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Recent Case Summaries

Paul Miller Ford, Inc. v. Garrison, (2015-CA-38, Clay Circuit Court)
Car buyer demanded rescission of the purchase transaction but refused to return vehicle. Rather than returning the vehicle to implement the rescission request, buyer then filed suit in circuit court in her home county, not the county in which the dealership has its principal place of business, with a barebones complaint that did not take issue with the arbitration provision contained in the written purchase agreement. In response car dealer triggered the arbitration provision and moved the trial court to compel arbitration. The purchaser did not file a written response to the motion but the trial court still denied the motion in a one sentence order. Dealer appealed under KY’s Arbitration Act and the right to interlocutory appeal of a denial of a motion to compel arbitration. The court of appeals refused to rule on the merits opining that the trial court failed to make findings of fact such that the court could review its ruling that denied the demand for arbitration. The court of appeals further declared that findings of fact and conclusions of law are required in orders denying motions to compel arbitration. Dealer filed a petition for rehearing pointing out that neither KY’s Arbitration Act nor the Civil Rules require findings of fact for this requested relief and in fact the Civil Rules make clear that findings of fact are only required in specific enumerated situations, and a motion to compel arbitration is not one of them. The petition was denied by the Court of Appeals.  Dealer filed for discretionary review with the Kentucky Supreme Court.   That motion was denied in August 2016 so the case is remanded to the Clay Circuit Court to address the trial court's failure to explain the ruling denying arbitration. Arbitration/automobile purchase/KY Arbitration Act/KRS 417/jurisdiction Read more › Filed Under:   Litigation   Transactional Law

Vescio v. Darnell, Fayette Circuit Court, 99-CI-2531, COA 2013-CA-189 (January 29, 2016)
An uphill neighbor focused and directed storm water runoff into his downhill neighbor’s yard, garage and house.  In 2010 a jury found against the uphill neighbor and awarded $50,000 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages to the downhill neighbor.  The trial court also awarded recovery to downhill neighbor of some of their attorneys’ fees incurred in the case under the theory of the ‘bad faith’ of the uphill neighbor.  The trial court, however, refused to order the uphill neighbor to plug all the holes in the brick wall separating the neighbors which would stop the flow of water, the basis for the lawsuit.  The jury verdict was affirmed on appeal by the Kentucky Court of Appeals with a direction upon remand for the trial court to enter an order directing the uphill neighbor to plug all the holes. Flooding/storm water runoff/dominant estate/ servient estate/ continuing trespass/damages/jury verdict/punitive damages/ attorneys’ fee recovery Read more › Filed Under:   Litigation

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