On May 24, 2010, Division I of the Washington Court of Appeals held that where two claimants against a specialty contractor’s bond have the same statutory priority, the first of the claimants does not gain priority by being the first to reduce the claim to judgment. The case, Hosea v. Toth, can be viewed here: Download file
In Hosea, two residential owners brought claims against the same specialty contractor, including claims against the contractor’s bond. One owner obtained judgment before the other, and moved to have the entire bond of $6,000 distributed to him based upon the fact he had been the first to obtain judgment on his claim. The trial court agreed. In this decision, the Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the statutory scheme does not sanction such a “race to judgment.” The Court of Appeals did not address how the bond sum should be distributed — per capita or pro rata pursuant to the respective size of each claimant’s claim.