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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:To build the Corpus Christi Crosswinds Apartments, L&T, J.V. (called “Lamar”), as general contractor, entered into three subcontracts with Cesar Gonzalez. One contract was for framing, one was for drywall installation and one was for roofing. Lamar posted a payment bond on the contracts with Reliance National Indemnity Co. Gonzalez then contracted with Advance’d Temporaries to provide temporary employees for the project. All the employees Advance’d provided to Gonzalez had been hired and screened by Advance’d, and they were carried on Advance’d's workers’ compensation, general liability and unemployment insurance. Advance’d sent invoices to Gonzalez but would pay the employees itself. Gonzalez abruptly ended his work on the project when his relationship with Lamar deteriorated. Lamar paid Gonzalez for all outstanding work. Gonzalez paid Advance’d some of what it owed but left more than $208,000 outstanding. When Advance’d's attempts to make a claim against the payment bond were unsuccessful, it filed suit for the outstanding balance. The trial court rendered judgment for Advance’d against Gonzalez but not against Crosswinds, Lamar or Reliance. On appeal, Advance’d challenges the trial court’s conclusion of law that Advance’d “is not a person entitled to the benefits of the mechanic’s lien statutes,” found in Property Code Ch. 53. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. Under 53.021, a person has a lien if “(1) the person labors, specifically fabricates material, or furnishes labor or materials for construction or repair,” and “(2) the person labors, specially fabricates the material, or furnishes the labor or materials under or by virtue of a contract with the owner or the owner’s agent, trustee, receiver, contractor, or subcontractor.” The court notes that the statute is not designed to protect only subcontractors. It is to be liberally construed to protect laborers and materialmen, as well. A materialman’s right to recover is not dependent on the status of the accounts between the general contractor and the subcontractor. Similarly, the status of those accounts should not dictate to the rights of one who furnishes labor. To do so would deprive those people of substantial and certain benefits that the lien statutes are designed to provide. The court refuses to interpret 53.021 to require that every lien claimant be engaged in the business of construction in order to recover. Instead, the court holds that Chapter 53 affords protection to those who furnish labor as well as those who actually labor on construction projects. Not every arrangement with a temporary employment agency will rise to the level of furnishing labor as defined by Chapter 53. That’s because some arrangements will be purely administrative. The court announces seven factors a court should consider when determining whether Advance’d furnished labor on the Crosswinds project: “(1) the temporary employment agency’s involvement in selecting and screening the workers for hire; (2) the use by the agency of its own criteria for hiring the workers; (3) affirmative representations by the agency to the workers that it is their employer; (4) the nature of documentation exchanged between the workers and the agency at the start of the working relationship; (5) the agency’s involvement in training, supervising, and disciplining the workers and otherwise retaining control over the workers or directing their behavior; (6) whether the agency rather than the contractor determined which workers could be terminated; and (7) whether the agency withheld workers rather than services on nonpayment by the contractor.” Applying those factors here, the court concludes that Advance’d furnished labor and is entitled to recover under the mechanic’s lien statutes. OPINION:Castillo, J.; Yanez, Castillo and Garza, JJ.

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