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Richard J. Lambert was named by Best Lawyers® as a 2021 Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year.”

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Trenton fined for 2-year past due invoice

With the state of the economy seemingly forever in flux, it can be a challenge for some businesses to stay afloat. This is not made any easier when those you do business with renege on their agreements. A breach of contract can be harmful for all involved and remedying such matters can be both costly and time-consuming. In a recent case in New Jersey, Trenton has been fined for not settling debts with a paving contractor.

In January 2012, Jonico Construction submitted an invoice for sidewalk repairs carried out in 2011. However, the city lacked sufficient funds, and the payment never materialized. Trenton had originally been awarded a grant of $1.8 million to cover three street projects. However, the city’s failure to meet the Federal Highway Administration’s reporting requirements lost them the money.

The company in turn was left indebted to its suppliers and one of its co-owners was forced to sell his equipment in order to cover the costs. Lack of income ultimately led to the closure of the firm, which filed a lawsuit against the city of Trenton for $98,000. Finally, in February 2014, the contractor was paid. A judge later awarded a further $9,276 as interest on the unpaid invoice.

Although this New Jersey firm received its payment in the end, the repercussions are apparent. The time taken to reclaim the lost income did not merely harm the firm, but ultimately resulted in its closure. If your business is threatened by another’s breach of contract, or if you are planning to enter into a contractual agreement, an attorney’s advice could be invaluable. With their guidance, you can greatly increase your chance of protecting your business and your interests.

Source: NJ.com, “Trenton ordered to pay extra fines to paving company for long overdue invoice,” Jenna Pizzi, May 17, 2014

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