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155863 - Jones Family Trust v Saginaw Co Land Bank Authority

Jones Family Trust,

 

Philip L. Ellison

 

and

Plaintiff-Appellant,

 

 

Sylvia Jones and Bobby Jones,

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

(Monroe – Costello, J.)

 

 

Plaintiffs,

 

 

v

 

 

 

 

 

Saginaw County Land Bank Authority and Rohde Brothers Excavating, Inc.,

Defendants-Appellees,

Robert A. Jordan

Gregory W. Mair

 

 

 

and  

 

 

 

City of Saginaw and Hardhat Doe,

Defendants.

 

Summary

Plaintiff owned a house adjacent to a blighted property that was acquired by the Saginaw County Land Bank Authority (the “SCLBA”). The SCLBA made a request through the city to demolish the blighted property, and the city entered into an agreement with a contractor (Rohde Brothers Excavating, Inc.) to complete the demolition. During demolition, the roof on the blighted structure collapsed onto plaintiff’s house, causing damage. Plaintiff filed this lawsuit against the SCLBA for inverse condemnation and against Rohde Brothers for breach of third-party contract. The trial court granted the SCLBA’s motion to dismiss the inverse condemnation claim and also granted pretrial motions that effectively limited the measure of damages on the contract claim to those applicable in tort actions. The parties thereafter reached a settlement before trial, and the trial court entered a stipulated judgment against the contractor on the contract claim, and dismissed all other claims with prejudice. Plaintiff expressly preserved its right to challenge on appeal the limitation on damages as to the contract claim. In an unpublished decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court has directed oral argument on plaintiff’s application for leave to appeal to address: (1) whether the trial court erred in granting summary disposition in favor of the SCLBA on plaintiff’s inverse condemnation claim; and (2) whether the measure of damages on plaintiffs’ breach of third-party contract claim is the same as the measure of damages on a tort claim for the negligent destruction of property. ​