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Williams v. Keller Williams Realty

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

November 5, 2014

LOGAN A. WILLIAMS
v.
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY, 1-800-351-5111, L.L.C., SUNNY BRUNE, JOHN A DELLAPE, ANNA THERESA SELING DELLAPE AND CVN ENTERPRISES, L.L.C

APPEAL FROM ST. BERNARD 34TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT. NO. 119-433, DIVISION " E" . Honorable Jacques A. Sanborn, Judge.

AFFIRMED.

Michael C. Ginart, Jr., Kim C. Jones, Joyce Duhe Young, GINART & JONES, LLC, Chalmette, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.

Alyse S. Richard, Robert J. David, Jr., THE HARDING CENTER, Lafayette, LA 70505, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.

(Court composed of Judge Max N. Tobias, Jr., Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano).

OPINION

Madeleine M. Landrieu, J.

Page 606

[2014-0202 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] The plaintiff, Logan Williams, filed suit against, CVN Enterprises, LLC (" CVN" ), alleging that CVN breached the contract between them by failing to discover the presence of Chinese drywall in a home he purchased.[1]

In response to the suit, CVN filed exceptions of prematurity and lack of subject matter jurisdiction on grounds that the contract requires the parties to resolve any dispute over the contract by way of arbitration. The trial court granted the exceptions and dismissed Mr. Williams's claims against CVN, without prejudice. Mr. Williams has filed this appeal. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW

In September of 2011, Mr. Williams contracted with CVN to conduct an inspection of a home he was interested in purchasing. CVN completed its inspection and issued a report. The report did not indicate the presence of Chinese drywall. Mr. Williams proceeded with the purchase of the home and later [2014-0202 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] discovered Chinese drywall which he contends should have been detected by CVN in connection with their inspection. The contract, signed by both Mr. Williams and a representative of CVN, is a one-page legal sized document that contains an arbitration provision. This provision provides, in part, as follows:

ARBITRATION: Any dispute arising out of the inspection, report or the interpretation of this agreement, except for non-payment of the inspection fee, shall

Page 607

be resolved in accordance with the Louisiana Binding Arbitration Laws. The parties shall select a mutually agreed upon arbitrator who is a home inspector licensed by the State of Louisiana. If the parties are unable to agree upon an arbitrator, either party may request that a licensed home inspector be selected by the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors to arbitrate the proceedings. Such ...

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