July 2011 Jury Trial Victory

In Silvercrest v. Novus Construction, Rick Righi and Melissa Lin represented a general contractor who purchased a high end home in exclusive residential neighborhood to remodel. General contractor demolished existing house and constructed new house including a cantilevered lap pool and spa. President of regional bank purchased the home as a vacation home. Caretakers of home discovered a pool leak. When General Contractor and previous owner were made aware of the leak, they offered to repair. President refused to allow General Contractor to thoroughly investigate and fix leak. Rather, President sued general contractor for breach of contract, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, fraud, and consumer fraud seeking over $900,000 in damages. General Contractor offered to fix pool and hired pool construction expert for that purpose. The pool expert provided a bid of $240,000 to fully replace the pool. Based on the bid, General Contractor offered $250,000 in settlement. President counter-offered at $850,000. Jury trial ensued. Rick and Melissa argued that General Contractor was always willing to fix the pool and that the President was seeking a windfall. Jury found in favor of General Contractor on fraud and consumer fraud counts and awarded President $230,000 comprised of cost to repair pool plus $5,000. Because the verdict is less than the general contractor's pre-trial offer, general contractor is well positioned for the court to ultimately rule that it is the prevailing party for the purposes of assessing costs and attorneys fees.