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Judges rule in favor of homeowner

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A trial court did not err when it found in favor of a homeowner on his breach of contract claim against the contractor he hired to repair his clay tile roof following a storm, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.

James McCulloch hired Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. to repair damage to his roof for around $95,000. McCulloch withheld his final payment of $15,000 to the company after finding deficiencies in the work completed, including falling and warped tiles. Steinrock sued for the unpaid balance in the amount of $20,096; McCulloch filed a counterclaim asserting the company installed the roof in a negligent manner.

Two roofing experts testified at trial that the roof would need repairs, although their estimates differed about the extent and cost of repairs. Steinrock admitted that some of the work would need redone but that the costs would only be about $6,000. The trial court found in favor of McCulloch, awarding him damages of $54,962, the difference between one expert’s estimate of $75,059 to repair the roof, less the balance due to Steinrock under the contract in the amount of $20,096.  

The COA affirmed in Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. v. James S. McCulloch, PNC Bank, N.A., No. 22A05-1108-CC-457, finding the trial court did not err in applying the rationale in Richey v. Chappel, 594 N.E.2d 443 (Ind. 1990), in these circumstances and quashing subpoenas that Steinrock had filed in an attempt to obtain the claims file information from McCulloch’s insurance carrier. The judges also affirmed the ruling in favor of McCulloch on Steinrock’s defamation claim. The company alleged McCulloch’s calling to the company and asking the receptionist if the company was still in business was a defamatory statement, but no evidence was presented that anyone else had heard this inquiry, that McCulloch told anyone about his question, or that it affected business.

The judges affirmed the damage award in favor of McCulloch was proper.

 

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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