Lamprey v. Britton Construction, Inc.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff Josephine Lamprey appealed a superior court order that dismissed her against Defendants, Britton Construction, Inc. (Britton), DeStefano Architects, PLLC f/k/a Lisa B. DeStefano (DeStefano) and Dave Sherwood, pursuant to the statutes of limitations and repose. Plaintiff hired the defendants to design and build her home. DeStefano was the architect; Britton was the general contractor; and Sherwood was the mason who installed the home’s extensive stonework, including a stone veneer, terrace and stone chimneys. Plaintiff began living in the house in November 2001, but never obtained a certificate of occupancy. Within one year, water damage appeared on the wood floors. In 2006, Plaintiff hired Sherwood to repair loose stones on her terrace. In 2010, when Plaintiff replaced her stone terrace with granite, the mason in charge of the replacement noticed problems with the home’s stonework requiring significant repairs. As a result, Plaintiff sued the defendants, alleging negligence and breaches of warranty in her home’s construction. Britton requested dismissal pursuant to the statute of limitations for personal actions. Sherwood moved to dismiss, arguing that the construction statute of repose also barred Plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff responded by arguing, among other things, that the statutes should be tolled because Sherwood had fraudulently concealed her home’s masonry problems. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed in part, and reversed in part. The trial court properly dismissed all claims against Destefano. Although the trial court properly dismissed the claims against Britton and Sherwood initially, "it unsustainably exercised its discretion by not permitting Plaintiff to amend her writ to add fraudulent concealment allegations related to the bent masonry ties that concealed defects in her home’s stone veneer. Plaintiff’s amended claims against Britton and Sherwood related to the stone veneer were allowed. The Court remanded the case for further proceedings.