Thompson v. Wais, CPU4-19-003543

CourtCourt of Common Pleas of Delaware
Writing for the CourtTHE HONORABLE CARL C. DANBERG, CHIEF JUDGE
PartiesASHLEY B. THOMPSON Plaintiff, v. MIR WAIS, ROOZIA SAHIBZADA, & SHIELD HOMES, LLC Defendants.
Docket NumberCPU4-19-003543
Decision Date25 April 2022

ASHLEY B. THOMPSON Plaintiff,
v.

MIR WAIS, ROOZIA SAHIBZADA, & SHIELD HOMES, LLC Defendants.

No. CPU4-19-003543

Court of Common Pleas of Delaware, New Castle

April 25, 2022


Submitted: February 24, 2022

Steven D. Rosen, Esq. The Rosen Law Firm, LLC Attorney for the Plaintiff

Chandra J. Williams Rhodunda Williams & Kondrascho Attorney for the Defendants

DECISION AFTER TRIAL

THE HONORABLE CARL C. DANBERG, CHIEF JUDGE

Ashley B. Thompson ("Plaintiff) brought this action against Mir Wais, Roozia Sahibzada, and Shield Homes, LLC ("Defendants") alleging Defendants breached their contractual obligation to professionally repair or replace the roof of the property Plaintiff purchased and falsely represented material facts to induce Plaintiff to proceed with the settlement of such property. On February 24, 2022, a trial was held, and the Court reserved its decision.

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The Court heard testimony from Plaintiff; Yvette Bronner, Plaintiffs realtor; Chad Wloczewski, owner of MW Roofing, LLC; Defendant Roozia Sahibzada, a principal of Shield Homes, LLC; and Defendant Mir Wais, principal and registered agent of Shield Homes, LLC. The Court granted Defendant's Motion to Dismiss as to Defendant Roozia Sahibzada due to her lack of involvement with the purchase agreement between Plaintiff and Defendant Shield Homes, LLC ("Shield Homes") and the events that transpired based on the testimony provided at trial.

FACTUAL HISTORY

Based on the testimony and evidence presented at trial, the Court finds the relevant facts to be as follows.

On June 9, 2019, Plaintiff and Defendants entered into a purchase agreement for a property located at 1015 San Remo Court in Bear Delaware (the "Property").[1] The agreed-upon price was $179, 900 and the final settlement was scheduled for July 31, 2017.[2] On June 19, 2017, a home inspector inspected the property and concluded, among other things, that the roof was in overall poor condition and at the end of its normal life expectancy. The home inspector recommended the roof be evaluated by a licensed roofing contractor and for the roof be repaired or replaced as necessary.[3] The inspection report findings prompted Plaintiff and Defendant Wais, on behalf of Defendant Shield Homes, to sign a Home Inspection Addendum ("Addendum") in which the seller agreed to make certain repairs or

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replacements.[4] On June 23, 2017, the Parties signed the Addendum, which included a provision stating, "a licensed roofing contractor should be called in to make further evaluation and to repair or replace as needed".[5]

On June 28, 2017, MW Roofing, LLC ("MW Roofing") performed an evaluation of the roof, at the request of Plaintiff, and determined that the roof was approximately 25 years old, it was not repairable, it was past its life expectancy and the shingles had been worn down to the micro fiber layer. MW Roofing provided Plaintiff with a proposal for the installation of a new roof in the amount of $4, 510.[6] On the same day, Plaintiffs realtor forwarded the new roof proposal to Defendants, to which Defendant Wais replied he was "totally rejecting the roof replacement".[7] Subsequently, Defendants provided an invoice from Gul Construction LLC ("Gul") for roof repairs that were apparently completed on or about July 15, 2017.[8] There was no testimony establishing Gul as a licensed roofing contractor.

On July 27, 2017, Plaintiff did a walkthrough of the property and found a leak coming from the skylight in the master bedroom. Plaintiffs realtor promptly notified Defendants and requested a licensed roofing contractor inspect and repair the roof and the skylight.[9] On July 28, 2017, MW Roofing returned to inspect the roof and determined no work had been previously performed, which Plaintiffs realtor informed Defendants of on

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July 29, 2017.[10] Defendant Wais apologized for the lack of work done in his absence and asked if MW Roofing provided a repair quote as he was not going to replace the roof.[11]MW Roofing did not provide a roof repair estimate nor did Defendant Wais contact it for such.

On or about July 30, 2017, Homepros, Inc. ("Homepros"), on behalf of Defendants, addressed the leak in the skylight and provided an invoice of $700, which was provided to Plaintiff along with photos.[12] Again, there was no testimony establishing Homepros was a licensed roofing contractor. Defendant Wais was out of town at the time; therefore, Defendant Wais' friend had hired Homepros in his absence. There was rain before the closing date and there was no further indication that the skylight was still leaking, suggesting the leak was fixed. On July 31, 2017, the Parties proceeded with closing.[13]

Sometime in October 2017 after settlement, Plaintiff discovered the roof was still leaking, requiring her to have MW Roofing return to evaluate the roof. Upon further investigation, MW Roofing discovered extensive water damage to the structural framing and sheathing underneath the roof system, which indicated the roof had been leaking for some time.[14] Based on Chad Wloczewski's ("Wloczewski"), owner of MW Roofing, knowledge and experience, he determined that the water damage and deterioration of the structural framing was so extensive that it had to have been getting wet for some time, approximately 15 years, because the structural framing would take years to deteriorate,

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unlike the roof sheathing which could accumulate water damage and mold within only three to four rainfalls.[15] Because of the extensive water damage and the presence of black mold, mold treatment was required and the interior drywall and framing needed to be repaired. The final invoice for the roof replacement was $7, 538.04.

PARTIES CONTENTIONS

Plaintiff asserts that Defendants breached their duty under the Addendum by failing to repair or replace the roof as needed and made false representations regarding the roof repair to induce Plaintiff to proceed with settlement. Regarding the breach of contract claim, Plaintiff argues that Defendants promised to fix the bad roof but failed to do so allowing a leak to continue, which caused extensive water damage and mold. It is Plaintiffs position that the attempt to repair the roof did not alleviate Defendants' duty to replace the roof. Plaintiff was required to pay for the roof replacement and interior repairs because of Defendant's breach.

Further, Plaintiff asserts Defendants fraudulently induced her to proceed with the settlement because 1. Defendants continuously made misrepresentations and provided false assurances that the roof had been repaired evidenced by the receipts from two separate contractors; 2. Defendants knew or should have known these representations were false or made in reckless indifference to the truth; 3. Defendants intended Plaintiff to be induced by such misrepresentations in order for Plaintiff to proceed with settlement; 4. Plaintiff

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indicated she relied on such misrepresentations and felt induced to proceed with settlement; and 5. Damages resulted when Plaintiff was required to pay for a roof replacement.

It is Defendants' position that they fulfilled their contractual duty under the Addendum because Gul performed the necessary repairs as per the Addendum, which was silent as to the skylights. Further, once Plaintiff informed Defendants that there was a leak in the skylight, Defendants had a contractor, Homepros, fix the leak, evidenced by the rain that occurred before closing and no subsequent indication of further leakage. Defendant contends their contractual obligations were satisfied as there was no further indication that the roof was leaking at the time of closing and Plaintiff proceeded with closing despite knowing the roof was at the end of its life expectancy. Defendants argue the Addendum stated, "repair or replace as needed" and were never provided any documentary indication from MW Roofing or any other roofing company that stated the roof had to be replaced.

Although Defendant Wais rejected the quote to replace the roof from MW Roofing, Defendant argues that Plaintiffs realtor failed to insist Defendants were obligated under the Addendum to replace the roof and instead insinuated repairing the roof was still a viable option. Thus, Defendants did not breach their contractual obligations under the Addendum because repairs were made, it rained, there was no indication of leaks, and the Parties proceeded with closing. Defendants contend their contractual obligations under the Addendum ended once repairs were made and the Parties made settlement on the Property.

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Defendants also assert Plaintiff has failed to meet her burden to establish fraud. Defendants argue there was no...

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