June 28, 2012

Court reviews whether a home builder failed to construct a home in a workman like manner, in breach of contract, warranty, and the TN Consumer Protection Act

DAN C. RAY ET AL. v. SADLER HOMES, INC. (Tenn. Ct. App. June 15, 2012)

Plaintiff-homeowners filed this action for breach of contract, breach of warranty, and violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act against the builder and seller of their home alleging that the home was not constructed in a workmanlike manner.

Following a bench trial, the trial court found that the defendant breached the contract and the express and implied warranties, and violated the TCPA. The court awarded damages of $90,000 for the diminution in value of the home. The court also held Plaintiffs were entitled to recover their attorney’s fees pursuant to the TCPA.

Defendant appealed arguing that Plaintiffs failed to prove causation, that the trial court erred in awarding damages in the amount of $90,000 for the diminution in value of the home, and erred in finding it violated the TCPA for which the trial court awarded attorney’s fees. We affirm the trial court’s findings as to Plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract and breach of warranty and affirm the trial court’s determinations as to damages; however, we find the evidence preponderates against the finding of a violation of the TCPA and therefore the trial court erred by awarding Plaintiffs their attorney’s fees.

Opinion available at: