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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. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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