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Waddy v. Riggleman

606 S.E.2d 222 (2004)

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Waddy v. Riggleman

Supreme Court of West Virginia

606 S.E.2d 222 (2004)

Waddy v. Riggleman

Facts

William Waddy IV (plaintiff) entered into a contract to purchase a 30-acre tract of land from Denver Riggleman III and his wife (defendants) for $22,500, with closing to occur on or before a certain date over two months later. The agreement required the Rigglemans to convey title to the land free and clear of all liens and defects. An attorney, John Ours, prepared the land-sale contract and was charged with obtaining the relevant mortgage releases. Later, the parties amended the contract to add an additional 18 acres to the sale, and extended the closing date by 15 days. Ours failed to timely secure the two mortgage releases by the closing date. The Rigglemans backed out of the agreement. Waddy filed suit against the Rigglemans and two banks that held mortgages on the property subject to the sale. Subsequently, the Rigglemans sold 96 acres to C. Fred Ours and Carol Ours (defendants). The sale adversely affected the 48 acres sought by Waddy, and the Ours were added to the suit as defendants. After Waddy presented his case at a bench trial, the trial court granted the Rigglemans’ motion for a directed verdict and dismissed the complaint. The trial court concluded that that the transfer of the land was impossible and that time was of the essence in closing on the sale. Waddy appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

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