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.

Goodwill v. Beaulieu

Supreme Court of Maine

June 27, 2017

GREG GOODWILL et al.
v.
BRIAN BEAULIEU JR.

          Argued: April 12, 2017

         Portland District Court docket number CV-2015-32

          Peter M. McGee, Esq. (orally), South Portland, for appellant Brian Beaulieu, Jr.

          David J. Van Dyke, Esq. (orally), Lynch & Van Dyke PA, Lewiston, for appellees Greg Goodwill and Victoria Goodwill

          Panel: ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          HJELM, J.

         [¶1] Brian Beaulieu Jr. appeals from a judgment entered in the District Court (Portland, Woodman, J.) finding him liable to Greg Goodwill and Victoria Goodwill for having made fraudulent and negligent misrepresentations about certain amenities in a house that he sold to them, and awarding damages of $10, 775. As the sole issue on appeal, Beaulieu argues that the court erred by declining to reduce the damage award by the amount of the settlement between the Goodwills and the real estate agency that listed Beaulieu's house. See 14 M.R.S. § 163 (2016). Because Beaulieu did not present evidence on which the court could find that the settlement was for the same injury that resulted in the judgment entered against him, we affirm the judgment.

          I. BACKGROUND

         [¶2] The following facts, found by the court, are supported by competent record evidence and undisputed by the parties on appeal. See Graham v. Brown, 2011 ME 93, ¶ 2, 26 A.3d 823. In April 2013, Victoria and Greg Goodwill saw a real estate listing for Beaulieu's house located in South Portland. As described in the listing, the house featured a hot tub and gas fireplace in the master bedroom area, and an outdoor kitchen. The Goodwills visited the home several times. On one visit when Beaulieu was also present, the Goodwills inquired about the "functionality of the pumps and jets on the hot tub, " and Beaulieu told them that the fixtures were in working order. Verbally and in a handwritten note, Beaulieu also indicated to the Goodwills that the fireplace and outdoor kitchen worked and could be used as soon as the Goodwills arranged for the gas to be turned on. The Goodwills purchased the home and moved in on the day of the closing.

         [¶3] After they purchased the house, the Goodwills encountered problems with the hot tub, the fireplace, and the outdoor kitchen. The water heating system was inadequate to fill the hot tub with warm water, and they paid $3, 900 for a heating and plumbing contractor to install a new water heater. When the Goodwills tried to arrange for the gas service needed for the fireplace and outdoor kitchen, the gas utility technician refused to install a gas meter because the pipes laid by Beaulieu did not meet code requirements. The Goodwills installed new pipes to connect the gas line to the home, work that the court determined to cost $4, 200. The Goodwills also discovered that the gas fireplace was not vented and could not be used safely or legally. They obtained an estimate of approximately $6, 500 for the work needed to fix that problem.

         [¶4] In January 2015, the Goodwills filed a complaint against Beaulieu, alleging that he had fraudulently or negligently misrepresented the working condition of the hot tub, the gas fireplace, and the outdoor kitchen. A bench trial was held in July 2016, at which all three parties testified. Victoria was asked during Beaulieu's cross-examination whether she had "recovered anything from anybody else regarding this situation." She responded that she had recovered from the real estate agency that had listed Beaulieu's house "[b]ecause the information in the ad was not accurate, because those fixtures were not working." When she testified that she could not remember how much she had received because the settlement occurred several years ago, the Goodwills' attorney volunteered that the settlement was for $5, 000. In his summation, Beaulieu argued that the Goodwills' award should be reduced by the $5, 000 they received from the real estate agency.

         [¶5] In a judgment issued on August 8, 2016, the court concluded that Beaulieu was liable for tortiously misrepresenting the condition of the outdoor kitchen and the fireplace. The court did not find him liable with regard to the hot tub, however, because the court found Beaulieu had not represented to the Goodwills that the hot water supply was adequate but rather had "truthfully answered the only questions [the Goodwills] asked about the tub, regarding the jets and pump." The court awarded damages of $10, 775 for the expense of rendering the fireplace and outdoor kitchen operational.[1] The court declined to reduce the award by the amount of the Goodwills' settlement with the real estate broker, explaining that the court "was not presented with evidence that [the Goodwills] were asserting the same damages against the brokerage as they asserted in this action."

         [¶6] Beaulieu ...


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.