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JONATHAN C. JAVITT, et al. v. CUNNINGHAM CONTRACTING, INC.

Contracts — Maryland Consumer Protection Act — Significant deviations from contract

This litigation began when Cunningham Contracting, Inc. (“Cunningham”), appellee/cross-appellant, filed a breach of contract action against Jonathan C. Javitt and Marcia Javitt (“the Javitts”), appellants/cross-appellees, to recover the balance due under a contract to install a new cedar shake roof and construct a storm water management system at the Javitts’ house in Annapolis. The Javitts filed a counterclaim for breach of contract, and also asserted claims based upon fraud and the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (“MCPA”), Maryland Code (1975, 2013 Repl. Vol.), Commercial Law Article (“Com. Law”), § 13-301 et seq. Following a three day bench trial, the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County entered a $25,500 judgment against Cunningham for breach of contract. But the trial court denied the Javitts’ MCPA and fraud claims. The Javitts timely appealed and Cunningham filed a cross-appeal.

As appellant, the Javitts raise the following question for our review: Did the Trial Court err when it found that Cunningham did not violate the Maryland Consumer Protection Act when it constructed an underground storm water management system that had significant deviations from the contract and when the Court referenced Cunningham’s “duplicity” and “false promises”?

As cross-appellant, Cunningham presents the following question: Did [the] Javitts offer valid proof as to the cost of reinstalling the drywell in spite of the fact that their expert has minimal drywell experience and did not testify within his area of expertise?

Read the opinion here: