KAY AND KAY CONTRACTING, LLC v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (Tenn. Ct. App. June 25, 2010)
Kay and Kay Contracting, LLC ("Contractor") entered into a contract with the Tennessee Department of Transportation ("TDOT") to build a bridge in Campbell County, Tennessee. Contractor subsequently entered into a subcontract with Whitley County Stone, LLC ("Subcontractor") to provide the excavation and grading work on the project. Subcontractor does not have a written contract with TDOT.
Both Contractor and Subcontractor filed claims with the Claims Commission alleging they were owed money by TDOT. Subcontractor was dismissed as a party because it did not have a written contract with TDOT, as required by Tenn. Code Ann. section 9-8-307(a)(1)(L). The Commissioner, however, determined that Contractor was allowed to prosecute Subcontractor's claim as a "pass-through" claim. The sole issue on this interlocutory appeal is whether Tenn. Code Ann. section 9-8-307(a)(1)(L) removes the State's sovereign immunity such that Contractor can assert a "pass-through" claim against TDOT on Subcontractor's behalf. We conclude that sovereign immunity from such a claim is not removed, and we reverse the judgment of the Claims Commission.
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