52-141. Surety bond; notice recorded; no lien attaches to real estate; bond, requirements; copy to claimant; action against surety.

(1) A lien does not attach to the real estate on behalf of any claimant claiming through a particular prime contractor if the owner or the prime contractor has procured from a surety company authorized to do business in this state a bond meeting the requirements of this section and has recorded a notice of surety bond.

(2) The bond must obligate the surety company, to the extent of the penal sum of the bond, to pay all sums due to construction lien claimants other than the prime contractor for services and materials supplied pursuant to the contract under which the lien would otherwise arise.

(3) The penal sum of the bond shall be not less than:

(a) Fifty percent of the contract price, if the prime contract price is not more than one million dollars;

(b) Forty percent of the contract price, if the prime contract price is more than one million dollars and not more than five million dollars;

(c) Two million, five hundred thousand dollars, if the prime contract price is more than five million dollars.

(4) The person procuring the bond shall furnish on request a true copy at cost of reproduction to any claimant and is liable to the requesting claimant for any damages caused by failure, without justification, to furnish a copy.

(5) A claimant may not recover under the bond provided for in this section unless he or she:

(a) Institutes suit against the surety within one year after the completion of his or her performance or within any longer period of time permitted by the terms of the bond; and

(b) If he or she is a claimant not having a direct contract relationship with the prime contractor, within ninety days after completion of his or her performance gives the prime contractor written notice of the amount due.

(6) A claimant having a claim under the bond may proceed directly against the surety. A judicial proceeding on the bond may be maintained separately from and without bringing a judicial proceeding against the prime contractor and without complying with the notice and recording procedures of sections 52-125 to 52-159. In any judicial proceeding brought on the bond the court shall award to the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.

(7) The obligation of a surety under this section is not affected by any change or modification of the contract between the prime contractor and the contracting owner, but the total liability of the surety may not exceed the penal sum of the bond.

Source:Laws 1981, LB 512, ยง 17.