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Davidson v. Sanders

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

December 6, 2018

BARBARA E. DAVIDSON
v.
CHARLES EUGENE SANDERS, SR., ET AL.

          APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 258, 500 HONORABLE MONIQUE FREEMAN RAULS, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Russell L. Potter Stafford, Stewart & Potter COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT: Dixie Roofing and Sheet Metal Company, Inc.

          Ricky L. Sooter Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT: Barbara E. Davidson

          Charles D. Elliott Charles Elliott & Associates COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES: Charles Eugene Sanders, Sr Charles Eugene Sanders, Jr. Randall Paul Sanders Russell Todd Sanders Richard Earl Sanders

          Jonathan D. Stokes Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: CMR Construction & Roofing, LLC

          Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Shannon J. Gremillion, and Candyce G. Perret, Judges.

          SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE

         The plaintiff-appellant, Barbara Davidson, appeals the trial court's judgment granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants-appellees, Charles Sanders, Sr., Charles Sanders, Jr., Randall Sanders, Richard Sanders, and Russell Sanders (the Sanders defendants) and granting defendant-appellee, CMR Construction & Roofing, LLC's (CMR), exception of no cause of action. For the following reasons, we reverse in part and affirm in part.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Davidson, who was eighty-three years old at the time of trial, purchased a home on March 22, 2014, from the Sanders defendants for the purchase price of $174, 265.00. Davidson had rented the home from the Sanders defendants for the previous ten years. The parties agreed that $50, 000.00 of that sum was for the "cost of roof replacement." CMR and Dixie Roofing and Sheet Metal Company, Inc., another defendant not a party to this appeal, completed the repairs to the roof at the Sanders defendants' behest but it continued to leak. Davidson filed a petition for rescission of sale of residential property on March 30, 2017 seeking a return of all funds paid, due to the roof leaks throughout the home that caused her to relocate to a nearby apartment in June 2016. Attached to her petition was the roof labor warranty agreement issued by CMR warrantying the work for a period beginning May 15, 2014 and ending May 15, 2024.

         In their answer, the Sanders defendants pled as affirmative defenses that the claims were in redhibition and, therefore, subject to a one-year prescriptive period and prescribed. The Sanders defendants also alleged that Davidson was aware of the roof problems prior to the purchase. They further urged that the house was sold for $120, 000.00 and did not include the purchase price of the roof. CMR filed a peremptory exception of no cause of action urging that Davidson had no privity of contract with it since the Sanders defendants hired CMR. CMR further asserted that Davidson failed to set forth any defect in CMR's workmanship or materials and that she failed to follow the requirements set forth in the warranty, thereby voiding it. To wit, CMR claimed that Davidson contacted a representative of Dixie Roofing (who replaced the flat roof section) to repair the roof, as opposed to CMR (who replaced the Spanish Tile portion of the roof) and failed to comply with the warranty's notice requirements, causing it to be void.

         In September 2017, the Sanders defendants filed a motion for a hearing on the exception of prescription and motion for summary judgment. In her opposition to the motion for summary judgment, Davidson argued that her claims were based on a breach of contract claim and that the only parties alleging a redhibitory defect were the Sanders defendants. Davidson amended her petition to allege breach of contract, lack of contract due to failure of cause, consent, and/or future object and urged that all defendants had been unjustly enriched. Attached to her amending petition was a proposal for services from CMR to Dixie Roofing.

         Following a hearing on the motion for summary judgment in December 2017, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Sanders defendants and granted CMR's exception of no cause of action. Davidson now appeals and asserts as error:

1.The trial court erred in dismissing Davidson's action against Sanders with prejudice by granting the summary judgment on the issue of redhibition when the facts pled by Davidson lead to issues as to whether there was a valid contract, a breach ...

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