Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Court reviews whether a land surveyor can be held liable for damages incurred by sinkholes

BRIAN DALE, single; BRIAN LAWHORN and wife, PAMELA LAWHORN; and WILLIAM JENKINS and wife, ELAINE JENKINS v. B & J ENTERPRISES, ET AL. (tenn. Ct. App. May 10, 2012)

Homeowners filed this lawsuit against various individuals and entities shortly after purchasing their homes, when they discovered that their properties are affected by numerous sink holes. Original defendants identified a surveyor as a comparative tortfeasor, and the homeowners amended their complaint to add the surveyor as a defendant. The surveyor filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the homeowners’ claims were barred by Tennessee Code Annotated section 28-3-114, which provides that all actions to recover damages against any person engaged in the practice of surveying for any deficiency, defect, omission, error or miscalculation shall be brought within four years from the date the survey is recorded on the plat, or else be forever barred. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs were subsequently granted permission by the trial court and this Court to pursue an interlocutory appeal. Finding that section 28-3-114 governs the homeowners’ claims, we affirm.

Opinion available at: