Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Unpaid subcontractors on Vikings project file liens

By: BridgeTower Media Newswires//May 24, 2018//

Unpaid subcontractors on Vikings project file liens

By: BridgeTower Media Newswires//May 24, 2018//

Listen to this article
Two subcontractors claim they haven’t been paid for the work they did for Lawrence Signs, a contractor on the Minnesota Vikings headquarters project in Eagan. (BridgeTower Media photo by Bill Klotz)
Two subcontractors claim they haven’t been paid for the work they did for Lawrence Signs, a contractor on the Minnesota Vikings headquarters project in Eagan. (BridgeTower Media photo by Bill Klotz)

By Brian Johnson
BridgeTower Media Newswires

Three months after completing work on the Vikings practice facility and headquarters project in Eagan, Minnesota, two subcontractors are suing another contractor on the project, claiming they are still owed a combined $88,000 for their services.

In a mechanic’s lien foreclosure filed in Dakota County, St. Paul-based Infinity Scaffold claims that Lawrence Signs, also of St. Paul, owes the company $52,571 plus interest. Infinity provided scaffolding and “related materials” as a subcontractor to Lawrence Signs on the Vikings project, according to the complaint.

Rosemount, Minnesota-based Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul also is seeking $35,467.50 from Lawrence Signs for hoisting work on the project. Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul provides crane equipment for construction projects.

The CEO of Lawrence Signs declined to comment. A finance and operations manager also declined to comment on Wednesday.

It wasn’t clear in the complaint why Lawrence Signs is behind in its payments to the subcontractors, or if Lawrence Signs itself has been paid in full for its work.

Lester Bagley, executive vice president of public affairs for the Vikings, said he believes the team had a direct contract with Lawrence Signs and that the team is looking into the matter.

Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson, the construction manager on the project, was not named as a defendant in the complaint.

The Vikings moved from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, into their new Eagan headquarters in March. To date, Infinity and Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul have only been paid “modest amounts” for their work on the project, said Jason Tarasek, an attorney with the Edina-based Thompson Tarasek Lee-O’Halloran law firm, which is representing Infinity and Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul.

Lawrence Signs, the Vikings and Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul were named as defendants in the complaint filed by Thompson Tarasek O’Halloran.

A quirk in the state’s mechanic’s lien statute required Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul to be named as a defendant — even as it is seeking payment from Lawrence Signs. The statute requires anyone with an interest in the property to be named as a defendant, Tarasek said.

The Vikings own the property and Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul recorded a mechanic’s lien against the property in the amount of $35,467.50.

Thompson Tarasek Lee-O’Halloran filed the complaint on behalf of Infinity and was hired Tuesday to represent Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul, as well, Tarasek said.

Though Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul was named as a defendant, the company will answer Infinity’s complaint and then assert its own lien foreclosure in an attempt to get paid, Tarasek said.

Infinity and Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul don’t have direct contracts with the Vikings. Even so, as the property owner, the Vikings benefited from the contractors’ work, Tarasek said. “Ultimately, if Lawrence Signs can’t pay, then the Vikings have to pay,” he added.

Tim Harty, vice president of Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul, declined to comment on the complaint except to say that the company expects to be paid for its services.

Curt Smith, an attorney with the Minneapolis firm of Moss & Barnett, said it’s not uncommon for multiple parties seeking payment to be represented by the same attorney, especially in cases where the claims are relatively small.

Smith, who represents the Minnesota Subcontractors Association, said mechanic’s lien foreclosures are more common in a down construction economy.

When the construction economy is strong, such complaints typically arise out of disputes about the quality of the work or change orders, or when the company being sued is having financial difficulties, Smith said.

Both Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul and Infinity Scaffold worked on the Vikings project from November 2017 to February 2018. The work was “satisfactorily performed and was accepted by Lawrence and the Vikings,” according to the complaint.

A subcontractor typically expects to get paid within 30 to 60 days after completing the work, Tarasek said.

Tarasek said a “mechanic’s lien statement” was previously recorded against the property and served upon Lawrence Signs and the Vikings. Infinity recorded a lien statement on April 13 and Vic’s recorded a lien statement on March 12. A mechanic’s lien statement has to be filed within 120 days of completing the work and is usually enough to trigger a payment, Tarasek said.

“We did that and still have not received a payment, so we felt we had to initiate this lawsuit to make sure we get paid,” Tarasek said.

Both contractors seeking payment have worked on big local projects.

Infinity Scaffold’s projects include the Minnesota State Capitol, Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota, and the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, according to its website.

Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul’s projects include U.S. Bank Stadium, the U of M’s Combined Heat & Power Plant, and installation of the 67,000-pound “Minnesota Welcomes You” sign in Stillwater, according to its website.

The 277,000-square-foot Vikings facility was designed by Kansas City-based Crawford Architects and built by Kraus-Anderson. It consolidates team operations and anchors a 200-acre campus at Dodd Road and Lone Oak Parkway. The campus will eventually be developed with up to 1,000 housing units, a hotel and other uses.


Is the labor shortage getting:

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Today’s News

See All Today's News

Project Profiles

See All Project Profiles