Justia Construction Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Delaware Court of Chancery
Stempien v. Marnie Properties, LLC
In this construction dispute, the Court of Chancery granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint seeking to vacate or modify an arbitration award for failure to state a claim and denying Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, holding that the arbitrator did not exceed the scope of his authority or act in manifest disregard of the law when he awarded Defendant damages. In their first claim, Plaintiffs argued that the arbitrator’s interpretation of the provisions in the contract between the parties regarding the total cost of the construction project evidences a manifest disregard for the law. In their second claim, Plaintiffs argued that the arbitrator exceeded his authority and acted in manifest disregard of the law when he issued an award for fees and expenses to Defendant. The Court of Chancery disagreed, holding that the arbitrator did not act in manifest disregard of the law in either respect. View "Stempien v. Marnie Properties, LLC" on Justia Law
Marra v. Brandywine Sch. Dist.
This action arose from a bidding dispute between Bidder and Owner over a contract to install rubber flooring for a renovation project. Bidder filed a complaint against Owner, alleging that the biding specifications were ambiguous, the bidding process was unfair, and that Owner improperly imposed a sole source specification in violation of law. Bidder also sought recovery of attorneys' fees incurred in bringing this action. Later, Owner withdrew the solicitation, rendering Bidder's complaint moot. The parties subsequently filed cross-motions for summary judgment on Bidder's request for attorneys' fees. The Court of Chancery granted Owner's motion for summary judgment, holding that Bidder failed to demonstrate that Owner's conduct warranted an award of attorneys' fees and expenses. View "Marra v. Brandywine Sch. Dist." on Justia Law
Reybold Venture Grp. XI-A, LLC. v. Smith
After agreeing to purchase a new townhouse, the Smiths leased it back to the builder, Ryan Homes, to use for six months as a model home. Ryan Homes converted the garage into a sales office. When the Smiths took possession, they used the converted garage as additional living space. The developer sought a mandatory injunction forcing the Smiths and Ryan Homes to convert the space back to a functional garage. The chancellor ruled in favor of defendants. The recorded subdivision plan and declaration of restrictions do not prohibit conversion of a garage to living space. The partition wall of the garage conversion is not sufficiently visible to the public to trigger an architectural review requirement and fears about parking problems are overly speculative. View "Reybold Venture Grp. XI-A, LLC. v. Smith" on Justia Law
Smith v. Donald L. Mattia, Inc.
Plaintiffs, David and Barbara Smith, asserted various claims arising out of the construction of their home against Defendants, Donald L. Mattia, Inc. (DLM), Donald Mattia, and Barbara Joseph (Barbara). The Chancery Court (1) granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment on (i) Plaintiffs' breach of contract claim and (ii) Plaintiffs' civil conspiracy claim; (2) denied Defendant's motion for summary judgment on (i) Plaintiffs' claim for misappropriation of Plaintiffs' backfill and money paid to DLM that was not applied to their project and (ii) Plaintiffs' claim that Defendants fraudulently induced Plaintiffs to purchase excess lumber and misappropriated $8,836 in connection with the purchase of excess lumber; (2) granted Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, as Defendants did not articulate a viable cause of action in their counterclaim; and (3) denied Barbara's motion for Chan. Ct. R. 11 sanctions where there was no evidence that Plaintiffs' attorney did not have a good faith belief in the legitimacy of the claims asserted against Barbara. View "Smith v. Donald L. Mattia, Inc." on Justia Law