Lexology has posted a nice article regarding the jurisdiction of claims that are brought by contractors. In this particular case, the subcontractor brought a suit against the federal government for payments not made. The defense to this was that the government did not have a contract with the subcontractor, but instead had a contract against the general contractor. Thus, the jurisdiction was not proper.
So, what should a subcontractor do if they have a surety bond claim against their performance? There are several things: 1) put a lien on the property timely; 2) see if the general has a payment bond and make a claim on that bond; and 3) be sure that the general is solvent.
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Federal Circuit court affirms that federal claims court lacks jurisdiction over claims by Subcontractor