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Contract

Contract – Breach – Evidence – Assault — Remodeling Work – Failure to Pay – Punch List (access required)

Allen Design Associates, Inc. v. Combs The defendant-homeowner failed to try to introduce evidence that the reason she refused to let the plaintiff-contractor back into her home was that she had learned that he had been arrested for assault on a female. Even if she had preserved this issue for appeal, the homeowner failed to show that such evidence was relevant; she didn’t show that she learned of the arrest before she decided not to let the contractor return.

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Contract – Civil Practice — Statute of Limitations Defense – Equitable Estoppel – Pleadings Amendment – Objection to Evidence – Accounting Services (access required)

Rink & Robinson, PLLC v. Catawba Valley Enterprises, LLC Even though the parties’ contracts set a one-year period for asserting claims, the plaintiff-accounting firm showed that defendants asked for more time, assuring plaintiff that it would be paid. In this situation, the trial court correctly found that defendants were estopped from asserting that plaintiff’s claims were untimely.

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Contract – Sale of Goods – UCC — Warranty of Merchantability – Tort/Negligence – Misappropriation of Trade Secrets (access required)

Static Control Components, Inc. v. Summix, Inc. Plaintiff has provided evidence that components sold to it by defendant were tested, were found defective, and were unsaleable. Defendant asks the court for summary judgment because plaintiff’s assertions appear unlikely in the face of other evidence. However, any decision to discredit plaintiff’s evidence must come from the finder of fact.

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Contract – Revolving Credit – Farm Supplies – Joint Application – Update – Novation Claim (access required)

Crop Production Services, Inc. v. McDonald Defendant Faye McDonald, along with her husband, signed the original application for a revolving credit account with plaintiff. Although Mrs. McDonald contends her husband entered into a new contract with plaintiff before incurring the debt at issue, she failed to show that the new paperwork was signed before the debt was incurred; moreover, she failed to show that the new paperwork was a novation.

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Contract – Breach – Damages – Interior Design – Change Orders (access required)

Diane K. Troum, Inc. v. Amini Innovation Corp. The parties’ original showroom design contract required defendant to pay plaintiff $20,000 plus purchases, administrative costs and “hours in excess of ten [to be] billed at $15.00 or $20.00 per hour for a cap of $1,000.00. Variance in rate depends on skill level of personnel.” After defendant requested additional design services, the contract’s base cost was raised to $25,000. Where plaintiff billed defendant $25,000 as its design fee plus $6,302.50 for additional labor, and where defendant paid plaintiff only $20,000, a jury could find an express contract and award plaintiff $11,302.50. Defendant has failed to show that the jury award included recovery in quantum meruit.

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Contract – NASCAR Driver – Suspension – Positive Drug Test – Waiver of Claims (access required)

Mayfield v. Nat’l Ass’n for Stock Car Auto Racing Inc. Race car driver Jeremy Mayfield, who was suspended by NASCAR after testing positive for methamphetamine, cannot overturn dismissal of his suit against NASCAR including claims for defamation and breach of contract, as he has waived his claims under agreements he signed with NASCAR; the 4th Circuit says the district court properly dismissed Mayfield’s case and did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant’s motions to reconsider and to amend.

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Contract – Construction Supplies – Welding Rod Filler Material – Wrong Composition – Tort/Negligence – Illinois Law (access required)

Wachs Technical Services, Ltd. v. Praxair Distribution, Inc. A distributor mistakenly sent plaintiff welding rod filler material with the wrong composition -- the distributor sent some M material when plaintiff ordered all B3 material. Not realizing some of the material was M material, plaintiff then requested and the defendant-manufacturer provided certifications indicating that all the materials were B3. In this situation, Illinois law limits plaintiff to contract remedies. Plaintiff cannot recover from the manufacturer in tort.

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Contract – Home Builder – License Limit – Mid-Contract Increase (access required)

McK Enterprises, LLC v. Levi When the parties entered into their home construction contract, the plaintiff-contractor’s license limit was $350,000; however, during the contract –at a time when defendants had as yet paid only $219,581.82 -- the contractor’s license limit increased to $500,000. Thus, the contractor was entitled to prove its case and recover to the extent of its license.

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Contract – Possessory Liens – Personal Property – Motorcycle Engines – Tort/Negligence – Conversion – Trespass to Chattels (access required)

Vaseleniuck Engine Development, LLC v. Sabertooth Motorcycles, LLC After plaintiff notified defendant that plaintiff was asserting a possessory lien on 35 of the 50 motorcycle engines that defendant had ordered and partially paid for, defendant requested a judicial hearing. Nonetheless, plaintiff sold three of the engines at auction. Although the evidence before the trial court was sufficient to raise an inference that plaintiff failed to substantially comply with G.S. § 44A-4, this is a factual issue which can be determined only by a jury.

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