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Holtman v. 4-G’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

Montana Supreme Court
264 Mont. 432 (1994)


Facts

Condominium owner Roger Holtman (plaintiff) sued 4-G’s Plumbing & Heating and his condominium association (defendants) in Montana state court for trespass, invasion of privacy, and asbestos contamination connected to an attempted repair and installation of a heating system in Holtman’s unit. The trial judge granted summary judgment for both defendants on res judicata (claim preclusion) and collateral estoppel (issue preclusion) grounds, citing the dismissal of Holtman’s deprivation-of-property-rights, invasion-of-privacy, and asbestos-contamination counterclaims against the association in the association’s previous suit against Holtman regarding the work done at Holtman’s unit. Holtman appealed the dismissal of his asbestos-contamination claim against 4-G’s Plumbing & Heating and argued that neither res judicata nor collateral estoppel applied to bar that claim. Holtman specifically argued that collateral estoppel did not apply because the issue of 4-G’s Plumbing & Heating’s negligence was not an issue in his previous counterclaim.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gray, J.)

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