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Dr. Steven A. Santanello (Santanello) contracted with Manley Architecture Group, LLC (MAG) to design and manage the construction of a large home, riding barn, pond, tennis court and outdoor pool. Santanello acted as his own general contractor.
During construction, problems arose with the barn roof, and Santanello stopped paying MAG’s and his subcontractors’ invoices. MAG advanced $55,557.68 to Santanello’s subcontractors to induce them to complete the project. MAG later filed a breach of contract action against Santanello seeking to recover these advances.
Santanello filed a counterclaim for breach of contract, alleging that MAG breached its obligation to properly manage the construction of the barn, ultimately necessitating the replacement of the roof. After a bench trial, the trial court found that both parties had breached the contract. The parties cross-appealed.