(a) Award of attorneys’ fees and arbitration costs. — If arbitration or litigation is commenced to recover payment due under § 3507 of this title and it is determined that the owner, contractor or subcontractor has failed to comply with the payment terms of § 3507 of this title, the arbitrator or court shall award damages due equal to the amount that is determined by the arbitrator or court to have been wrongfully withheld. An amount shall not be deemed to have been wrongfully withheld to the extent that it bears a reasonable relationship to the value of any disputed amount or claim held in good faith by the owner, contractor or subcontractor against whom the contractor or subcontractor is seeking to recover payment.

Terms Used In Delaware Code Title 6 Sec. 3509

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • real property: is synonymous with the phrase "lands, tenements and hereditaments. See Delaware Code Title 6 Sec. 4307

(b) Absent any agreements to the contrary between the parties, the arbitrator in any arbitration proceeding arising under this chapter shall award to the substantially prevailing party its reasonable attorneys’ fees, arbitration costs and expenses for expert witnesses.

(c) This section shall not apply to:

(1) Public works contracts awarded under Chapter 69 of Title 29;

(2) Contracts for the erection of 6 or fewer residential units which are under construction simultaneously, or for the alteration or repair of any single residential unit; or

(3) Contracts for the purchase of materials by a person performing work on that person’s own real property.

(d) This section shall not apply where the terms of a contract between a general or prime contractor and subcontractor specifies different terms regarding the award of attorney fees and litigation costs in an arbitration or judicial proceeding.

73 Del. Laws, c. 344, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 357, §§ 9, 10.;