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Booker T. Washington Construction & Design Company v. Huntington Urban Renewal Authority

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
383 S.E.2d 41 (1989)


Facts

A deceased man's land passed to his heirs, some of whom had only had life estates in the property. The life tenants, but not the remaindermen, sold their interests in the property to the City of Huntington, West Virginia (codefendant). The city then sold the property to the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority (codefendant), under a general warranty deed that purported to convey the property in fee simple. The authority contracted to convey its interest in the property to the Booker T. Washington Construction & Design Company (plaintiff). Before closing on that conveyance, the company improved the property for the benefit of an individual who had agreed to become the property's ultimate owner. The individual backed out of the agreement when his title search showed that the authority could not convey clear title. The company sued the authority for lost profits and other damages and, seeking indemnification, the authority impleaded the city. The trial court granted the city's motion for summary judgment and dismissed it as a party. The authority appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Neely, J.)

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