Second Verse, Same As the First

In 2005, Parkwood Creek Owner’s Association sued Aharon Chen for Chen’s failure to complete the repair work Parkwood had hired him to complete, as well as for Chen’s failure to repair the defective work that he did complete.  This suit settled in March 2008, with the parties entering into a Rule 11 Agreement whereby Chen agreed to make specified monthly payments to Parkwood and to remedy some of his previous shoddy work.  Several months later, Parkwood moved to enforced the Rule 11 Agreement, claiming that Chen had failed both to deliver the stipulated materials and to deliver them at the specified time.  After an bench trial, the court found for Parkwood and entered judgment against Chen for $30,000 (the agreed-to liquidated damages amount) and for $7,500 in attorney’s fees.

On appeal, Chen argued, among other things, that he substantially performed the contract and that Parkwood itself committed a prior material breach by not giving Chen a list of materials.  The Court of Appeals rejected Chen’s arguments, holding that the evidence was sufficient to establish a breach of the Rule 11 Agreement.  The Court found that  Chen did not, in fact, provide the right materials, and that he refused to show up to inspections.  It further found that Chen had met with Parkwood representatives and determined the precise materials needed for repair.  The Court thus sustained the trial court’s decision and upheld the liquidated damages provision.

Aharon Chen v. Parkwood Creek Owner’s Association, Inc., No. 05-10-015511

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