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Advanced Resource Solutions, LLC v. Stava Building Corp.

Court of Appeals of Oklahoma, Division II

April 15, 2019

ADVANCED RESOURCE SOLUTIONS, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
STAVA BUILDING CORPORATION, an Oklahoma corporation and MID-CONTINENT CASUALTY COMPANY, Defendants/Third-Party Plaintiffs/Appellees,
v.
MCDERMOTT ELECTRIC, LLC, an Oklahoma limited liability company, Third-Party Defendant.

          Mandate Issued: 05/15/2019

          APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF OKLAHOMA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA HONORABLE DON ANDREWS, TRIAL JUDGE.

          Ronald R. Tracy, RESOLUTION LEGAL GROUP, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Plaintiff/Appellant

          Craig M. Regens, GABLEGOTWALS, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Defendants/Third-Plaintiffs/Appellees

          JERRY L. GOODMAN, JUDGE.

         ¶1 Advanced Resource Solutions, LLC (ARS) appeals an April 3, 2018, order granting summary judgment to Stava Building Corporation (Stava) and Mid-Continent Casualty Company (Mid-Continent). Based on our review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the order under review.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 ARS is a temporary staffing company. On January 15, 2014, ARS and McDermott Electric, LLC (McDermott) entered into a contract for ARS to provide it with temporary laborers, such as licensed apprentice and journeymen electricians, for use on various commercial construction projects. McDermott used these laborers on a Luther-Walmart project (Walmart Project). Stava was the general contractor for the Walmart Project and McDermott was Stava's electrical subcontractor.

         ¶3 On March 29, 2016, ARS filed a petition, asserting it had provided McDermott with laborers for commercial construction on an open account from January of 2015 through June 4, 2015, that it had invoiced McDermott for the labor in the amount of $115, 706.50, and that McDermott had failed to pay for the services. To secure payment, ARS executed and filed with the Oklahoma County Clerk a Mechanic and Materialman's Lien Statement on August 13, 2015, pursuant to 42 O.S.2011 and Supp. 2013, § 143 (ARS Lien). On January 19, 2016, Stava posted a Bond to Discharge Mechanic's Lien, No. 1014148, with Mid-Continent as surety.

         ¶4 Stava and Mid-Continent answered, generally denying the allegations. Stava and Mid-Continent further filed a third-party petition against McDermott, seeking an accounting. [1]

         ¶5 ARS filed a motion for summary judgment on July 25, 2017, asserting that as a temporary staffing company it was entitled to recover from the lien discharge bond as it was a supplier of labor. Thus, it was a proper lien claimant pursuant to Oklahoma's lien statutes. See generally, 42 O.S.2011, § 141 et seq. Stava responded, disputing ARS's assertion. Stava asserted that to come within the scope of the mechanics's lien statute, ARS must have "performed labor." [2] See 42 O.S.2011 and Supp. 2013, § 143.

         ¶6 On January 24, 2018, Stava filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting ARS was a professional employer organization (PEO) and did not "perform labor" as required under the lien statutes. Therefore, ARS, a supplier or provider of labor, was not within the class of persons entitled to assert a mechanics's lien in Oklahoma. ARS disagreed, asserting it was not a PEO but rather a temporary staffing company, as it was the direct employer of the licensed journeymen and apprentice electricians that worked on the Walmart Project. Thus, it was the employer that furnished labor within the meaning of the lien statutes and therefore a proper lien claimant.

         ¶7 By order entered on April 3, 2018, the trial court found that ARS was not within the class of persons entitled to claim a mechanic's lien under the Oklahoma statutes. Accordingly, the court granted Stava's motion for summary ...


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