ILNews

Company’s offer to replace driveway an enforceable agreement

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a small claims judgment in favor of a concrete company regarding whether the company had to follow through on replacing a driveway for a customer who was unhappy with the work a year later.

David Vance hired Rock Solid Concrete Inc. and Francisco Lozano to do concrete work at his home in the summer of 2009. In December 2010, Vance complained that the driveway had some pitting and scaling. Rock Solid believed their work was not defective and a third-party inspected the driveway. In a non-binding decision, the concrete testing company determined that the damage was due to indirect salt application when snow would melt from cars onto the driveway.

Rock Solid offered to power-wash the driveway and seal it as a one-time customer accommodation, but Vance rejected the offer. In June 2011, the two parties agreed that Rock Solid would try to replace the driveway by the end of August 2011. When no work had begun by that date and the company didn’t respond to Vance’s inquiries, he filed suit in September 2011.

The small claims court found the company made a goodwill gesture that wasn’t an enforceable contract, but the Court of Appeals ruled the parties entered into an enforceable agreement. The agreement settled their dispute as to the cause of the damage to the driveway and the agreement’s purpose was to avoid litigation, Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote in David Vance v. Francisco Lozano, et al., 02A03-1203-SC-142.  
 
The settlement of a doubtful claim is sufficient consideration for a compromise if the claim is made fairly and in good faith, even if possibly meritless, she continued. There’s no evidence that Vance hasn’t acted fairly or in good faith.  

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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