Published: Jan 24, 2013 6:04 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court says defendants in contracting cases cannot claim plaintiffs are equal wrongdoers as a common law defense.
The justices Thursday unanimously approved a ruling by the Daytona Beach-based 5th District Court of Appeal in an Orange County case, which conflicted with another appellate decision.
It was a victory for T&G Corp., a general contractor. T&G and Earth Trades Inc., an unlicensed subcontractor, sued each other for breach of contract in connection with a parking garage project.
State law says contracts entered by unlicensed contractors are unenforceable. Earth Trades argued T&G also couldn't enforce the contract because the company knew the subcontractor was unlicensed and, therefore, was an equal wrongdoer.
Justice Charles Canady wrote the equal wrongdoer defense is invalid because the Legislature intended to disadvantage unlicensed contractors.

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