CHARLES PESCE v. EAST TENNESSEE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. (Tenn. Ct. App. February 28, 2011)
Charles Pesce ("the Owner") is a practicing dentist. He contracted with East Tennessee Construction Services, Inc. ("the Builder") to build him a new office for his practice on a lot owned by him. The Builder constructed the building, but with numerous undisputed defects.
The Owner filed this action which culminated in a bench trial that lasted several days. Based upon diminution in value, the trial court awarded the Owner $282,000 in damages. The trial court expressly found that the cost to repair the structure was an unacceptable measure of damages because it "is disproportionate . . . to the difference in the value of the structure actually constructed and the one contracted for." The court awarded the Owner discretionary costs of over $10,000.
The Owner appeals challenging the measure of damages as well as the amount awarded under the diminution in value measure. The Owner also challenges the trial court's failure to order the Builder to reimburse him for fees charged by one of the Owner's experts in connection with his discovery deposition taken by the Builder. The Builder challenges the award of discretionary costs and argues that the damages awarded are excessive. We reverse in part and affirm the remaining judgment as modified.
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