Hill v. American Surety Co. - 200 U.S. 197 (1906)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hill v. American Surety Co., 200 U.S. 197 (1906)
Hill v. American Surety Company of New York
Submitted November 3, 1905
Decided January 2, 1906
200 U.S. 197
The Act of August 13, 1894, 28 Stat. 278, was passed, as its title declares, for the protection of persons furnishing materials and labor for the construction of public works, and nothing in the statute, or in the bond therein authorized, limits the right of recovery to those furnishing material or labor to the contractor directly; but all persons supplying the contractor with labor or materials in the prosecution of the work are to be protected.
The rule which permits a surety to stand upon his strict legal rights does not prevent a construction of the bond with a view to determining the fair scope and meaning of the contract.
Such statutes are to be liberally interpreted and not to be literally construed so as to defeat the purpose of the legislature.
Under the circumstances of this case, a materialman who had complied with the provisions of the statute as to filing notice was entitled to recover from the surety company on a bond given under the statute although the materials were furnished to a subcontractor and not directly to the contractor.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.