Update (October 2, 2012): If at first you don’t succeed, tile, tile again. Unfortunately for the terrazzo mechanics, however, a third (and final) Court has more or less told them to pound sand.
Original post (August 29, 2011): Pictured here is some handiwork of terrazzo mechanics. Some terrazzo mechanics performed their work for Affordable Granite & Stone (“AGS”), ultimately for the benefit of the Minneapolis Convention Center and the City of Minneapolis in mid-2008 to early 2009.
AGS got the contract with the city and, in connection with that, AGS promised to pay its workers the “prevailing wage.” For this kind of work, plaintiff Oscar Caldas and fellow plaintiffs claim a prevailing wage of $44.31/hour but AGS actually paid them $16.28/hour (the City agrees with the mechanics as to the prevailing wage (see linked Opinion at ftn. 2)). So Caldas and colleagues sued AGS, of course (they were paid, after all, about a third of what they believe they were owed if AGS had complied with the city’s prevailing wage ordinance).
AGS told the terrazzo mechanics to pound sand, one might say. The trial court (Hennepin County District Court Judge George F. McGunnigle) undoubtedly explained its decision more eloquently but its ruling had the same upshot and the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.
The petition for review by the Minnesota Supreme Court of the mechanics, represented by the Miller O’Brien Cummins firm, was granted this past week.
Whether the Supreme Court is interested in plaintiffs’ “unjust enrichment” theory of recovery or their “third party beneficiary” theory is unknown but the mechanics and their counsel are undoubtedly relieved that the Supreme Court has found something worthy of inquiry in their case…