May 09, 2012

Court determines whether a contractor or a homeowner breached a construction contract following a dispute

BOBBY D. WALL v. SELMA CURTIS (Tenn. Ct. App. April 24, 2012

Homeowner and Contractor entered into an agreement for the construction of a new house. The contract provided that no changes would be made to the terms and specifications of the contract without a writing describing the changes signed by both parties. The parties ignored this provision and made changes without preparing change orders. Before the house was completed the parties had a dispute, and the homeowner contracted with someone else to complete her house.

Homeowner alleged Contractor breached the contract by walking off the job and refusing to complete the house, and Contractor alleged Homeowner fired him and told him not to return to her property. Contractor sued Homeowner for breach of contract and sought to recover his damages, which included expenses he incurred for materials and labor that Homeowner refused to pay. Homeowner counterclaimed for breach of contract and sought to recover as damages the amount she paid other contractors to complete her house. The trial court found Homeowner committed the first breach and entered judgment for Contractor in the amount of $21,120.69. Homeowner appealed, arguing the evidence did not support the trial court’s judgment. Concluding the evidence supports the trial court’s findings of fact, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in all respects.

Opinion available at: