"A Good and Sufficient Bond..."
By John Parnass
Under RCW 39.08.010, owners in public works jobs must require the contractor to purchase and maintain "a good and sufficient bond" from a surety to guarantee payment of labor, materials and services on the project. If the owner fails to comply with this obligation, it is liable "to the full extent and for the full amount of all such debts so contracted by such contractor." RCW 39.08.015. What impact does the current credit crisis have on the operation of this statute? Is a surety company providing a "good and sufficient bond" when that surety's A.M Best rating is itself potentially unreliable? In this current case, the plaintiff filed this opposition to a proposed bond from Western Surety (a subsidiary of CNA Surety) on the ground that nobody really knows if the surety is solvent or if it's "stale" Best's rating still holds water.