News Details

MSJ Granted in Construction Breach of Contract Case

Rinat Klier-Erlich recently argued a successful Motion for Summary Judgement crafted by Robert P. Wargo on behalf of the firm's client. The plaintiff, a housing management company, alleged causes of action for breach of contract and negligence  arising from a construction company's alleged failure to provide competent services on a road construction project to plaintiff pursuant to a written agreement.   The firm's client, a civil engineering company, also provided services to the  plaintiff on the same project. However, the plaintiff asserted no claim against the engineering company and stated in deposition it had no evidence that the firm's client had done anything wrong on the project.

The original defendant, in turn, cross-complained against the firm's client as well as a paving company, for indemnity and contribution, without specifying how, if at all, the client allegedly was responsible for damages.  The paving company also cross-complained against the civil engineering company for indemnity and contribution, again without specifying how, if at all, the firm's client was allegedly  responsible for plaintiff's damages.

The firm's client prevailed on summary judgment against both plaintiffs, as it demonstrated that neither had any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing by the civil engineering company.  Since the firm's client had no liability to the original complainant, it could not be “jointly and severally liable” along with the two cross-complainants, in order for them to obtain indemnity or contribution from the firm's client.  The first cross-complainant attempted to oppose the motion for summary judgment with an expert declaration, but Ms. Klier-Erlich successfully moved the court to strike this entire declaration as it was speculative and the opinions were unsupported by facts.