Justia Construction Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Wyoming Supreme Court
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In 2003, Shaw Construction obtained a line of credit from Rocky Mountain Hardware (RMH). Over the years, RMH supplied hardware for several jobs on which Shaw was the general contractor. In 2007, Shaw began work on a project for Snake River Sporting Club in which it acted as construction manager rather than general contractor. Although RMH was chosen as the hardware supplier, no separate contract was executed between RMH and either Shaw or Snake River. After none of the balance due was paid, RMH filed the instant action against Shaw, claiming Shaw was obligated to pay the outstanding balance and that RMH had a written contract with Shaw by virtue of the 2003 credit agreement. Shaw claimed Snake River was responsible for all payments to suppliers. The district court ordered Shaw to pay for the hardware furnished by RMH on the project as well as contractual interest and attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly ruled the credit agreement applied in this case and, pursuant to its terms, Shaw was responsible for the principal balance due on the hardware contract, together with contractual interest and attorney fees. View "Shaw Constr., LLC v. Rocky Mountain Hardware, Inc." on Justia Law

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Landlord leased commercial real property to Tenant. Landlord granted Tenant permission to renovate the property on the condition that Tenant would pay for the renovations. Tenant thereafter contracted with Contractor to perform the work. When Tenant defaulted on its payments to Contractor, Contractor filed a lien against Landlord's property. Contractor thereafter filed a complaint against Landlord and Tenant, asserting various claims and seeking to foreclose on its lien. The district court granted Landlord's motion for summary judgment, concluding that, pursuant to Wyoming's lien statutes, a valid mechanic's lien did not exist because Landlord did not agree to pay for the renovations to the property and that Tenant was not acting as Landlord's agent in contracting for the improvements. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly interpreted Wyo. Stat. Ann. 29-2-105(a)(ii) to require a finding of agency between the landlord and tenant before a mechanic's lien may attach to the landlord's property for work performed at the tenant's behest; and (2) in this case, that relationship did not exist. View "Redco Constr. v. Profile Props., LLC " on Justia Law

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Excel Construction entered into a contract with the Town of Lovell to replace the Town's water and sewer system mains and service connections. Excel subsequently filed a complaint against the Town of breach of contract and related claims. The district court dismissed Excel's claims for failure to submit a governmental notice of claim that met the itemization requirements of the Wyoming Constitution and Wyoming Governmental Claims Act. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Excel's notice of claim met the itemization requirements of Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-39-113(b)(iii) and Wyo. Const. art. XVI, 7; (2) Excel complied with the service requirements of Wyo. Const. art. XVI, 7 when it served its notice of claim on the mayor, town administrator, town attorney, and town project engineer; and (3) the district court had jurisdiction to consider Excel's motion for leave to file a second amended complaint. Remanded. View "Excel Constr., Inc. v. Town of Lovell" on Justia Law

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Francis Weber was severely burned by hot mineral water when he lost consciousness in a steam room in Hot Spring State Park. Weber brought a personal injury action against several defendants, including the State. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the State, concluding that it was immune from suit pursuant to the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the State's activities in the park fell within the statutory waiver of immunity for operation and maintenance of a public park as (1) overseeing building construction on leased property and delivery of hot mineral water to lessees are part of the State's operation of the park, and (2) under these circumstances, the State's operation and maintenance of the park included overseeing and/or inspecting its lessee's property. Remanded. View "Weber v. State" on Justia Law

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Ron and Linda Reece and Greg and Staci Hunter agreed to flip a house and put their agreement in writing. Mr. Reece supplied the labor and submitted invoices for expenses incurred to Mrs. Hunter. Later, the Hunters became dissatisfied with the progress on the project, told Mr. Reece to stop working on the project, and hired other contractors to complete the project. The Reeces then filed suit against the Hunters, alleging that, under the contract, the Reeces were entitled to payment for Mr. Reece's labor on the project in addition to one half of the profits. The district court found that the parties' contract was not valid because there had been no meeting of the minds regarding an essential term of the agreement, that being whether Mr. Reece was to be paid for his work in addition to receiving one half of the profits. The court then invoked the theory of unjust enrichment to award all of the profits to the Reeces. The Hunters appealed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, given the language of the written agreement and the parties' stipulation that it was a valid contract, the district court erred in finding there was no contract. View "Hunter v. Reece" on Justia Law