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Lamb v. Light Heart, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

May 4, 2018

GARY L. LAMB, SR. APPELLANT
v.
LIGHT HEART, INC., d/b/a LIGHT HEART LAND HOLDINGS AND COLLEEN LONDON APPELLEES

          APPEAL FROM SCOTT CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE PAUL F. ISAACS, JUDGE ACTION NO. 09-CI-00282

          BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT: Gayle E. Slaughter Lexington, Kentucky

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE, LIGHT HEART, INC.: Charles M. Perkins Georgetown, Kentucky

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE, COLLEEN LONDON: Neil E. Duncliffe Georgetown, Kentucky

          BEFORE: DIXON, JOHNSON AND TAYLOR, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          JOHNSON, JUDGE:

          Gary Lamb, Sr. ("Lamb"), appeals from the February 7, 2017 order of the Scott Circuit Court, holding that no contract exists between him and either Light Heart, Inc. ("Light Heart"), or Colleen London ("London"). After reviewing the record in conjunction with the applicable legal authorities we AFFIRM.

         BACKGROUND

         On January 20, 2006, Lamb and London signed a document, prepared by Lamb, which purported to establish a cost-plus agreement between the two concerning a remodeling of an old house. The alleged agreement called for an hourly rate of pay for Lamb, Walter G. Lamb, and additional general laborers, and states:

COST PLUS, AFTER WE COMPLETE THE WORK ASKED OF U.S. TO DO MR GARY L. LAMB SR. OF LAMB'S ODDS AND ENDS WILL RECEIVE 10% OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE WORK DONE. THIS INCLUDES LABOR AND MATERIALS. THIS COVERS BUILDING PERMITS, TRIPS TO PICK UP MATERIALS[WITHIN GEORGETOWN AREA, AND TIME SPENT CONCERNING THIS JOB.

         The only description in the agreement as to the work to be performed is to "Remodle (sic) house and turn into art center." The agreement specifies that time will be turned in and paid on a weekly basis, but gives no additional details concerning the project.

         In April 2006, Janna Gingras ("Gingras"), a principal in Light Heart, came to visit with her daughter, London. During this visit Gingras was introduced to Lamb. While it was Light Heart that had been paying for Lamb's work each week, Gingras and Light Heart were unaware that London had signed an agreement with Lamb. Gingras let it be known to Lamb that Light Heart actually owned the property which was the subject of the renovations. In addition, Gingras learned that London and Lamb had begun a romantic relationship in addition to their work relationship.

         When Gingras returned in November 2006, she became aware of the signed agreement between London and Lamb, objected to the cost-plus provision, and ejected Lamb from the job. However, after discussions with London, Gingras agreed that Lamb could return to the job, but only under specified conditions. Gingras stated in a letter to Lamb that she might be willing to pay the 10% for some of the work done, but not on any future work. The terms of work were rejected by Lamb. Instead, Lamb prepared a new "agreement" for London's signature specifying that he would conduct business only with London. In addition, in the same document, Lamb attempted to ratify the January 6, 2006 agreement. Both London and Lamb signed the new "agreement" on November 15, 2006, again without the knowledge or consent of Light Heart or Gingras.

         It appears from the record that Lamb's work on the project ended on or about January 2007. Sometime in early 2008, London and Lamb broke off their relationship. While all parties acknowledge that Lamb was paid for all labor, material and supplies for the work he had done, Lamb began making demands for the payment of the additional 10%, which he defined as the cost-plus amount. After failing to receive his requested final payment, on March 27, 2009, Lamb filed suit against London and Light Heart, seeking $27, 000, the 10% profit he claimed due under the cost-plus provision. On March 31, 2008, Lamb filed a Mechanics and Materialman's Lien against the property. The matter was tried to the court in a three-day bench trial. On February 7, 2017 the court issued its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. On February 20, 2017, Lamb filed a Motion for Amendment of Findings, Additional Findings on ...


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