May 30, 2018
Appeals from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(CAR-1938-15) Hon. Neal E. Kravitz, Trial Judge
A. Sullivan, with whom William R. Martin and Sasha E.
Hodge-Wren were on the brief, for appellants.
A. Rea, of the bar of the State of Maryland, pro hac vice, by
special leave of court, with whom Nicholas C. Stewart was on
the brief, for appellee.
Blackburne-Rigsby, Chief Judge, Fisher, Associate Judge, and
Ruiz, Senior Judge.
BLACKBURNE-RIGSBY, CHIEF JUDGE
Washington Nationals Stadium, LLC and Washington Nationals
Baseball Club, LLC ("appellants") appeal a March 2,
2017, order of judgment and a September 13, 2017, amended
order of judgment entered against them after a jury trial
before Judge Neal E. Kravitz in favor of Arenas, Parks and
Stadium Solutions, Inc. ("appellee"). The case involves
competing breach of contract claims related to appellee's
installation of a decorative floor throughout the Nationals
Park ("Park"). Appellants had refused to pay
appellee even after most of the work was complete, claiming
the floor was too slippery. On appeal, appellants contend
that, during trial, the trial court (1) abused its discretion
in not allowing them to call two independent fact witnesses
to testify to the slippery condition of the floor; (2) erred
as a matter of law in denying their motions for judgment on
appellee's anticipatory breach claim; and (3) abused its
discretion in limiting their claim for attorney's fees
solely to those fees associated with the Rust-Oleum
mechanic's lien on the Park. We affirm.
entered into a series of contracts with appellee in which
appellee agreed to install a decorative floor throughout the
Park. The largest of these contracts, the "Prime
Contract," was signed on November 11, 2013, and was
worth $3, 268, 680, to be paid in six equal annual
installments through January 31, 2019. Appellee subcontracted
with Majestic Flooring Solutions Corporation
("Majestic") to provide labor and Rust-Oleum to
to completion of the project, the relationship between
appellants and appellee deteriorated. The triggering event
seems to have been when appellee failed to timely pay
Rust-Oleum, and in response Rust-Oleum filed a mechanic's
lien against the Park in early May of 2014. Shortly
thereafter, appellants terminated contact with appellee and
refused to give them access to the Park to complete the rest
of the work. Appellants justified their actions by claiming
that appellee breached the Prime Contract first by installing
a defectively slippery floor. At the same time, appellants
began separately and secretly negotiating with Rust-Oleum,
appellee's materials subcontractor, for a recoat of the
floor and release of the mechanic's lien. On September
12, 2014, Majestic also filed a mechanic's lien against
the Park for $532, 262.64 as Majestic had not been timely
paid by appellee.
December 29, 2014, appellee filed a mechanic's lien for
$2, 786, 385, the amount that appellee alleged was owed under
the Prime Contract. Appellants refused to make any of the
installment payments that were due on January 31 in 2015,
2016, and 2017.
of 2015, appellee and appellants both filed breach of
contract claims against the other in D.C. Superior
Court. Trial began on February 13, 2017, and
concluded on February 28, 2017. At trial, appellee argued
that appellants had breached the Prime Contract by not
permitting it to finish the contract and by failing to pay
the remaining balance owed under the contracts. Appellants
argued that appellee breached the Prime Contract by
installing a defective floor and in failing to honor its
contractual obligations with Rust-Oleum, which resulted in a
mechanic's lien on the Park. Appellants further argued
that they could not breach the Prime Contract for those
installment payments which were not yet due, and moved for
partial judgment as a matter of law under Super. Ct. Civ. R.
50, which the trial court denied.
jury found that appellants breached the Prime Contract and
that appellee was entitled to $1, 991, 584.40, which
represented the amount remaining on the Prime Contract after
deducting a ...