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Connecticut Appellate Court Holds That Owner's Loss in Arbitration to General Contractor on Claims of Defective Work Operates as Res Judicata to Bar Owner's Claim Against Subcontractors Who Were Not Parties to the Arbitration

Girolametti v. Michael Horton Assoc., 2017 Conn. App. Lexis 228 (June 6, 2017)

Author: John H. Conrad

8/17/2017

Read the full post at Constructlaw

Connecticut Appellate Court Holds That Owner's Loss in Arbitration to General Contractor on Claims of Defective Work Operates as Res Judicata to Bar Owner's Claim Against Subcontractors Who Were Not Parties to the Arbitration

A General Contractor brought claims for unpaid added work, via mandatory arbitration, against a building owner who asserted defective work claims in response. The Owner abandoned the arbitration mid-process after a partial presentation of its claims. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the General Contractor, awarding $508,597 in damages, which was affirmed by the Superior Court and Appellate Court. The Owner then attempted to bring the same defective work claims in state court against the General Contractor, its subcontractors, and the Owner’s testing company on the project. The defendants all filed motions for summary judgment asserting the defenses of collateral estoppel and res judicata.

The trial court granted the General Contractor’s motion but denied the subcontractors’ and testing company’s motions on the basis that both collateral estoppel and res judicata required privity between those entities and the General Contractor.