In poker, you have to play the cards you are dealt, but, if you have a bad hand, you can fold. In litigation, if you do not have a strong argument, you should negotiate a settlement, but that is not always possible because the opposing party’s demands may be so unreasonable that you might as well go to trial and see what happens. It is at those times where an attorney might attempt to get creative. Recently, our Appellate Court upheld a trial court decision that held a surety liable on both a payment bond and a mechanic’s lien substitution bond despite the nine special defenses that it raised. See O & G Indus. v. Am. Home Assur. Co., 204 Conn. App. 614 (2021). Some of these special defenses were novel, and, as a result, this decision gives us some greater insight into lien and bond claims.
In O & G Indus. v. Am. Home Assur. Co., the plaintiff brought an action against a surety that had issued both the subject project’s payment bond and a bond that was substituted for the plaintiff’s mechanic’s lien. Id. By way of brief background,