Monday, January 6, 2014

Holmes Development, LLC v. Cook case brief

Holmes Development, LLC v. Cook case brief summary
48 P.3d 895 (2002)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant development company appealed an order of the Third District, Salt Lake, Utah, granting summary judgment to appellees, a title insurance company and a developer.

CASE FACTS
A developer delivered a warranty deed to a 323-acre parcel to a development company. A defect in title was later discovered, and the development company was unable to sell lots on the 323-acre parcel. The development company brought suit against the developer and a title insurance company, seeking recovery for damages suffered in the form of lost profits and lost sales based on its inability to sell lots due to an encumbrance on the deed.

DISCUSSION

  • The trial court properly dismissed the development company's claims. 
  • Although the developer technically breached the covenants of seisin and right to convey, the developer cured the breach by having the true owner convey the property directly to the development company by special warranty deed. 
  • Therefore, the developer was not liable to the development company for breach of the covenants of title beyond nominal damages. 
  • The development company failed to properly plead the title company breached any first-party contractual duties outside of the policy.
CONCLUSION
The judgment was affirmed.

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