“Self-Performed” Does Not Include Labor Sub’s Work

The contractor on a large project engaged laborers through a sub, who may have been a labor broker. The contract allowed a higher fee on “self-performed” work, and the contractor claimed this labor as “self-performed.” But the Nevada Supreme Court has decided otherwise.

Noting that the parties could have defined “self-performed” more broadly in the contract, but did not do so, the court turned to the dictionary. Per Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, noted the court, “[t]he dictionary definition of ‘self-‘ is ‘by oneself or itself.’” Thus, the contractor could charge the higher fee on labor performed by its own employees, but not on labor it may have supervised which was performed by a labor-only sub. The case is Westgate Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, LLC v. Tutor-Saliba Corp., 2017 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 320 (May 5, 2017), available here.