Stratton v. Inspiration Consol. Copper Co
In Stratton v. Inspiration Consol. Copper Co., 140 Ariz. 528, 529-30, 683 P.2d 327, 328-29 (App. 1984), a subcontractor sought to recover unpaid funds from a property owner, alleging breach of an implied contract formed between the owner and subcontractor through the general contractor's agency.
Although the owner did not contract directly with the subcontractor, the owner approved the general contractor's choice of subcontractor and inspected the subcontractor's work from time to time. Id. at 529, 683 P.2d at 328.
The Court held a general contractor is not an owner's agent except in the limited statutory context of mechanics' liens. Id. at 531, 683 P.2d at 330.
The Court reasoned that privity of contract must exist before a party may seek to enforce a contract, and, since there was no agency, no privity of contract existed between the subcontractor and owner, and the subcontractor had no claim for breach of contract against the owner. Id.