Supplier May Be Sued by Homeowner

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

Subcontractors and suppliers suffered a legal setback when the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in the case of LaPuma v. Collinwood Concrete, 75 Ohio St.3d 64 (1996), that a homeowner could still sue a concrete supplier directly despite having no contract with the supplier. In that case, the homeowner complained that the driveway was the wrong color and sued the supplier in tort for a breach of the implied warranty of workmanship. Despite having no contract directly with the homeowner, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the supplier could be sued directly for damages to the product itself, here the concrete driveway. This means that subcontractors, suppliers and other providers of construction services, without privity of contract with the owner, will be increasingly targets for lawsuits when the contractor is irresponsible or uncollectible.