Heard in the Court of Appeals: December 3, 2014.
Vann Attorneys, PLLC, by Joseph A. Davies and James R. Vann, for the Plaintiff-Appellee.
Law Office of Robert B. Jervis, P.C., by Robert B. Jervis, for the Defendant-Appellants.
DILLON, Judge. Judges BRYANT and DIETZ concur.
Appeal by Defendants from judgment entered 13 December 2013 by Judge Paul C. Ridgeway in Durham County Superior Court,
No. 12 CVS 5467.
John S. Johnson and his wife, Angela R. Johnson (" Defendants" ), appeal from a judgment awarding Brown's Builders Supply (" Plaintiff" ) damages and attorneys' fees. We affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.
The evidence at trial tended to show the following: Defendants engaged Jimmy Allen as a general contractor to remodel their home. Mr. Allen contacted Plaintiff to perform certain work involved in the remodel of the kitchen area of the home. To save on the expense of management, Defendants retained Mr. Allen at an hourly rate and paid individual subcontractors on the project directly, including Plaintiff.
Plaintiff supplied Defendants with a wooden hood to sit atop their stove and installed it for them. Defendants discovered that the wooden hood had been seriously damaged sometime after its installation and requested that Plaintiff install a new one, free of charge. Plaintiff refused, contending that it was not responsible for damages caused either by other subcontractors or by environmental conditions such as heat and humidity.
Plaintiff thereafter demanded payment and threatened to sue for the amount due and outstanding on Defendants' account, notifying Defendants of its intention to seek costs, interest, and attorneys' fees if timely payment was not received. Plaintiff also claimed a lien on Defendants' real property to secure payment.
Plaintiff filed suit in Durham County Superior Court when payment was not forthcoming, seeking damages for breach of contract or recovery in quantum meruit in the alternative. The matter came on for trial before ...