551 F.2d 1284 (D.C. Cir. 1977), 75-2199, United States for and on Behalf of Bd. of Trustees of Nat. Automatic Sprinkler Industry Pension Fund v. J. W. Bateson Co., Inc.

Docket Nº:75-2199.
Citation:551 F.2d 1284
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America for and on Behalf of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF the NATIONAL AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER INDUSTRY PENSION FUND et al. v. J. W. BATESON COMPANY, INC., et al., Appellants.
Case Date:January 28, 1977
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
 
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Page 1284

551 F.2d 1284 (D.C. Cir. 1977)

UNITED STATES of America for and on Behalf of the BOARD OF

TRUSTEES OF the NATIONAL AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER

INDUSTRY PENSION FUND et al.

v.

J. W. BATESON COMPANY, INC., et al., Appellants.

No. 75-2199.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

January 28, 1977

Argued Dec. 9, 1976.

Rehearing Denied Feb. 16, 1977.

Certiorari Granted June 27, 1977.

See 97 S.Ct. 2971.

Page 1285

Henry J. Capello, Washington, D. C., for appellants.

Donald J. Capuano, Washington, D. C., for appellees, Board of Trustees of the National Automatic Sprinkler Industry Pension Fund, et al. Glenn V. Whitaker, Washington, D. C., was on the brief for appellees.

Before WRIGHT and ROBB, Circuit Judges and GESELL, [*] United State District Judge for the District Court for the District of Columbia.

Opinion for the Court filed by District Judge GESELL.

Concurring opinion filed by Circuit Judge WRIGHT.

GESELL, District Judge:

This case arises under the Miller Act, 40 U.S.C. §§ 270a et seq., and involves the scope of the payment bond which prime contractors are obliged to provide as surety for work done on federal construction. The District Court, Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., granted summary judgment on plaintiffs' claim against a Miller Act bond executed by defendant J. W. Bateson Co., Inc., which now appeals. We affirm.

The material facts are not in dispute. In August, 1971, Bateson contracted with the United States to build an addition to the Howard University Hospital. In accordance with the Miller Act, Bateson filed with the Government a payment bond for the protection of those furnishing labor or materials to the project. Bateson, as prime contractor, subcontracted with Pierce Associates for some of the work specified in the main contract. Pierce, in turn, contracted with the Colquitt Sprinkler Co., Inc. for part of this work, the installation of a sprinkler system as required by the contract specifications. Colquitt then signed a collective bargaining agreement covering its workers on the job with the National Sprinkler and Fire Control Association, and Local 669 of that union. Due to financial difficulties Colquitt failed to turn over to the union both fringe benefit funds and union dues which it had withheld from wages of workers on the job, as required by its agreement with the union. The union trustees thereafter notified Bateson they were filing a claim against the Miller Act payment bond for the money owing. When payment was refused suit was brought in the District Court.

The Miller Act, enacted in 1935, requires all Government contractors to execute a payment bond "for the protection of all persons supplying labor and material in the prosecution of the work provided for" in a Government...

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