Pilot Constr. Servs., Inc. v. Babe's Plumbing, Inc., Case No. 2D11-6009

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtMORRIS
PartiesPILOT CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC., a Florida corporation, Appellant, v. BABE'S PLUMBING, INC., a Florida corporation, Appellee.
Decision Date01 February 2013
Docket NumberCase No. 2D11-6009

PILOT CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC., a Florida corporation, Appellant,
BABE'S PLUMBING, INC., a Florida corporation, Appellee.

Case No. 2D11-6009


Opinion filed: February 1, 2013


Appeal from the Circuit Court for Sarasota
County; Lee E. Haworth, Judge.

Jawdet I. Rubaii and Jack F. White, III, of
Jawdet I. Rubaii, P.A., Clearwater, for

H. Vance Smith of Kadyk & Delesie P.A.,
Tampa, for Appellee.

MORRIS, Judge.

Pilot Construction Services, Inc. (Pilot), appeals a final summary judgment entered on its cross-claims against Babe's Plumbing, Inc. (Babe's), in litigation initiated

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by New College against Pilot and Babe's.1 In moving for summary judgment, Babe's argued that New College's release of Babe's in connection with their settlement barred Pilot's claims against Babe's. Babe's also argued that Pilot's indemnity claims were barred by section 725.06, Florida Statutes (2005). The trial court granted Babe's' motion for summary judgment. Based on the following analysis, we reverse.

I. Background

Pilot served as the general contractor on the renovation of a residence hall on New College's Sarasota campus. After completion of the project, New College discovered that some of the subcontractors either failed to perform the work on the residence hall's bathrooms and shower stalls pursuant to the plans and specifications or failed to make the necessary repairs. The defects resulted in leaks that caused significant damage to the residence hall. When the parties were unable to reach a resolution, New College filed suit.

New College's initial complaint alleged counts for breach of contract and breach of express warranty against Pilot. New College alleged that Pilot had breached its agreement with New College by "failing to properly manage the work, failing to properly assure quality control of the construction[,] and failing to properly supervise the work of subcontractors involved in the construction of the shower stalls." New College also alleged a count of breach of express warranty against Babe's, alleging that "there were numerous defects in the workmanship and materials and the work performed by Babe's." New College described the defects as including the "improper installation of shower pans, corner frames[,] and shower drains."

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After the suit was filed, Babe's and New College entered into a settlement. New College then filed an amended complaint dropping Babe's as a defendant but maintaining the same counts originally asserted against Pilot. The amended complaint alleged that Pilot breached the contract "by failing to properly manage the work on the [p]roject, failing to properly assure quality control of the construction of the [p]roject, and by failing to properly supervise and inspect the work of subcontractors involved in the construction of the [p]roject." New College continued to allege that the shower pans and drains were improperly installed.

Pilot filed a cross-claim against Babe's for indemnity. Pilot then settled with New College and was granted leave to amend its cross-claim against Babe's to allege counts for indemnity, breach of warranty, and equitable subrogation. Pilot sought indemnity for the portion of its settlement sum paid to New College that was attributable to the work for which Babe's was responsible. Pilot also alleged that Babe's failed to honor its written warranty for work it performed on the project.

Babe's moved for summary judgment, claiming that New College's settlement with Babe's included a release which covered any claims that Pilot could make against Babe's and that section 725.06 barred Pilot's claims of indemnity. Without stating its rationale, the trial court granted Babe's' motion and entered summary judgment in favor of Babe's.

II. Discussion

A. Summary judgment

Summary judgment should be granted only when "there is no genuine issue of material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Volusia Cnty. v. Aberdeen at Ormond Beach, L.P., 760 So. 2d 126, 130 (Fla.

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2000). "The party...

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