Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 4:07 PM

Judge Stroud's First Dissent

Judge Stroud, who joined the COA last month, issued her first dissenting opinion today in Dysart v. Cummings.

It's an appeal from a summary judgment award of a $10,500 earnest money deposit in favor of plaintiffs, who had backed out of a contract to buy a $1.2 million home in Raleigh. They backed out of the contract based on a "cost of repair contingency" (a standard clause in these types of contracts) which provided, "If a reasonable estimate of the total cost of repairs required . . . equals or exceeds $10,000.00, then Buyer shall have the option to terminate this Contract and all earnest monies shall be returned to the Buyer." Plaintiffs obtained two estimates that the cost of repair would exceed $10,000. When the defendants wouldn't return the earnest money deposit, plaintiffs sued and won summary judgment. Judge Stroud dissented on the ground that a jury should determine whether the plaintiffs' repair estimates were "reasonable."

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