On December 20, 2007, the Michigan Supreme Court entered an order reversing the Court of Appeals in a case involving the award of attorney fees to a lien claimant who had lost its lien claim, but prevailed on its breach of contract action. The Court of Appeals had found the plaintiff to be a prevailing party, and entitled to recover its attorney fees, despite losing its lien claim. The Supreme Court disagreed.
In H.A. Smith Lumber v Decina, ___ Mich ___ (2007), the Michigan Supreme Court held that "To be awarded attorney fees as a 'prevailing party' under MCL 570.1118(2), the party must prevail on the lien foreclosure action. * * * The language of [the statute] does not permit recovery of attorney fees on the contract action merely because it was brought together with the lien foreclosure action."