Construction Defect Case

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INTRODUCTION This is a construction defect case wherein Defendant SMS Construction, LLC (“SMS Construction” or “Defendant”) is attempting to disclaim its duties and obligations as general contractor. SMS has not offered any evidence regarding damages. The Court must exclude all testimony and opinion from Defendant regarding damages. Likewise, Defendant has not offered any evidence that third-party subcontractors and/or Plaintiff James Bannie (“Plaintiff” or “Bannie”) caused or contributed to the damage at the Property; this evidence and testimony must be excluded. The Court must also exclude damage from Mr. Geoffrey Jillson of Guy Engineering because his testimony will be based on hearsay which is inadmissible and he does not qualify as…show more content…
SMS Construction signed a contract and agreed to provide general contracting services to Mr. Bannie. Adams Supp. Aff., Ex. 3. The contract plainly states that Defendant “agrees to general contracting of new construction home from start to finish.” Id. Mr. Bannie testified that Scott Soika, owner of SMS Construction, LLC, represented to him that he was capable of doing “it all”—including general contracting. Bannie D. 28:9-12. The nature of their familial ties are irrelevant as Soika also signed the Contractor’s Acknowledgment and Consent form which…show more content…
Jillson did not personally inspect the Property. Any testimony or opinion offered by Mr. Jillson will be based on the observations and opinions of Mr. Prieve; in other words, hearsay is the only basis for Mr. Jillson’s testimony and opinion. If it can show good cause, Defendant is free to use hearsay for the limited purpose of showing the basis for Mr. Jillson’s opinion; however, the observations and testimony from Mr. Prieve are not independently admissible. Therefore, if Defendant seeks to admit Mr. Prieve’s observations and testimony into evidence to support its arguments, then they cannot be introduced through Mr. Jillson. See Minn. R. Evid. 703. Mr. Jillson cannot be cross-examined about the methodologies Mr. Prieve used to compile his report. Allowing Mr. Jillson to testify could confuse the jury and lead them to believe that Mr. Prieve’s observations and opinions are admissible. Further, Mr. Jillson lacks the knowledge, experience and training to testify regarding damages. Mr. Jillson is not a contractor and therefore cannot testify regarding damages under Minn. R. Evid. 702. For the foregoing reasons, the Court must exclude any and all testimony from Mr.

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