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Tackle Construction Group, LLC v. Pedtke Enterprises, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

May 11, 2018

TACKLE CONSTRUCTION GROUP, LLC. Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
PEDTKE ENTERPRISES, INC., DBA SERVEPRO OF NORTHWEST DAYTON Defendant-Appellee

          Trial Court Case No. 16-CVF-01782 (Civil Appeal from Municipal Court)

          STEPHEN E. KLEIN, Atty. Reg. No. 0014351, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellant

          JONATHON L. BECK, Atty. Reg. No. 0076709, and CHRISTINE N. FARMER, Atty. Reg. No. 0093824, 130 W. Second Street, Suite 1500, Dayton, Ohio 45402 Attorney for Defendant-Appellee

          OPINION

          HALL, J.

         {¶ 1} Tackle Construction Group, LLC appeals the amount that the trial court granted Pedtke Enterprises, Inc., dba Servpro of Northwest Dayton, as a set-off from the amount that it owes Tackle for construction work on multiple projects. We conclude that the evidence supports the set-off amount, so we affirm.

         I. Background

         {¶ 2} Servpro does disaster clean-up, performing clean-up and restoration services to damaged structures. It often hires subcontractors to work on restoration projects. Tackle is one such subcontractor, and Servpro has hired it to perform construction work on many projects.

         {¶ 3} Tackle filed suit against Servpro in December 2016, claiming that Servpro owed it $6, 320.13 for work that Tackle had done on five different projects-Upper Trent Way, Holman, Peeks, Adams, and Kimball-either on account or under a theory of unjust enrichment. Tackle's complaint asks for judgment in this amount, costs, and "statutory interest from and after judgment." Servpro admits in its answer that it owes Tackle money on the Upper Trent Way, Holman, Peeks, and Adams projects, though Servpro disputes the amount that it owes on the last one. But Servpro denies that it owes Tackle anything for the Kimball project. Instead, Servpro claims that it is entitled to a set-off for the profit that it lost because Tackle failed to complete work on the project. Servpro also asserts counterclaims against Tackle.[1]

          {¶ 4} A hearing was held in July 2017 before a magistrate at which Peter Elizondo, Tackle's owner, and Brian Pedtke, Servpro's owner, testified. The magistrate found that the parties do not dispute that Servpro owes Tackle a total of $1, 083.01 for the Upper Trent Way, Holman, and Peeks projects. And on the Adams project, the magistrate agreed with Tackle that Servpro owed it $5, 118.63. As to the Kimball project, which involved the restoration of a house, the magistrate found that the parties agreed that Servpro had hired Tackle to do $8, 120.66 worth of work on the project, the amount that Tackle invoiced Servpro, and that Servpro is entitled to a credit of $6, 616.81 because Tackle completed only some of the invoiced work. They also agreed that Servpro had paid Tackle $2, 000 for the project. And they agreed that after Tackle left the Kimball project, the homeowner fired Servpro before Servpro could finish the restoration. But they disagreed on whether Tackle's failure to complete its work was wrongful and on whether it was Tackle's failure that caused Servpro to lose the project. While Tackle admitted that it did not complete the work, it denied that it did so wrongfully. Tackle said that it left the Kimball project because Servpro refused to "front" Tackle money to buy baseboard that Tackle had agreed to install in the house. Servpro maintained that it had no obligation to pay for the baseboard. The magistrate agreed with Servpro and found that Tackle's failure to complete its work was wrongful. The magistrate also found that it was because Tackle failed to finish that Servpro lost the Kimball project. Servpro claimed that as a result of losing the project, it lost $3, 421.08 in expected profit and overhead. The magistrate agreed and deducted this amount from what Servpro owed Tackle. Consequently, instead of Servpro owing Tackle money on the Kimball project, the magistrate found that Tackle owed Servpro $3, 917.23.[2]

         {¶ 5} In sum, then, for all the projects at issue, the magistrate found that Servpro owed Tackle $2, 284.41.[3] The magistrate recommended that judgment for Tackle be entered for that amount plus statutory interest from the date of judgment and costs. The magistrate also recommended that Servpro's counterclaims be dismissed.

         {¶ 6} Tackle filed objections to the magistrate's decision with the trial court. The first four objections concerned the magistrate's findings related to the Kimball project: that Servpro was not obligated to pay for the baseboard, that Tackle's failure to complete its work was wrongful, that Tackle's failure to finish caused Servpro to be fired by the homeowner, and that Servpro lost $3, 421.08 on the project. Tackle's final objection was that the magistrate failed to award prejudgment interest.

         {¶ 7} After independently reviewing the objections, the trial court agreed with the magistrate's findings and conclusions and adopted the magistrate's decision, overruling Tackle's objections. The court entered judgment for Tackle in the amount of $2, 284.41 plus court costs and statutory interest from the date of judgment.

         {¶ 8} Tackle appealed.

         II. Analysis

         {¶ 9} Tackle assigns two errors to the trial court. The first argues that the finding that Tackle owes Servpro $3, 917.23 on the Kimball project is against the manifest weight of the evidence. The second assignment ...


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