Liu v. Christopher Homes, LLCAnnotate this Case
The developer (“Developer”) of a residential community hired a general contractor (“Contractor”) to construct homes in the community, and Contractor subcontracted with Subcontractor for construction services. Subcontractor performed services on several homes, including Appellant’s. Because Subcontractor was not fully paid, it recorded liens on properties within the community, including Appellant’s. Subcontractor filed a civil action against Developer, Contractor, Appellant, and other homeowners, seeking to foreclose on its liens. Appellant filed a cross-claim against Developer and Contractor for breach of contract and seeking to recover attorney fees as damages. The district court denied Appellant’s request to recover attorney fees, concluding that, under the standard set forth in Horgan v. Felton regarding the recovery of attorney fees in cloud-on-title cases, because the breach of contract in this case related to title of real property, and because Appellant failed to allege and prove slander of title, she could not recover the attorney fees that she sought as special damages. The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s judgment to the extent that it denied Appellant’s request for special damages, holding that Horgan did not apply to preclude such recovery in this case.