Justice Elizabeth H. Emerson


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Plaintiff entered into a subcontract with Wenger Construction in connection with an ice rink expansion in Town of Huntington. Plaintiff alleged Wenger and Town owed it nearly $148,000 for work performed. The complaint against Wenger was dismissed as time-barred. Town moved for summary judgment dismissal arguing plaintiff could not maintain quantum meruit or unjust enrichment claims against it. The court agreed stating where there was an express contract between a general contractor and subcontractor, the premises’ owner could not be held directly liable to subcontractor on the theory of implied or quasi-contract unless owner assented to such obligation. It ruled there was no privity of contract between plaintiff and Town, as the contract was between plaintiff and Wenger. Despite plaintiff’s assertions, the subcontract with Wenger barred any claims against Town sounding in quantum meruit or unjust enrichment as the record did not reflect Town expressed a willingness to pay plaintiff. The court ruled plaintiff’s reliance on General Municipal Law §106-b was misplaced as it did not create a private cause of action or impose liability on public owners for their, or their contractor’s failure to comply therewith. Hence, the complaint was dismissed against Town.