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American National Red Cross v. Vinton Roofing Company

March 23, 2010

AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VINTON ROOFING COMPANY, INC. DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff's Second Motion [29] for Summary Judgment (Damages) and defendant's Cross-Motion [31] for Summary Judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant in part and deny in part plaintiff's second motion for summary judgment and will deny defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

In May 2005, plaintiff, the American National Red Cross, contracted with defendant, Vinton Roofing Company, to replace the existing roof a building owned by plaintiff. At the end of the day on June 6, 2005, defendant did not properly seal the unfinished roof to prevent leaks in the event of rain. It rained that night, and plaintiff suffered serious property damage.

Plaintiff then brought suit against defendant to recover for damages stemming from the leak. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment with respect to defendant's liability, and the Court granted plaintiff's motion. (Order [21] (June 25, 2009).) The sole issue remaining is plaintiff's damages.

Plaintiff now moves for summary judgment with respect to damages. Plaintiff alleges that there is no genuine issue of material fact in dispute as to that amount of damages to which plaintiff is entitled. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that it is entitled to $206,327.03 that it spent "for water extraction, cleaning and drying of the premises, measurement and identification of mold, removal of mold, building repairs, and business interruption." (Pl.'s Mot. at 3.)

Defendant opposes plaintiff's motion and has filed a cross-motion for summary judgment with respect to damages. Defendant alleges that it is not liable for $76,922.18 that plaintiff spent on mold remediation because the mold existed before the June 6th leak due to the extensive history of leaks on the premises. (Def.'s Opp'n at 8; Pl.'s Mot at 3.)

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." The moving party bears the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact in dispute. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).

To determine whether there is a genuine issue of material fact in dispute, the Court construes all evidence and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). The mere existence of some factual dispute will not preclude entry of summary judgment. Id. at 247. "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Id. at 248.

III. ANALYSIS

Based on the evidence in the record, the Court concludes that plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law for $129,404.85, which represents the total damages incurred by plaintiff less the $76,922.18 that plaintiff spent on mold remediation. The Court also concludes that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether plaintiff is entitled to damages for mold remediation. Last, the Court will award plaintiff prejudgment interest.

A. Plaintiff Is Entitled to $129,404.85

Plaintiff alleges that it incurred $206,327.03 "for water extraction, cleaning and drying of the premises, measurement and identification of mold, removal of mold, building repairs, and business interruption" as a result of the June 6th leak. (Pl.'s Mot. at 3.) Of that amount, plaintiff spent $124,922.18 on remediation. (Def.'s Opp'n at 8.) The amount spent on remediation falls into two categories: money spent on mold remediation and money spent on water ...


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