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Final Summary Judgment in Construction Defect Case.

Michelle M. Krone | August 1, 2014

Michelle M. Krone and Michael A. Valverde, of the Fort Myers office, prevailed on a Final Summary Judgment Motion in a construction defect case. The claim against our client was brought by a general contractor in a third-party complaint alleging common law indemnity and contribution. The case involved renovations to a single-family residence in Fort Myers and the construction of an addition that nearly tripled the size of the home. During the renovations and construction, a fire occurred that required remediation and reconstruction of most of the residence. Our client performed interior faux painting on the residence and fire remediation services related to the work after the fire. The general contractor who was sued, in an overzealous effort to cast blame elsewhere, brought a third-party claim against our client based on allegations that the company saturated the interior walls with water as part of its fire remediation services, allegedly contributing to the extensive mold that was already in the residence. Originally, the third-party complaint contained a single count of contribution.

While the homeowners themselves recognized the futility of an action against our client, the general contractor would not be dissuaded despite aggressive discovery and an early proposal for settlement. As expected, the general contractor rejected the proposal as well as several subsequent attempts at settlement for the same nominal amount. The same nominal offer was also made directly to the homeowners, who accepted the offer in exchange for a full scope-of-work release as to our client, and their work on the project. A motion for final summary judgment was then filed on the contribution count. The general contractor then filed an amended third-party complaint adding an additional count of common law indemnity. In response, Michele and Michael filed an amended motion for final summary judgment, and successfully argued that, regardless of the amendment to the third-party complaint, our defendant was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. The trial court agreed and granted the defense motion.

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