Articles Posted in Virginia Supreme Court

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Jack Bays, Inc. did site work on the construction of a new church (New Life). Jack Bays contracted with several subcontractors, eleven of which were parties to this action. New Life obtained additional funds for the project through three lenders. The Lenders were listed on the deed of trust for the new financing. After New Life stopped making to Jack Bays due to lack of funding, Jack Bays recorded its memorandum of mechanics' lien against New Life and terminated the construction contract. All Contractors timely filed complaints against the Lenders. The circuit court ordered that the property be sold at public auction with the proceeds to be applied in satisfaction of the mechanics' liens in the following order of priority: Subcontractors, Jack Bays, and Lenders. The Lenders appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the circuit court (1) did not err in finding that Jack Bays' lien was valid; (2) was not plainly wrong in determining that the Contractors' liens had priority over the Lenders' deed of trust; but (3) erred in approving the sale of the entire parcel of land to satisfy the Contractors' liens, where no evidence was introduced to support this decision. Remanded. View "Glasser & Glasser, PLC v. Jack Bays, Inc." on Justia Law

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A developer contracted with B&R Construction Management (B&R) for the demolition a redevelopment and housing authority facility (hereafter referred to as the Contract). B&R subcontracted some of the demolition work to Beamon Enterprises (Beamon). Beamon, in turn, subcontracted with Environmental Staffing Acquisition Corporation (En-Staff) to provide labor. After Beamon failed to pay En-Staff for the work performed, En-Staff filed a complaint against B&R seeking the amount it was owed under its contract with Beamon. En-Staff asserted it had standing to bring a breach of contract claim against B&R as a third-party beneficiary of the Contract. B&R filed a demurrer disputing En-Staff's status as a third-party beneficiary. The circuit court sustained B&R's demurrer and dismissed En-Staff's claims against B&R with prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court erred in finding that the language of the Contract precluded third-party action against B&R, but the error was harmless; and (2) En-Staff was not a third-party beneficiary of the Contract because it benefitted only incidentally from the Contract. View "Envtl. Staffing Corp. v. B & R Constr. Mgmt." on Justia Law

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Gerald T. Dixon, Jr., LLC retained Hassell & Folkes to survey and mark the boundary lines of a parcel Dixon owned. After completion of the survey, Dixon conveyed the parcel to Brat Development, which began construction of an office building. Thereafter, A&G Partnership filed for injunctive relief alleging that the building encroached upon its adjoining parcel. The circuit court found in favor of A&G and ordered the building's removal. Brat subsequently sued Dixon. Dixon then sued Hassell alleging breach of contract due to Harrell's erroneous determination of the parcel's boundary lines. The circuit court dismissed Dixon's complaint with prejudice, concluding that Dixon's cause of action was barred by the statute of limitations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Dixon's cause of action was subject to a three-year statute of limitations and was time-barred when Dixon filed its complaint. View "Gerald T. Dixon, Jr., L.L.C. v. Hassell & Folkes" on Justia Law

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Albemarle County enacted a zoning ordinance governing construction on slopes within the county. Under the waiver provision of the county code, the planning commission was authorized to grant a waiver from the restrictions otherwise imposed by the ordinance. Kent Sinclair, who owned property in the county, filed a complaint seeking, inter alia, a declaratory judgment that the county exceeded the power delegated to it by the General Assembly in violation of the Dillon Rule because its procedure for considering waiver applications was not authorized by state law. The circuit court granted summary judgment against Sinclair. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's judgment that the decision to grant or deny waiver applications may be delegated to the planning commission, as the delegation was legislative in nature and not authorized by state law. Accordingly, in enacting the waiver provision, the county exceeded its authority from the General Assembly in violation of the Dillon Rule and the waiver provision was void. Remanded. View "Sinclair v. New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC" on Justia Law

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An employee of the general contractor on a construction site was allegedly injured by the negligent act of the employee of a subcontractor who carried no workers' compensation insurance. Plaintiff, the injured party, brought a common-law action against Defendants, the uninsured subcontractor and its employee, the alleged tortfeasor. The Defendants filed a plea in bar, asserting that the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act was Plaintiff's sole remedy. The circuit court held that Defendants' failure to carry workers' compensation insurance deprived them of the protections afforded by the Act because they were not participants in the statutory workers' compensation system. The court denied the plea in bar, permitting the action to go forward, but certified the case for an interlocutory appeal. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment appealed from and entered final judgment dismissing the case, holding that the circuit court erred in denying Defendants' plea in bar because Defendants were entitled to the exclusivity protection provided by the Act notwithstanding their lack of workers' compensation insurance. View "David White Crane Serv. v. Howell" on Justia Law