Copyright (c) 2010 Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University
Mercer Law Review
ARTICLE: Construction Law
Mercer Law Review
62 Mercer L. Rev. 71
by Frank O. Brown, Jr.*
This Article focuses on noteworthy construction law decisions by appellate and federal district courts in Georgia between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010. 1
II. Negligent Construction
In Cendant Mobility Financial Corp. v. Asuamah, 2 Cendant Mobility Financial Corp. (Cendant) managed employee relocation benefits, including the sales of homes of relocated employees. Ms. Asuamah purchased a townhome from Cendant. After discovering water-related problems, she sued Cendant and others, asserting various claims. 3 Among these claims was that prior to her purchase, "Cendant negligently repaired the townhome by accepting the [negligent] work done by an independent contractor." 4 The trial court granted summary judgment to Cendant on all claims. 5 The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed except as to the negligent repair claim against Cendant. 6
The Georgia Supreme Court then granted Cendant's petition for writ of certiorari. 7 In its opinion, the supreme court stated that it had granted the petition because it was "particularly concerned with the Court of Appeals's extension of the Worthey [v. Holmes] exception to caveat emptor to hold a non-builder/seller liable in negligence for latent construction/repair defects." 8 In reversing the court of appeals on the negligent construction claim, the supreme court stated in unusually clear, strong, and broad language, that
to dispel any doubt, we hold that the "negligent construction" exception to caveat emptor exempts from the defense of caveat emptor only a negligence claim by a homeowner seeking recovery against the builder/seller of the ...
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