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Moellering Industries, Inc. v. Nalagatla

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District

September 16, 2013

MOELLERING INDUSTRIES, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SUCHARITHA NALAGATLA, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

CIVIL APPEAL FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. 10 CV 78063

Robert A. McMahon, for plaintiff-appellant.

Peter E. Koenig, for defendants-appellees, Sucharitha Nalagatla and Anil Nalagatla

Phillip F. Cameron, for defendant-appellee, R.J. Insulation Contractor

Elizabeth A. Carullo, for defendant-appellant, Mortgage Electronic Registration

Edward J. McTigue, for defendant-appellee, Garry Brasch Custom Homes, Inc.

Christopher A. Watkins, for defendants, Jim Aumann, Warren County Treasurer and Nick Nelson, Warren County Auditor

Robert H. Welch II, for defendant-appellee, CenterBank

OPINION

HENDRICKSON, P.J.

(¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Moellering Industries, Inc. (Moellering), appeals a decision of the Warren County Court of Common Pleas in favor of defendant-appellee, CenterBank, on Moellering's promissory estoppel claim.

(¶ 2} This case arises out of the construction of a new home by Garry Brasch Custom Homes, Inc. (GBCH) for Anil and Sucharitha Nalagatla. To finance construction of the home, GBCH received a construction loan from CenterBank. In November 2009, the Nalagatlas chose Moellering, who does business as Sims Lohman Fine Kitchens and Granite, to provide and install kitchen and bath fixtures for the home. However, GBCH encountered problems when it attempted to secure the fixtures on credit from Moellering. Upon learning of GBCH's construction loan, Moellering's credit manager, James Young, suggested Moellering would accept payment from the construction loan in the form of a two-party check. GBCH agreed to this arrangement and directed Young to contact Cheri Strotman, a senior credit analyst with CenterBank, to work out the details.[1]

(¶ 3} Thereafter, Moellering, GBCH and CenterBank exchanged correspondence regarding this two-party check arrangement. On December 2, 2009, Strotman sent an e-mail to Young stating: "CenterBank will provide a two party check * * * This is at the request of [GBCH]. If you need any additional information or a formal letter on our letterhead please feel free to contact me." Moellering requested a formal letter to confirm the arrangement, and on December 7, 2009, CenterBank sent Moellering a letter which stated: "As per Mr. Brasch's request[, ] CenterBank will be able to cut a dual check upon completion to Sims Lohman for the amount of the invoice you provided which is $36, 284.49." After receiving this letter, Moellering was satisfied that it would be paid and proceeded to install the fixtures in the home.

(¶ 4} According to Moellering, the work was completed in May 2010. As a result, Moellering sent final invoices to GBCH. By June 2010, Moellering had still not received payment. Young contacted CenterBank, inquiring about the two-party check. CenterBank informed Young that it had not yet received "paperwork" from GBCH stating that "everything was good" and refused to issue the check at that time. Young then contacted GBCH requesting it authorize the check. Both GBCH and CenterBank informed Young that Moellering should wait until closing for payment, which was scheduled to occur later that month. Moellering, however, did not appear at closing as it was never informed of the actual date of closing or where it was scheduled to take place.

(¶ 5} In July 2010, Young again contacted GBCH and CenterBank for payment. At this time, Young learned that the closing had taken place on June 28, 2010, and all of the funds for the construction of the home had been disbursed at that time. GBCH never paid Moellering for its work. On July 27, ...


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