SHB Victory in Kansas for Bank of Nova Scotia
Judge Jack Lively recently ruled in favor of SHB client Bank of Nova Scotia (Toronto) in a hotly contested lien priority battle in Kansas state court against Suitt Construction Company (South Carolina). Suitt claimed its multi-million dollar mechanic's lien had priority over the Bank's mortgage lien on the former Future Beef Operations beef processing plant in Arkansas City, Kansas. The victory is the result of a two week trial and the advocacy of Ron Bodinson and Jerrod Westfahl of the Overland Park office. The firm represented the Bank on the lien priority claims through three title insurance companies (Commonwealth, First American and Lawyers Title) and jointly with the Willkie Farr firm on in personam claims against the Bank. Suitt argued that its lien had priority because its off-site design work in 1999 constituted "commencement of work" under Kansas' mechanic's lien statute. That issue and a torrent of other claims and defenses were presented via bench trial last summer in Winfield, Kansas.