News Brief

Sweeney Obtains Unanimous Jury Verdict for Homeowner in Breach of Contract Case

December 3, 2018

Scott Sweeney (Of Counsel-Denver) obtained a unanimous jury verdict before the 5th Judicial District Court, St. George, Utah, in a case where plaintiffs claimed that excessive irrigation water from their neighbor’s yard caused damage to their home, their landscaping and the brick wall separating the properties. Although the complaint included claims for breach of the CC&Rs, trespass, nuisance, negligence, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and punitive damages, at mid-trial the court struck plaintiffs’ tort claims and claim for punitive damages pursuant to the Utah Economic Loss Rule, leaving just the breach of contract claim for consideration by the jury. Through cross-examination of nine different expert and fact witnesses, it was revealed to the jury that plaintiffs had withheld from their own experts information regarding an unrelated source of excessive water, and had misled the jury as to the amount of damages. In light of the plaintiffs’ rejection of a $40,000 pre-trial statutory Offer of Judgment, Scott’s client will recover post-offer costs.

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