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Transfer vacated in builder negligence suit

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The Indiana Supreme Court vacated transfer in an order dated March 4 to a case involving homeowners and companies that performed work on their house.

The suit, Lawrence and Judy Lynn Gunkel v. Renovations, Inc. by Wagler and Menno D. Wagler, et al., No. 76A03-0609-CV-407, had been addressed by the Indiana Court of Appeals and Supreme Court before the appeals court issued its opinion June 27, 2008.

The Gunkels hired Renovations to build their home. After construction began, they noticed water leaked into the home through doors and windows. Renovations claimed that once J & N installed the stone facade, the problem would be fixed. Water still entered and the couple had to hire a different contractor to fix the issue. They filed suit against Renovations for breach of contract and fraud.

In the June 2008 not-for-publication opinion, the appellate court affirmed the trial court properly denied the Gunkels' negligence claims and properly awarded prejudgment interest. It reversed the court's refusal to award the damages on the Gunkels' breach of contract claims and remanded for further consideration and that the trial court make proper findings with respect to its award of attorney fees to Renovations. The Court of Appeals ruled Renovations was entitled to appellate attorney fees and remanded for trial court to determine the proper amount.

The Supreme Court granted transfer January 15, 2009. After further review, and oral arguments, the justices unanimously agreed to vacate transfer.

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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