Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sokol v. Morrissey

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 24, 2019

DAVID and RACHAEL SOKOL, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
ROBERT and EILEEN MORRISSEY, Defendants-Appellees.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge.

         Homebuyers appeal the district court's denial of their breach-of-implied-warranty claim.

          Billy J. Mallory and Allison M. Steuterman of Brick Gentry, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellants.

          Kenneth R. Munro of Munro Law Office, P.C., Des Moines, for appellees.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

          TABOR, JUDGE.

         For the second time, homebuyers David and Rachael Sokol appeal an adverse ruling in their lawsuit against seller Bob Morrissey. In their first appeal, we remanded for the district court to decide whether Morrissey, as the builder-vendor, breached the implied warranty of good and workerlike construction.[1] Sokol v. Morrissey, No. 16-0801, 2017 WL 4838821, at *9 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2017). That action has five elements:

(1) the house was constructed to be occupied as a home; (2) the house was purchased from a builder-vendor, who constructed it for the purpose of sale; (3) the house was not constructed in a good and work[er]like manner; (4) the buyer was unaware of the defect [and had no reasonable means of discovering it]; and (5) the buyer suffered damages.

Flom v. Stahly, 569 N.W.2d 135, 142 (Iowa 1997) (citing Kirk v. Ridgway, 373 N.W.2d 491, 496 (Iowa 1985)).

         In this appeal, the Sokols contest the district court's decision they failed to satisfy the fourth element-that they were unaware of the defects or had no reasonable way to discover those defects when they bought the house. The Sokols insist most of the defects were latent and not detected by their pre-purchase home inspection. Because substantial evidence supports the district court's ruling, we affirm.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         A detailed history of the house Morrissey built on Northwest Beaver Drive in Johnston appears in our first decision. Sokol, 2017 WL 4838821, at *1-3. We will repeat only those parts of the narrative necessary to today's appeal.

         The Sokols offered to purchase the house in June 2009. That same month, they had the home inspected. The inspector, Michael LeBlanc with The Brick Kicker, returned an eleven-page report. The report included comments on the building exterior (e.g., "Holes were found in the side that need repair") and the mechanical systems (e.g., "Active water drips and/or leaks were observed at one or more locations. Proper repair by a licensed plumber is recommended"). The Sokols agreed to move forward with the purchase after Morrissey agreed to make certain repairs.

         The Sokols took possession in July 2009. Within three months and over the next five years they experienced many problems with the home, including malfunctions of the geothermal unit, electrical issues, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.