Below are summaries of some of the major decision of the North Carolina Court of Appeals for September 16, 2014.
North Carolina Court of Appeals Opinions
September 16, 2014
Adcox v. Clarkson: Commissioners’ silence in order regarding attorney fees did not preclude recovery of attorney fees.
Coll. Rd. v. Animal Hospital: Right of contribution exists once one debtor pays more than their pro rata share of judgment against multiple defendants.
Crogan v. Crogan: In action on separation agreement, tort claims, including fraud, are governed by three year statute of limitations, but contract under seal is still ten years. Plaintiff must allege date fraud was or should have been discovered.
Hyatt v. Mini Storage: While exculpatory language excusing negligence is disfavored, if the language is unambiguous, it will still be enforced.
Inman v. City of Whiteville: Where an investigating police officer failed to obtain identity of motorist who negligently forced another vehicle off the road, the public duty doctrine bars recovery against the police department.
**Trillium Ridge Condominium v. Trillium Construction Company: The case arises out of discovered defects by homeowners association and its claim against original builder and developer. Court held that (1) unless admitted, the statute of limitations is a question of fact for the jury; (2) the gross negligence requires pleading of specific acts; (3) plaintiff must allege action brought within SOL; (4) although statute of repose is 6 years from date of substantial completion, if original construction contract provided for warranty repairs, the SOR may begin to run from the date of those repairs – if those repairs were defective; (5) although there is a 6 year statute of repose, where the developer remains on the HOA Board, there may be a continuing statutory duty to disclose known defects which is an exception to the 6 year SOR; and (7) individuals employed by developer who sat on Board for HOA, may be personally liable for breach of a fiduciary duty when they did not disclose construction defects to the Board.
Cut N Up Hair Salon v. Bennett: Court held (1) Injunction to enforce covenant not to compete affects a substantial right and is immediately appealable; (2) five year restriction on competition within a 50 mile radius was reasonable.
Gregory v. Old Republic: Plaintiff died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Decedent had criminal convictions which the judge excluded from the jury pursuant to a motion in limine. However, during the course of the trial, plaintiff’s attorney put on evidence of what a good father he was, so the judge allowed the admission of the criminal convictions. Court of Appeals found no error.
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