens ranging between $33,500 and $2.3 million for payment of services rendered prior to completion of the $368 million complex.

One of the lien claimants, Roswell Drywall, recently filed suit against the casino owner and the general contractor. The construction litigation seeks to recoup costs and attorney fees along with more than $618,000 in claims for unpaid work. The drywall company says that the general contractor refuses to make payment even though the company performed satisfactory work on the project.

The three other companies that filed liens were involved in construction of casino buildings and work related to mooring and mud removal for casino barges. The casino owner directed questions toward the general contractor, but the contractor could not immediately be reached for comment.

As a general rule, Louisiana construction law requires subcontractors to file a lien for non-payment within 60 days of project completion. Failure to file in a timely fashion may result in a forfeiture of lien rights. A valid lien remains in effect for one year and failure to take action to enforce the lien within that time can jeopardize a subcontractor’s right to file a lawsuit.

In order to be valid, a lien must conform to certain legal requirements. Because time is of the essence when it comes to perfecting lien rights, Louisiana contractors would do well to act quickly if they are not paid promptly after completion of a project. Legal counsel with experience in construction law can help make certain that a lien filing meets the requirements of state law and preserves a contractor’s right to fair payment.

Source: The Advocate, “Liens filed against BR casino L’Auberge,” Ted Griggs, Oct. 31, 2012