Eng’g Group v. Ondeo Degremont

Ondeo Degremont was Miller Brewing’s engineering contractor for a potential wastewater treatment plant. Cosmopolitan Engineering Group was Ondeo’s subcontractor for the plant, and responsible for engineering design and local permitting. Cosmopolitan was not paid, and brought suit against Ondeo, and against Ondeo’s contractor’s registration bond. The trial court awarded Cosmopolitan judgment against Ondeo, but its award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to RCW 18.27.040(6) was limited to the contractor’s bond. RCW 18.27.040(6) provides in pertinent part: The prevailing party in an action filed . . . against the contractor and contractor’s bond . . . is entitled to: reasonable attorneys’ fees.

The Court of Appeals held that a prevailing party under RCW 18.27.040(6) is entitled to attorneys’ fees against both the opposing contractor and its bond, and that the trial court erred in ruling that RCW 18.27.040(6) limits the prevailing party’s attorneys’ fees to the other contractor’s bond only.

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