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Turner v. C & R Asphalt, LLC

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

July 5, 2019

EDDIE TURNER APPELLANT
v.
C & R ASPHALT, LLC; JASON GREER; LB HOLDINGS, LLC; SURETEC INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. APPELLEES

          APPEAL FROM FAYETTE CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE KIMBERLY N. BUNNELL, JUDGE ACTION NO. 09-CI-04651

          BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT: Kevin C. Burke Jamie K. Neal Louisville, Kentucky Ryan E. Singleton Lexington, Kentucky

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE C & R ASPHALT, LLC: Stephen P. Stoltz Stefan J. Bing Lexington, Kentucky

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEES LB HOLDINGS, LLC; JASON GREER; AND SURETEC INSURANCE CO. Derek Humfleet Florence, Kentucky

          BEFORE: ACREE, LAMBERT, AND SPALDING, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          LAMBERT, JUDGE.

         This appeal involves the installation of a residential driveway in 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky. We vacate the order granting summary judgment and remand the matter to the circuit court.

         Jason Greer, through his corporation LB Holdings, LLC, purchased a piece of residential property on Lakewood Drive in an upscale urban neighborhood. It was Greer's intent to make improvements to the property and sell it at a profit. He hired Eddie Turner to do some of the remodeling work. But Turner advised Greer that the driveway was beyond his area of expertise, so Greer authorized Turner to find a contractor for the paving.

         Turner contacted Josh Coleman of C & R Asphalt, LLC, and the two agreed on the work to be performed. Turner signed the "Acceptance of Proposal." The negotiated cost of the driveway was $18, 480.00, but additional work was ordered by Greer, and the final cost submitted for payment was $23, 670.00. Greer refused to pay, claiming that the work was unsatisfactory, and the asphalt company placed a lien on the property; it filed suit the following year.

         C & R's complaint was amended three times, with parties added and dismissed over the years. Turner was named as a defendant in 2011; C & R's allegations against Turner were: (1) that he should be held liable as Greer's general contractor; (2) that it was Turner who had signed the written contract; and (3) that Turner failed to pay C & R and should thus be held accountable for the contractual amount plus interest, costs, and fees.

         Meanwhile, LB Holdings filed for bankruptcy reorganization during the economic downturn of 2009. Renovations on the Lakewood Drive property were suspended from 2009 to 2014. LB Holdings was able to resume official business in 2014 after securing a bond (through Suretec Insurance Company, Inc.), which allowed for the release of the liens against the property. LB and Suretec were named defendants to this litigation in 2014.

         In 2017, there were three separate motions for summary judgment: one by the landowner and his corporate holdings company, one by the asphalt company, and one by Eddie Turner. On April 20, 2017, the asphalt company's motion for partial summary judgment against Turner was granted (with the circuit court holding that there were no genuine issues of material fact that Turner was personally liable to C & R), but the other two motions were denied. The circuit court later ruled (after motions to alter, amend, or vacate were filed by both C & R and Turner) that Turner was accountable to the asphalt company for $23, 670.00 plus interest compounded at 24% annually since 2011 (the year Turner was added as a party); the final computation for Turner's liability was $174, 833.61. Turner appeals.

         We begin by reciting our standard of review:

A motion for summary judgment should be granted "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, stipulations, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." CR ...

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