New York Consolidated Laws, State Finance Law - STF § 137. Bond to secure payment of certain claims arising from a public improvement; enforcement
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1. In addition to other bond or bonds, if any, required by law for the completion of a work specified in a contract for the prosecution of a public improvement for the state of New York a municipal corporation, a public benefit corporation or a commission appointed pursuant to law, or in the absence of any such requirement, the comptroller may or the other appropriate official, respectively, shall nevertheless require prior to the approval of any such contract a bond guaranteeing prompt payment of moneys due to all persons furnishing labor or materials to the contractor or any subcontractors in the prosecution of the work provided for in such contract. Whenever a municipal corporation issues a permit subject to compliance with section two hundred twenty of the labor law, such permittee or its contractor or subcontractors furnishing workers shall post a payment bond subject to this section. Provided, however, that all performance bonds and payment bonds may, at the discretion of the head of the state agency, public benefit corporation or commission, or his or her designee, be dispensed with for the completion of a work specified in a contract for the prosecution of a public improvement for the state of New York for which bids are solicited where the aggregate amount of the contract is under one hundred thousand dollars and provided further, that in a case where the contract is not subject to the multiple contract award requirements of section one hundred thirty-five of this article, such requirements may be dispensed with where the head of the state agency, public benefit corporation or commission finds it to be in the public interest and where the aggregate amount of the contract awarded or to be awarded is less than two hundred thousand dollars. Provided further, that in a case where a performance or payment bond is dispensed with, twenty per centum may be retained from each progress payment or estimate until the entire contract work has been completed and accepted, at which time the head of the state agency, public benefit corporation or commission shall, pending the payment of the final estimate, pay not to exceed seventy-five per centum of the amount of the retained percentage.
2. A copy of such payment bond shall be kept in the office of the head of the department or bureau having charge of the public improvement in connection with which the bond was given and a copy shall also be kept in the office of the comptroller or other appropriate official; such copies shall be open to public inspection.
3. Every person who has furnished labor or material, to the contractor or to a subcontractor of the contractor, in the prosecution of the work provided for in the contract and who has not been paid in full therefor before the expiration of a period of ninety days after the day on which the last of the labor was performed or material was furnished by him for which the claim is made, shall have the right to sue on such payment bond in his own name for the amount, or the balance thereof, unpaid at the time of commencement of the action; provided, however, that a person having a direct contractual relationship with a subcontractor of the contractor furnishing the payment bond but no contractual relationship express or implied with such contractor shall not have a right of action upon the bond unless he shall have given written notice to such contractor within one hundred twenty days from the date on which the last of the labor was performed or the last of the material was furnished, for which his claim is made, stating with substantial accuracy the amount claimed and the name of the party to whom the material was furnished or for whom the labor was performed. The notice shall be served by delivering the same personally to the contractor or by mailing the same by registered mail, postage prepaid, in an envelope addressed to the contractor at any place where he maintains an office or conducts his business or at his residence; provided, however, that where such notice is actually received by the contractor by other means, such notice shall be deemed sufficient.
4. (a) A payment bond required pursuant to this section may provide that the place of trial of an action on the bond shall be in the county in which the contract of the contractor who furnished the bond was to be performed or if such contract was to be performed in more than one county, then in any such county, and not elsewhere.
(b) Except as provided in section two hundred twenty-g of the labor law, no action on a payment bond furnished pursuant to this section shall be commenced after the expiration of one year from the date on which the public improvement has been completed and accepted by the public owner.
(c) In any action on a payment bond furnished pursuant to this section, any judgment in favor of a subcontractor or material supplier may include provision for the payment of interest upon the amount recovered from the date when demand for payment was made pursuant to the labor and material payment bond and provided further that the court may determine and award reasonable attorney's fee to either party to such action when, upon reviewing the entire record, it appears that either the original claim or the defense interposed to such claim is without substantial basis in fact or law.
5. (a) The expression “furnishes material” or other similar expression wherever used in this section shall be deemed to include the reasonable rental value for the period of actual use of machinery, tools or equipment, and the value of compressed gases furnished for welding or cutting, and the value of fuel and lubricants consumed by machinery operating on the improvement, or by motor vehicles owned, operated or controlled by the contractor or his subcontractors while engaged exclusively in the transportation of materials to or from the improvement for the purposes thereof.
(b) The expression “moneys due to persons furnishing labor to the contractor or his subcontractors” includes all sums payable to or on behalf of persons furnishing labor to the contractor or his subcontractors, for wages, health, welfare, non-occupational disability, retirement, vacation benefits, holiday pay, life insurance or other benefits, payment of which is required pursuant to the labor law or by the contract in connection with which the bond is furnished or by a collective bargaining agreement between organized labor and the contractor or subcontractor, and which are computed upon labor performed in the prosecution of the contract. A trustee or other person authorized to collect such payments shall have the right to sue on the payment bond in his own name and subject to the same conditions as if he were the person performing the labor upon which such sums are computed.
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