Maxwell Masonry Restoration & Cleaning LLC v. North Ridge Construction Inc
Maxwell Masonry Restoration & Cleaning LLC v. North Ridge Construction Inc., 2022 UT App 109 (Tenney, J.)
A general contractor hired a subcontractor. After the project was completed, the subcontractor sued the general contractor, asserting four causes of action and asking for $251,000 in damages. The general contractor filed two counterclaims, asking for $16,000 in damages. After a bench trial, the court found in favor of the subcontractor on one claim and awarded it $18,000 of the $251,000 it sought. It found in favor of the general contractor on its counterclaim and awarded it $16,000. The general contractor asked for attorney fees, arguing that it was the prevailing party. The district court denied the motion. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed, holding:
- The general contractor was the comparative victor. It was successful on 46% of its claims, whereas the subcontractor was only successful on 7% of its claims. While the parties recovered similar amounts, the subcontractor failed to recover on a much higher percentage of its claims.
- The general contractor also had several victories—through motion work—throughout the case that diminished the subcontractor’s claims.