COVID-19 AND THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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Not Even Theme Parks Are Immune to Construction Liens

The mechanics’ lien is a contractor’s most powerful tool for obtaining owed payment for work or materials provided. This tool is so powerful, in fact, that it is currently causing trouble for one of Florida’s largest theme parks. In this brief article, we discuss the lengths a Winter Park construction firm is going to in pursuit of missed payments. If you are in a similar situation, remember that the Orlando construction lawyers with Cotney Construction Law can assist you no matter who your legal opponent is. 

Falling on Hard Times 

The construction industry took a hard hit from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic but perhaps not as much as the theme park industry. Following the initial spread of the virus, SeaWorld was forced to shut down and furlough the majority of its employees. As unfortunate as this situation may be, it does not excuse SeaWorld from missing payments for completed work. 

Related: What You Should Know About Filing a Mechanics Lien in Florida

As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, a Winter Park construction firm has filed liens against SeaWorld for three completed construction projects totaling nearly $225,000. The construction firm alleges that they are owed $175,390 after finishing work on the largest of the three projects, a beach bar at SeaWorld’s Aquatica Orlando water park. SeaWorld has stated, “We have communicated to them that during the temporary closures in which 90% of our employees are furloughed, payments may be delayed. We have every intent to fulfill our obligations and will work individually with them to address concerns.” 

This isn’t the only time SeaWorld has missed payments. As of the time of this writing, the theme park is being sued in San Diego, CA, for missed payments on a new roller coaster. It’s easy to sympathize with SeaWorld’s situation. They weren’t the only company to be blindsided by the pandemic. But construction firms are nonetheless entitled to payments for work completed or materials provided, regardless of external circumstances. It seems like the Winter Park construction firm had little choice but to utilize the industry’s most tried-and-true method for obtaining owed payment. 

Related: Perfecting a Lien in Florida

No Matter the Opposition

The above-mentioned construction firm will be facing a powerful legal opponent. Fortunately, the law is on their side. Florida’s mechanic lien laws protect contractors in the event that an owner is unable to meet their payment obligations as specified by the construction contract. We hope that the above situation resolves itself to the satisfaction of both parties, but we’re happy to see a construction firm exercising their rights when they need to. If your company is in a situation that may require you to file a mechanic’s lien, consult an Orlando construction lawyer for assistance. 

If you would like to speak with an Orlando construction lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.