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.

Diehl-Guerrero v. Hardy Boys Construction, LLC

Superior Court of Delaware

February 28, 2017

SHANNON C. DIEHL-GUERRERO, Plaintiff,
v.
HARDY BOYS CONSTRUCTION, LLC, RELIABLE HOME INSPECTION SERVICES, RHIS, INC., and WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE, INC., Defendants.

          Date Submitted: November 30, 2016

         On Defendant Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Superior Court Civil Rule 12(b)(6). GRANTED.

          Gary W. Alderson, Esquire, Elzufon Austin Tarlov & Mondell, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Plaintiff.

          Kathleen A. Murphy, Esquire, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Defendant Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc.

          ORDER

          The Honorable Calvin L. Scott, Jr. Judge.

         Defendant, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc., moves this Court to dismiss the present action pursuant to Superior Court Civil Rule 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is 8, GRANTED.

         Relevant Background

         Plaintiff filed a Complaint with this Court on August 3, 2016, and pleads the following. Plaintiff claims that in May of 2013 he made plans to acquire two adjoining properties located at 2611 Philadelphia Pike (referred to as "the Duplex") and 2613 Philadelphia Pike (referred to as "the SFD") in Claymont, Delaware. Plaintiff intended to acquire these properties by means of a HUD-insured Section 203(k) loan for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. Plaintiff met with Defendant, Hardy Boys in May 2013. An estimator visited both properties in June 2013. As of June 2013, John W. Kerrigan, employed with Defendant Reliable Home Inspection Services, was Plaintiffs "HUD consultant" pursuant to Section 203(k). Pursuant to an estimate given by Defendant Hardy Boys, Plaintiff closed on the FHA Section 203(k) loan from Defendant, Wells Fargo Mortgage Inc (hereinafter "Wells Fargo") on October 31, 2013 for $128, 868.00. This loan was specifically for the Duplex property. On December 31, 2013, Defendant Wells Fargo told Plaintiff it needed copies of the building, HVAC, electrical and plumbing permits. On February 6, 2014, Wells Fargo contacted Plaintiff and informed him that Defendant Hardy Boys' contractor licenses expired and Wells Fargo needed an updated license before funds could be disbursed. Plaintiff notified Defendant Hardy Boys and the updated licenses were provided. According to Plaintiff, Mr. Kerrigan, the HUD consultant, approved three "draws" between January 31, 2014 and June 20, 2014. As a result a total of $41, 951.70 was disbursed from the renovation loan. On March 23, 2014 Defendant Hardy Boys sent Plaintiff a list of additional charges to be added on to the original project estimate. On July 8, 2014 Defendant Hardy Boys sent Plaintiff a text message claiming that the pricing of the project was severely underestimated, and Defendant could no longer serve as Plaintiffs general contractor. Subsequently the renovations of the property were left incomplete.

         The Parties' Contentions on this Motion to Dismiss

         Wells Fargo filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Superior Court Civil Rule 12(b)(6). Wells Fargo contends that Plaintiff failed to state a claim of negligence against Wells Fargo because (1) Wells Fargo did not owe a duty to Plaintiff; and (2) Plaintiff failed to plead how Wells Fargo's actions were the proximate cause of Plaintiffs damages. Plaintiff argues that (1) his reliance upon Wells Fargo's approval of Mr. Kerrigan as the HUD consultant "created a reasonable expectation that this engagement would result in HUD funding from Wells Fargo;" (2) Wells Fargo owed Plaintiff a duty, and breached its duty, to conduct due diligence regarding the HUD consultant's competency and proficiency; (3) Plaintiff reasonably relied on Wells Fargo's approval of Mr. Kerrigan; and (4) as a result of Plaintiffs reliance he sustained an injury. Oral Arguments were held on November 15, 2016. The Court asked Plaintiff to provide the initial loan agreement. Plaintiff filed a letter with the Court on November 29, 2016 and wished to supplement the record with HUD requirements attached to counsel's letter. On November 30, 2016, Wells Fargo filed a letter with this Court objecting to Plaintiffs submission and reaffirming Wells Fargo's arguments pursuant to its initial Motion to Dismiss.

         Standard of Review

         The test for sufficiency of a complaint challenged by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is whether a plaintiff may recover under any reasonably conceivable set of circumstances susceptible of proof under the complaint.[1] In making its determination, the Court must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable factual inferences in favor of the non-moving party.[2] The complaint must be without merit as a matter of fact or law to be dismissed.[3] Therefore, if the plaintiff can recover under any conceivable set of circumstances susceptible of proof under the complaint, the motion to dismiss will not be granted.[4]

         Discussion

         The crux of Wells Fargo's Motion is based on the argument that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that Wells Fargo owed Plaintiff a duty. A plaintiff must prove duty, breach, causation, and harm, by a preponderance of the evidence in order to prevail on a negligence claim.[5] The Court must determine whether a duty exists because it is "entirely a question of law, to be determined by reference to the body of statutes, rules, principles and precedents which make up the law."[6] The Court's "determination of a duty must be formulated based upon the facts of each case."[7] Absent the showing of a duty, Plaintiffs negligence claim against Wells Fargo fails as a matter of law. Under Delaware law, "there is no fiduciary duty relationship between a debtor and a creditor, i.e., also a mortgagee and a ...


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.