1311.15 Superiority of liens - assignment - direct payment of claim of subcontractor, materialman or laborer.

(A) The lien of a subcontractor is superior to any already taken or to be taken by the original contractor in respect of the same labor, work, or material, and the liens of laborers, material suppliers, and subcontractors to an original contractor or subcontractor, are superior to any lien already taken or to be taken by such original contractor or subcontractor indebted to them in respect of such labor, work, or material. An assignment or transfer by the original contractor or subcontractor, of the contract with the owner or original contractor, as well as all proceedings in attachment, or otherwise, against the original contractor or subcontractor, to subject or encumber the original contractor's or subcontractor's interest in such contract, is subject to the claims of every laborer, subcontractor, or material supplier who performs any labor or work or furnishes any material in furtherance of any improvement in accordance with this chapter.

(B)

(1) An owner, part owner, lessee, or public authority may pay directly the claim of any subcontractor or material supplier who serves a notice of furnishing pursuant to section 1311.05 or 1311.261 of the Revised Code, or the claim of any laborer. If the owner, part owner, lessee, or public authority pays such claim, the owner, part owner, lessee, or public authority has a right to a setoff or credit, in an amount equal to the amount paid, against the original contractor or principal contractor who employed the subcontractor, material supplier, or laborer paid by the owner, part owner, lessee, or public authority under division (B)(1) of this section.

(2) A principal contractor, an original contractor, or a subcontractor may pay directly the claim of any subcontractor or material supplier who serves a notice of furnishing pursuant to section 1311.05 or 1311.261 of the Revised Code, or the claim of any laborer. A principal contractor, original contractor, or subcontractor who pays such a claim has a right to a setoff or credit, in an amount equal to the amount paid, against the subcontractor who employed the subcontractor, material supplier, or laborer paid by the principal contractor, original contractor, or subcontractor under division (B)(2) of this section.

(C) The failure of an original or principal contractor, subcontractor, material supplier, or laborer to properly exercise the rights provided by this chapter does not limit the right to pursue any other legal or equitable remedy.

Effective Date: 04-16-1993; 03-30-2007