Articles Posted in Construction Law

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The Subcontractor for a hotel construction project obtained materials for its part of the project from Supplier but failed to pay for them. Supplier claimed a lien against the hotel property. Because Supplier’s filing placed a cloud on the title, affecting the hotel owner’s refinancing, the General Contractor filed a bond with the district court to secure payment of Supplier’s claim. The district court approved the bond, which discharged the lien. Supplier then filed suit for payment for the materials it had supplied for the hotel. The district court granted summary judgment to the General Contractor. The court of appeals reversed and directed that judgment be granted to Supplier. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-1110 discharged the lien when the approved bond was filed, and any defenses General Contractor may have had against the lien filing had no relevance now. View "Wagner Interior Supply of Wichita, Inc. v. Dynamic Drywall, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Construction Law

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The Rineharts contracted with Morton Buildings for a preengineered building to serve as their personal residence and business location for their business, Midwest Slitting. Upon disputes regarding the structure's quality, the Rineharts and Midwest Slitting sued. A jury found for the Rineharts on several of their claims and for Midwest Slitting on its negligent misrepresentation claim. The court of appeals affirmed and granted the Rineharts appellate attorney fees. Morton appealed, arguing that the economic loss doctrine, which originated with product liability litigation to prohibit tort claims when the only damages were to the product itself, should extend to bar the negligent misrepresentation claim in this case. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the judgment in favor of Midwest Slitting on its negligent misrepresentation claims, holding that the economic loss doctrine does not bar negligent misrepresentation claims because the duty at issue arises by operation of law, and the doctrine's purposes would not be further by extending it to such claims; and (2) reversed the appellate attorney fee award because the Court could not determine from the record whether the court of appeals included time and expenses in the award not reimbursable under the applicable statute. Remanded. View "Rinehart v. Morton Bldgs., Inc." on Justia Law

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Homeowners sued Contractor for, inter alia, breach of contract, negligence, fraud, and fraudulent concealment, claiming that Contractor negligently failed to perform contractually required work. The district court granted summary judgment in Contractor's favor on all claims. As to the negligence allegations of interest in this appeal, the district court held (1) the economic loss doctrine prevented Homeowners from bringing a tort action under circumstances governed by contract, and (2) the economic loss doctrine supplied an additional bar to Homeonwers' fraud claims. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court accepted the appeal to decide whether the economic loss doctrine barred any negligence claims. The Court reversed, holding that the doctrine should not apply in this case where (1) existing caselaw establishes that homeowners' claims against residential contractors may be asserted in tort, contract, or both, depending on the nature of the duty giving rise to each claim; and (2) rationales upholding the economic loss doctrine do not support its adoption for disputes between homeowners and their contractors. Remanded. View "David v. Hett" on Justia Law