May 29, 2008

Owner found 40% at fault for failing to provide sunroom kit manufacturer's instructions to contractor

JAY S. GORBAN v. DAVID HARRIS (Tenn.Ct.App. May 29, 2008)

This is a dispute between a homeowner and the contractor he hired to build a sunroom onto his home. We have concluded that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's award of a judgment in favor of the homeowner for 60 percent of the requested damages, based upon its allocation of 40 percent of the fault to the homeowner.

Opinion may be found at the TBA website:

"Dr. Gorban assigns error to the trial court’s allocation of 40% of the fault to him. The trial court’s comparative fault determination was predicated upon its finding that Dr. Gorban did not provide Mr. Harris with the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the foundation requirements. ... Dr. Gorban further argues that, even if he did not have the foundation instructions, Mr. Harris should have contacted the manufacturer himself. There is no proof that Mr. Harris was aware that additional instructions existed. While Mr. Harris could have contacted the manufacturer, we cannot say that the trial court erred in finding Dr. Gorban at fault for failing to provide the relevant instructions that were in his possession to Mr. Harris." Id.