This entry was posted in Contracts, Economic Loss Rule, Tennessee and tagged Contracts, Economic Loss Doctrine, Tennessee.
In Commercial Painting Co. v. Weitz Co. LLC, No. W2019-02089-SC-R11-CV, 2023 Tenn. LEXIS 39 (Weitz), the Supreme Court of Tennessee (Supreme Court) considered whether the economic loss doctrine barred the plaintiff’s claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and punitive damages arising out of a contract with the defendant for construction services. The court held that the economic loss doctrine only applies to product liability cases and does not apply to claims arising from contracts for services. This case establishes that, in Tennessee, the economic loss doctrine does not bar tort claims in disputes arising from service contracts.
In Weitz, defendant, Weitz Co. LLC (Weitz), was the general contractor for a construction project and hired plaintiff Commercial Painting Co. (Commercial) as a drywall subcontractor. Weitz refused to pay Commercial for several of its payment applications, claiming that the applications were submitted untimely and contained improper change order requests. Commercial filed a lawsuit against Weitz seeking over $1.9 million in damages, alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, enforcement of a mechanic’s lien, and interest and attorney’s fees under the Prompt Pay Act of 1991. Weitz filed a counterclaim for $500,000 for costs allegedly incurred due to Commercial’s delay and defective workmanship. In response, Commercial amended its complaint to add claims for fraud, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, rescission of the contract and $10 million in punitive damages. Commercial alleged that Weitz received an extension of the construction schedule but fraudulently withheld this information from Commercial and continued to impose unrealistic deadlines.
This entry was posted in Contracts, Subrogation and tagged Contracts, Podcast, Subrogation.
Gus Sara, Partner, and Joe Kuffler, Counsel, reunite to host another episode of Subro Sessions, entitled, “Reading the Small Print: A Discussion of Contractual Impediments to Subrogation” to discuss common issues with contractual provisions.
Subrogation professionals run into various contractual provisions, including subrogation waivers, limitation to liability and damages caps, accelerated statute of limitations, indemnification/hold harmless clauses, notices and pre-suit requirements and venue/forum clauses. Gus and Joe present relevant case scenarios and stress the importance of reading the small print and knowing what terms are enforceable.
Check the all of our Subro Sessions podcast episodes.
This entry was posted in Made Whole, New York, Subrogation and tagged Made Whole, New York, Subrogation.
In State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Tamagawa, Index No. 510977/2021, 2023 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 5434, the Supreme Court of New York considered whether an insurance carrier can settle its property subrogation lawsuit with the defendant, and discontinue the lawsuit, while the carrier’s insured still had pending claims with the carrier and claims for uninsured losses against the defendant. The court held that the carrier’s claims for the amount paid are divisible and independent of the insured’s claims and that the carrier’s settlement did not affect the insured’s right to sue for any unreimbursed losses. The court’s decision reminds us that, in New York, a carrier can resolve its subrogation claim before the insured is made whole.
This entry was posted in Subrogation, Uncategorized and tagged Podcast, Subrogation.
The newest episode of the Subro Sessions podcast is out now. Hosted by Gus Sara, Partner, and Joseph Kuffler, Counsel, this episode tackles a part of the subrogation process that’s all about timing: the statute of repose.
In the latest episode of Subro Sessions, these White and Williams professionals tackle the core principles and issues brought up by the statute of repose. Gus and Joe will define the statute of repose, explain it’s intended purpose and how it is applied, and use real-life examples from their experiences dealing with this topic.
Check the all of our Subro Sessions podcast episodes.
This entry was posted in Anti-Subrogation Rule, Landlord-Tenant, Sutton Doctrine, Tennessee and tagged Anti-Subrogation Rule, Landlord-Tenant, Subrogation, Tennessee.
In Patton v Pearson, No. M2022-00708-COA-RC-CV, 2023 Tenn. App. LEXIS 231, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee (Court of Appeals) considered whether the lower court erred in dismissing an insurance carrier’s lawsuit against its insured’s tenant for damages sustained in a fire. While the lawsuit was filed in the name of the landlord (i.e., the insured), discovery revealed that the lawsuit was actually a subrogation lawsuit, brought by the landlord’s insurance carrier. The lower court granted the tenant’s motion for summary judgment based on the Sutton Doctrine, holding that the tenant was an implied co-insured under the landlord’s policy. The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that although the lease agreement did not reference insurance, the Sutton Doctrine applied, which barred the landlord’s carrier from subrogating against the tenant. Continue reading
This entry was posted in Podcast, Subrogation and tagged Podcast, Subrogation.
The newest episode of the Subro Sessions podcast is out now. If you listened to the first installment of the “Subro Trauma Center – Discussions on Common Issues that Arise in Subrogation Claims and How to Address Them” series, you won’t want to miss Part 2: A Long Way From Home – Pursuing Claims Against Foreign Entities, hosted by Gus Sara, Lian Skaf and Matthew Ferrie.
Often, the presence of a foreign entity is seen as a dead end that could potentially result in a closed file. In this episode of Subro Sessions, Gus, Lian and Matt examine these types of files. They explore common factors to consider, the means of pursuit and laws that apply by using examples from their own experiences with foreign entities.
If you want to hear more about relevant subrogation topics, tune in on the third Tuesday of every month for the newest episode of Subro Sessions.
Check the all of our Subro Sessions podcast episodes.
This entry was posted in Contracts, Economic Loss Rule, Michigan, Subrogation, Uncategorized and tagged Contracts, Economic Loss Doctrine, Michigan, Subrogation.
In HDI Glob. SE v. Magnesium Prods. of Am., Inc., No. 360385, 2023 Mich. App. LEXIS 2602 (Magnesium Prods.), the Court of Appeals of Michigan (Court of Appeals) considered whether the lower court erred in dismissing the plaintiffs’ claim for loss of income based on the economic loss doctrine. The court found that while the defendant manufacturer owed a duty to the general public to exercise reasonable care in its manufacturing process, that duty did not apply to the economic damages alleged by the plaintiffs.
This entry was posted in Podcast, Subrogation.
Listen to the newest episode of the Subro Sessions #podcast where we launch a new series: “Subro Trauma Center – Discussions on Common Issues that Arise in Subrogation Claims and How to Address Them,” hosted by Gus Sara, Lian Skaf and Matthew I. Ferrie. The series analyzes common symptoms of subrogation claims, diagnoses potential problems and discusses how to treat the symptoms or problems to secure a recovery. Gus, Lian and Matt share their tips and experiences in “Part 1: Subrogor Problems – Handling Claims Involving an Uncooperative or Difficult Insured” to provide an explanation as to why the #insured is integral to the #subrogation process. They also discuss what the potential outcome is when the insured is not cooperative during the investigation.
Mark your calendars for “Part 2: A Long Way From Home – Pursuing Claims Against Foreign Entities,” available on June 20th!
Check out all our other Subro Sessions podcast episodes.
This entry was posted in AIA Contracts, Contracts, Subrogation, Texas, Waiver of Subrogation and tagged AIA Contract, Contracts, Contracts - Formation, Subrogation, Texas, Waiver of Subrogation.
In Chubb Lloyds Inc. Co. of Tex. v. Buster & Cogdell Builders, LLC, No. 01-21-00503-CV, 2023 Tex. App. LEXIS 676, the Court of Appeals of Texas, First District (Court of Appeals) considered whether the lower court properly dismissed the plaintiff’s subrogation case by enforcing a subrogation waiver in a construction contract which was not fully executed. The contract was signed by only one of the two subrogors and was not signed by the defendant general contractor. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision, holding that despite the lack of signatures, the evidence established mutual assent to the contractual terms by all parties.
The plaintiff’s subrogors, Jeffrey and Mary Meyer (collectively, the Meyers), retained defendant Buster & Codgell Builders (BCB) to expand their residence. BCB drafted a contract using the American Institute of Architects (AIA) standard form contract for residential construction. The AIA contract included, by reference, a subrogation waiver that applied to BCB and its subcontractors. Prior to beginning the work, BCB emailed Jeffrey Meyer a version of the contract that only had one signature block for both Jeffrey and Mary Meyer. Minutes later, BCB sent a second version of the contract which had a signature line for each of the Meyers. However, Jeffrey Meyer signed the first version of the contract and emailed it back to BCB. In the subject line of his email, Mr. Meyers asked that BCB countersign and return the contract. BCB did not sign and return the contract.
This entry was posted in Construction Defects, Contracts, Massachusetts, Negligence, Statute of Limitations-Repose, Subrogation and tagged Civil Procedure, Construction Contracts, Construction Defects, Massachusetts, Negligence, Statute of Repose, Subrogation.
In University of Massachusetts Building Authority v. Adams Plumbing & Heating, Inc., 2023 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 28, 102 Mass. App. Ct. 1107, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts (Appeals Court) considered whether the lower court properly held that the plaintiff’s breach of contract and indemnification claims were time-barred by the statute of repose because they sounded in tort. The Appeals Court held that while the six-year statute of repose only applies to tort claims, they can also bar claims for breach of contract and indemnification if they sound in tort. The Appeals Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling, finding that the plaintiff’s breach of contract and indemnification claims were just negligence claims disguised as non-tort claims.
In 2013 and 2014, the University of Massachusetts (UMass) retained various contractors to renovate the dining hall for one of its campus buildings, which included the installation of new ductwork for the kitchen’s exhaust system. The dining hall opened for service in September 2014. In the Spring of 2018, it was discovered that the ductwork for the kitchen had collapsed. Further investigation revealed other deficiencies with the exhaust system. On December 1, 2020, UMass filed a lawsuit against various contractors, asserting negligence, breach of contract, and indemnification. The breach of contract claims alleged breach of express warranties.