Dinsdale Construction, LLC v. Lumber Specialties, Ltd.Annotate this Case
Lumber Specialties was hired as a subcontractor on a construction project to provide the truss package and certain engineering services. Dinsdale Construction was hired to supply the labor and building materials on the project. During a visit to the site, an employee of Lumber Specialties supplied false information to the builder regarding the structural integrity of the building. The visit was done was a courtesy to the builder and for the general goodwill of the business. The structure subsequently collapsed due to inadequate temporary bracing of the trusses. Dinsdale had not followed the industry standard temporary bracing plan. Dinsdale Construction brought suit against Lumber Specialties, alleging breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. The jury returned a verdict for Dinsdale Construction on the negligent misrepresentation claim. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the court of appeals and reversed the district court judgment, holding (1) a defendant who is not acting in its information-giving capacity does not have a duty of care under the negligent misrepresentation tort; and (2) Lumber Specialties’ employee’s statements were excluded from the imposition of duty under the tort.