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Court upholds summary judgment in favor of New Castle

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed that a contractor and insurance company owe the city of New Castle more than $900,000 in damages and attorney fees for breaching a construction contract.

In Dave's Excavating, Inc. and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. City of New Castle, Indiana, No. 33A04-1104-PL-199, Dave’s Excavating and Liberty Mutual, which guarantied Dave’s performance with its performance bond, appealed the Henry Circuit Court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of New Castle in its lawsuit for breach of contract. Dave’s was awarded a contract for a sanitation project but stopped work at one point because of “differing subsurface conditions” in accordance with Section 4.03 of the contract. Dave’s sought review from the engineer of the project as to how to handle the unexpected physical conditions of the land. The project engineer responded that Dave’s should return to work, but Dave’s interpreted the contract that the engineer should conduct an investigation before Dave’s resumed work.

The dispute led to delays in work and caused New Castle to have to hire another contractor to finish the work. New Castle filed suit against Dave’s for breach of construction contract and sought payment of the performance bond in the amount of $427,524.54 from Liberty Mutual.

The appellate court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the city, finding that Dave’s did breach the contract. The contract required that the city “review the pertinent condition,” which it did when the engineer reviewed the claim and determined that Dave’s wasn’t entitled to a price or time adjustment and should continue working, wrote Judge Edward Najam. Despite what Liberty Mutual argued, the contract did not require the city to “investigate” the physical site.

With regards to the performance bond, Liberty Mutual failed to exercise any of its options to mitigate under the performance bond. The evidence showed Liberty Mutual did not act promptly to assert its rights under the performance bond, as was required under Section 4.4. Liberty Mutual also specifically directed the city to mitigate its damages, which it did by hiring another contract to complete the project.

The judges also upheld the award of attorney fees for the city.

 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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