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Companion Property & Casualty Ins. Co. v. Apex Service, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

December 29, 2014

COMPANION PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE CO., Plaintiff,
v.
APEX SERVICE, INC., et al., Defendant

For COMPANION PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff: Cynthia E. Rodgers-Waire, LEAD ATTORNEY, WRIGHT, CONSTABLE & SKEEN, Baltimore, MD; Robert W. Hesselbacher, Jr., WRIGHT, CONSTABLE & SKEEN, LLP, Baltimore, MD.

For APEX SERVICE INC, Defendant: Leonard Arthur Sacks, LEAD ATTORNEY, LEONARD A SACKS & ASSOCIATES, P.C., Rockville, MD.

For GRAYBAR ELECTRIC COMPANY INC, Defendant: Paul Michael Schrader, LEAD ATTORNEY, FULLERTON & KNOWLES, Clifton, VA.

For BRANCH GROUP INC, Defendant: Miltiadis N. Theologou, LEAD ATTORNEY, SILVERMAN THEOLOGOU, LLP, North Bethesda, MD.

LAWRENCE D SCOTT, Defendant, Pro se, Washington, DC.

REGINALD THOMAS, Defendant, Pro se, Oxon Hill, MD.

Page 213

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD W. ROBERTS, Chief United States District Judge.

Companion Property & Casualty Insurance Co. (" Companion" ) filed a complaint and action of interpleader to determine the proper distribution of the proceeds of payment bond number 00010501 (the " Payment Bond" ) among Apex Service, Inc. (" Apex" ) and all other potential claimants. Compl. at 4, 7, 10. The matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Alan Kay, who issued a report and recommendation finding that Companion should be discharged from the action, Companion should receive attorneys' fees and costs, and the remaining sum of the Payment Bond should be disbursed to Apex. Report and Recommendation (" R& R" ) at 16. Because no party has objected to the report and recommendation, Companion appropriately filed this action of interpleader as a disinterested

Page 214

stakeholder, the recommended award of fees and costs is fair, and Apex is the sole remaining interpleader defendant, Magistrate Judge Kay's recommendations will be adopted.[1]

BACKGROUND

Apex entered into a construction contract with the District of Columbia Department of Real Estate Services, Contracting and Procurement Division for expansion of the Emergency Operations Center at the Unified Communication Center. R& R at 2. Apex then entered into a subcontract with Niyyah Electrical Contractors, LLC (" Niyyah" ) to furnish labor, materials, and equipment for certain electrical work on the project. Id. As a condition of the subcontract, and under D.C. Code § 2-201.01, on August 1, 2011, Niyyah obtained the Payment Bond from Companion with a total value of $289,972.00.[2] Id. at 2-3.

On March 29, 2012, Apex terminated Niyyah's subcontract as a result of a dispute that arose regarding performance of Niyyah's subcontract work, payment of laborers, and payment for certain equipment, materials, and supplies. Id. at 3. Apex asserted a claim against the Payment Bond as a result of payments it made to Niyyah employees, subcontractors, and suppliers for work completed or materials provided prior to the subcontract's termination. Id. Companion also received claims from a number of sub-subcontractors and suppliers. Id.

Because of multiple outstanding and anticipated claims against the Payment Bond totaling at least $499,534.18, Companion requested an order for interpleader and deposited the value of the Payment Bond in the Court's registry. Id. at 10. Companion also asked that the defendants be enjoined from bringing an action against it under the Payment Bond. Id.

Branch Group, Inc. t/a Rexel (" Branch" ) filed an answer to the complaint on May 1, 2013, claiming it is owed $38,300.42 for " outstanding invoices incurred by Niyyah[.]" Branch Answer at 5. Additionally, Lawrence D. Scott, a former Niyyah employee, filed a pro se motion for unpaid wages on January 10, 2014, seeking approximately $14,500.00[3] of the Payment Bond funds. Scott Mot. Unpaid Wages at 1. On December 26, 2013, Companion and Apex filed a stipulation agreeing that Companion should be discharged from liability under the Payment Bond, that Companion should be reimbursed $12,000.00 for attorneys' fees and expenses, and that Apex should be awarded the remainder of the Payment Bond funds. Companion & Apex Stipulation at 1. The magistrate judge found ...


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