Thomas G. Heintzman, O.C., Q.C., FCIArb

A Subcontractor Recovers Against The Owner In Unjust Enrichment

A subcontractor who fails to register a construction lien faces an uphill battle in asserting a claim in unjust enrichment against the owner. That is because the owner will rely upon its contract with the contractor for any benefit that the owner has obtained from the subcontractor’s work. The owner will also assert that there […]

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Is The Charge Or Lien Against The Holdback Separate From The Lien Against The Land?

Summary In the recent decision in Brook Construction (2007) Inc. v. Blackwood Contractors Ltd, the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal held that the charge against the holdback under s.12(5) of the Newfoundland and Labrador Mechanics’ Lien Act (the NL Act) is the same as, and “parasitic” to, the lien against the land. Accordingly, since […]

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Contract Claim In Lien Action May Be Continued Even If Not Set Down Within Two Years: Saskatchewan Court Of Appeal

Summary In Livingston v. Span West Farms Ltd, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal recently held that, when a lien claimant includes a claim for contract monies owing and remaining unpaid, but fails to set the lien action down for trial within the statutory period – so that the lien portion of the action must be […]

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Trust Fund Obligations Continue After A Lien Bond Is Filed: Supreme Court Of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its highly anticipated decision in Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structal Heavy Steel. The court has held that the trust fund obligations on a construction project did not terminate when the contractor filed a bond in respect of the subcontractor’s lien. This decision is of fundamental importance […]

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Are There Exclusive and Inclusive Definitions Of “Improvement” In The Lien Statutes?

The Saskatchewan Queen’s Bench recently considered the definition of the word “improvement” in the Builders’ Lien Act of Saskatchewan. In Propak Systems Ltd. v. Grey Owl Engineering Ltd., that court held that the lien statutes of some provinces, like British Columbia, contain “inclusive” definitions and others, like Saskatchewan’s, contain an “exclusive” definition that also requires […]

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