Miller Act Claims

Under the Miller Act, all federal projects in excess of $150,000 must be bonded. On the payment bond side of the equation, the Miller Act and interpreting case law set forth very specific requirements concerning who may be entitled to payment, what payments may be covered, and when notice or filings may be necessary from a particular party to assert claims against a Miller Act payment bond. If any of the Miller Act deadlines or requirements are not strictly adhered to, a claim may be in jeopardy. Our attorneys’ detailed understandings of the Miller Act’s requirements allow us to cost-effectively assess and evaluate claims in order to assert a payment bond claim to recover monies due and owing to a claimant or, alternatively, to defend a general contractor or surety against a Miller Act bond action.

As a practical matter, Miller Act performance bonds are for the benefit of the government contracting agency. However, general contractors and sureties alike must be cautious to ensure that the government’s reach following a general contractor’s default or termination is limited only to what the bond requires. Shields | Mott attorneys are well-versed in working to maintain the sometimes challenging tri-party relationship and obligations that arise under a Miller Act performance bond claim.

Shields | Mott attorneys are skilled in handling performance bond claims and, where necessary, working in conjunction with experienced engineering and construction consultants to analyze options available to mitigate damages, including negotiations to allow the principal to complete the project, possible contractor financing, re‑letting the work, or even tendering the penal sum of the bond. Throughout the process our focus is on making every effort to minimize the surety’s and principal’s exposure while keeping an eye on their respective potential responsibilities to the governmental obligee.