Articles Posted in Kentucky Supreme Court

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In this construction dispute, Plaintiff was not entitled to relief on its breach of contract claim or under a quantum meruit theory. Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a subcontract agreement that outlined services that Plaintiff was to perform as a subcontractor for the construction of the Bridge Street Bridge. Plaintiff later sued Defendant for breach of contract and quantum meruit in the alternative, asserting that the parties had entered into a separate agreement before the subcontract agreement and that, under that alleged agreement, Defendant was obligated to pay for additional work performed. The circuit court granted Defendant’s motion for judgment for the pleadings, concluding that the subcontract agreement was a complete integration of the dealings between the parties. The court of appeals determined that it was unclear whether the subcontract agreement was a full integration or a partial integration. Thus, the court declared that whether any additional work Plaintiff allegedly performed was covered by the subcontract agreement was an issue of fact for the jury. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) by its own terms, the subcontract agreement was a full integration of the parties’ contract for Plaintiff’s subcontracting work on the bridge; and (2) Plaintiff was not entitled to relief under a quantum meruit theory. View "Vanhook Enterprises, Inc. v. Kay & Kay Contracting, LLC" on Justia Law

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In this construction dispute, Plaintiff was not entitled to relief on its breach of contract claim or under a quantum meruit theory. Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a subcontract agreement that outlined services that Plaintiff was to perform as a subcontractor for the construction of the Bridge Street Bridge. Plaintiff later sued Defendant for breach of contract and quantum meruit in the alternative, asserting that the parties had entered into a separate agreement before the subcontract agreement and that, under that alleged agreement, Defendant was obligated to pay for additional work performed. The circuit court granted Defendant’s motion for judgment for the pleadings, concluding that the subcontract agreement was a complete integration of the dealings between the parties. The court of appeals determined that it was unclear whether the subcontract agreement was a full integration or a partial integration. Thus, the court declared that whether any additional work Plaintiff allegedly performed was covered by the subcontract agreement was an issue of fact for the jury. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) by its own terms, the subcontract agreement was a full integration of the parties’ contract for Plaintiff’s subcontracting work on the bridge; and (2) Plaintiff was not entitled to relief under a quantum meruit theory. View "Vanhook Enterprises, Inc. v. Kay & Kay Contracting, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court in this action arising from a construction dispute. Two subcontractors - the steel fabricator and the steel erector and installer - on a condominium project brought suit against the project owner, developer, and general contractor after the subcontractors proceeded with extra work outside the scope of the original bid documents but were never paid for either that work or the retainage amount owed under the steel fabricator’s contract with the general contractor. The circuit court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff for the cost of the extra work and unpaid retainage. The general contractor prevailed on its indemnification cross-claim against the other two defendants and on the negligence cross-claim asserted against it by the other two defendants. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals (1) erred by reversing the trial court’s judgment against the owner for unjust enrichment; (2) properly reversed the trial court’s judgment against the general contractor for breach of contract; and (3) properly found that the trial court should have instructed the jury on the owner and developer’s breach of contract claim but erred in finding the negligence instruction deficient. View "Superior Steel, Inc. v. Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge, LLC" on Justia Law

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Hospital purchased from Assurance Company of America a "builder's risk" insurance policy and contracted with Wehr Constructors for installation of subsurfaces and floors as part its project. After installation, a portion of the floors and subsurface done by Wehr was damaged. Hospital sought recompense under the builders risk policy. Assurance denied the claim. Meanwhile, Wehr and Hospital settled on Wehr's breach of contract claim. As part of the settlement, Hospital assigned to Wehr any claim Hospital had against Assurance arising out of the policy. Wehr, as Hospital's assignee, then sued Assurance in federal district court. Assurance moved for judgment on the pleadings, invoking the policy's anti-assignment provision and arguing that it had not consented to the assignment. The district court requested certification to answer a question of Kentucky law. The Supreme Court concluded that under Kentucky law, a clause in an insurance policy that requires the insured to obtain the insurer's prior written consent before assigning a claim for an insured loss under the policy is not enforceable or applicable to the assignment of a claim under the policy where the covered loss occurs before the assignment, and that such a clause would, under those circumstances, be void as against public policy. View "Wehr Constructors, Inc. v. Assurance Co. of Am." on Justia Law

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Miguel Rivera, a fifteen-year-old unauthorized alien, sought workers' compensation benefits from Abel Verdon Construction for injuries sustained when he fell through a hole in the second floor of a home that Verdon was constructing. The ALJ found Rivera to be Verdon's employee and awarded Rivera partial disability benefits. The Workers' Compensation Board affirmed Rivera's partial disability award. The court of appeals affirmed, rejecting Verdon's argument that the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) preempts the application of Ky. Rev. Stat. 342, which provides workers' compensation coverage to employees without regard to the legality of the employment relationship, to this claim based on the claimant's status as an unauthorized alien. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that an employment relationship existed between Rivera and Verdon and that the IRCA does not preempt a workers' compensation law that covers unauthorized aliens. View "Abel Verdon Constr. & Acuity Ins. v. Rivera " on Justia Law