LAM Enters., LLC v. Roofing Sols., Inc., 2018 Va. Cir. LEXIS 80 (Cir. Ct. City of Roanoke May 30, 2018)
In September of 2012, LAM Enterprises, LLC (“LAM”) contracted with Roofing Solutions, Inc. (“Roofing Solutions”) for Roofing Solutions to replace a portion of a roof on a commercial property owned by LAM (the “Contract”). The Contract price was $44,900.00. In February of 2014, LAM filed a lawsuit against Roofing Solutions, alleging it breached the Contract’s indemnity and warranty provisions. In May of 2017, Roofing Solutions moved for partial summary judgment on whether the Contract’s limitation of liability provision capped Roofing Solutions’ liability at the Contract price of $44,900.00. Paragraph 6 of the Contract stated, “[i]t is agreed that in no event shall the liability of the Contractor exceed the contract price.” The Court granted Roofing Solutions’ motion for partial summary judgment on the limitation of damages issue.
Thereafter, confusion arose as to whether the Court’s decision applied to attorney’s fees because Paragraph 9 of the Contract stated that “[s]hould either party employ an attorney to instate suit or demand arbitration to enforce any of the provisions hereof, to protect its interest in any matter arising under this Contract, or to collect damages for the breach of the Contract, or to recover on a surety bond given by a party under this Contract, or collect payment on unpaid amounts, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees, costs, charges, and expenses expended or incurred therein.” The Court held that Paragraph 6 of the Contract set a cap on Roofing Solutions’ ultimate financial liability under the Contract, which was inclusive of any claim for attorney’s fees, costs, charges, and expenses that LAM may claim under Paragraph 9 of the Contract should LAM prevail.