Justia Construction Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Kansas Supreme Court
Building Erection Services Co. v. Walton Construction Co.
In this protracted litigation over liability and damages resulting from faulty construction on the University of Kansas' Memorial Stadium the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals insofar as it reversed a third award for failing to comply with the mandate rule but vacated the portion of the opinion holding that the third award was not supported by substantial competent evidence.This appeal arose from the district court judge's third attempt at entering a damages and attorney fee award in favor of Walton Construction Company. The court of appeals reversed the award, concluding that the district court failed to abide by the law of the case and the mandate rule and that the award lacked substantial competent evidence. The court of appeals declined to remand for determination of a new award amount. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the district court for a damages and attorney fee award that complies with the binding mandates from the first two appeals in this case, holding that the court of appeals (1) properly found that the trial judge violated the mandate rule with the third damages award; but (2) erred by declining to remand the case to the district court for a new award. View "Building Erection Services Co. v. Walton Construction Co." on Justia Law
State v. Evans
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court concluding that the State had not met its burden of establishing the application of an established exception to the warrant requirement in justifying the constitutionality of the warrantless search of Defendant’s purse and wallet, holding that the search was not permitted under any of the exceptions to the warrant requirement.This case arose from the action of law enforcement officers conducting a warrantless search of Defendant’s purse and wallet after an ambulance took her from the scene of an accident. The State argued that the plain-view exception and the officer’s administrative caretaking function of locating a driver’s license to complete an accident report justified the warrantless search. The trial judge granted Defendant’s motion to suppress, concluding that the search violated Defendant’s constitutional rights. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the warrantless search was not permitted under any exception to the warrant requirement, and therefore, the evidence seized during the search must be suppressed. View "State v. Evans" on Justia Law
Wagner Interior Supply of Wichita, Inc. v. Dynamic Drywall, Inc.
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
David v. Hett
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