Justia Alaska Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Construction Law
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A construction company solicited a bid from a subcontractor to perform concrete work. The construction company provided a plan and bid schedule. The subcontractor responded with a proposal, which the construction company accepted. The subcontractor carried out the subcontract as it understood the terms. After the work was completed, the subcontractor discovered it had inadvertently underbid on the project. In the ensuing lawsuit, the superior court granted partial summary judgment to the construction company with respect to all damages claimed in relation to the bidding error. The subcontractor appealed the partial summary judgment order, claiming breach of an implied warranty that the plans and specifications would be sufficient, and arguing that the superior court erred by applying the theory of unilateral mistake to the case. Because the construction company did not breach the implied warranty and the subcontractor committed a unilateral mistake for which it bore the risk, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Handle Construction Co., Inc. v. Norcon, Inc." on Justia Law

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Appellant Shabd-Sangeet Khalsa bought a home kit from Mandala Custom Homes in 2003. The house was assembled and Appellant moved in. Shortly thereafter, the house developed various problems. Appellant climbed a ladder to inspect a leak in the ceiling and fell, injuring herself. Appellant sued Mandala and other parties in 2006, alleging that the house was defective and that the defects in the home caused a host of other damages, including those related to her fall. The superior court set a discovery schedule. When discovery did not proceed smoothly, the court ordered Appellant to sign medical releases, present herself for deposition, and submit to medical testing, cautioning her that if she did not comply with discovery orders, the court would impose sanctions against her. When Appellant refused to sign the medical release forms, the court found her in contempt and dismissed her fall-related claims. Proceeding with Appellant's other claims, the court turned to Appellant's deposition which had been delayed multiple times. The superior court concluded that Appellant's conduct when she eventually did appear constituted a willful refusal to comply with its orders. The court then dismissed Appellant's entire case with prejudice. Appellant argued on appeal that the trial court abused its discretion. Finding no abuse, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's dismissal. View "Khalsa v. Chose" on Justia Law

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In 2006, Appellant Yvan Safar contracted with developer Per Bjorn-Roli to construct a 12-unit condominium project. Appellee Wells Fargo agreed to finance the project. By early 2007, the developer paid Appellant the entire amount of his contract, and Wells Fargo disbursed the entire loan, but the units were not complete. Appellant allegedly used his own funds to meet his payroll needs on the project. The project overran its budget, and Wells Fargo had to foreclose. Appellant contended that the bank promised to reimburse him for monies he spent in contemplating the completion of the project. After trial, the superior court found that Wells Fargo made no enforceable promise to Appellant to reimburse him. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the bank did not make any promise or commitment to Appellant sufficient to meet the "actual promise" element of promissory estoppel. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the lower court's dismissal of Appellant's case. View "Safar v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law