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Summary Judgment in Construction Defect Case Cannot Be Overturned While Facts Are Still in Contention in Related Cases

September 9, 2011 — CDJ Staff

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals has dismissed an appeal of a summary judgment in the case Bella Investments, Inc. v. Multi Family Services, Inc. MFS was hired by Bella to be the general contractor for a hotel in Gardendale, Alabama. MFS hired various subcontractors, including the architect for the project. After completion of the hotel in April, 2006, Bella made requests for MFS to repair cracked floor tiles.

In August, 2008, Bella sued MFS, the architect, and various fictitiously named defendants. Subsequently, Bella amended its complaint, naming some of the fictitiously named defendants.

MFS in turn claimed that Bella’s claims were void under the statute of limitations and that Bella was in beach of contact by failing to pay MFS the full amount owed. MFS moved for summary judgment under the statute of limitations, which was granted by the court.

Bella requested that the court “alter, amend, or vacate its summary judgment order.” When this was denied, Bella appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, which transferred the appeal to the Court of Civil Appeals. The Court of Appeals refused to vacate the summary judgment as claims that form part of the case against MFS are also part of Bella’s claims against the other defendants. For this reason, the court upheld the summary judgment.

Read the court’s decision…

Summary Judgment in Construction Defect Case Cannot Be Overturned While Facts Are Still in Contention in Related Cases