Pool appeal sinks Carmel homeowner deeper underwater

September 14, 2015

A Carmel homeowner who stopped paying a contractor over quibbles with an in-ground pool installation filed a lawsuit that flopped at the trial court. His appeal went no more swimmingly.

Work on Thomas A. Ambrose II’s pool began more than four years ago, but near the end, Ambrose and his wife, Denise, disapproved of the shape of the pool’s corners, its location in their yard, and other things. They refused to pay the contract balance of $21,775 and demanded Dalton Construction demolish the pool and replace it.

Dalton filed a mechanic’s lien against the property, which Hamilton Superior Judge William J. Hughes granted. Hughes awarded the contractor the $21,775 it sought plus $42,525 in costs and attorney fees.

Ambrose appealed, arguing the court improperly denied summary judgment he sought and that the court erred in concluding that Ambrose first breached the contract.

“Concluding that the trial court properly denied summary judgment and that the trial court’s findings and conclusions are not clearly erroneous, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in favor of Dalton Construction,” Judge Margret Robb wrote in Thomas A. Ambrose II v. Dalton Construction Inc., 29A02-1407-CC-479.

"Also concluding Dalton Construction is statutorily entitled to an award of appellate attorney’s fees, we remand to the trial court for calculation of those fees," Robb wrote.




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