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Houk v. Best Dev. & Constr. Co., Inc.

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

March 13, 2014

William Houk et al., Respondents ,
v.
Best Development & Construction Company, Inc., et al., Defendants, Nichols & Shahan Development, LLC, et al., Petitioners

Reconsideration denied April 17, 2014.

Appeal from Spokane Superior Court. Docket No: 10-2-05239-3. Date filed: 08/28/2012. Judge signing: Honorable Linda G Tompkins.

Ross P. White and Michael J. Kapaun (of Witherspoon Kelley ), for petitioners.

Leonard D. Flanagan and Kenneth W. Strauss (of Stein, Flanagan, Sudweeks & Houser ), for respondents.

AUTHOR: Stephen M. Brown, J. WE CONCUR: Kevin M. Korsmo, C.J., George B. Fearing, J.

OPINION

Page 30

[179 Wn.App. 910] ¶ 1 Brown, J.

On discretionary review, real estate developers Nichols & Shahan Development LLC (a dissolved limited liability company) and Joseph K. Nichols (collectively NSD) ask us to overturn the trial court's denial of its summary judgment motion against home purchasers and plaintiffs William and Janice Houk. NSD contends the trial court erred in not concluding the limitation provisions of RCW 25.15.303 added in 2010 are prospective and require a plaintiff to sue within three years after a certificate of dissolution is filed. We agree with NSD. Applying this law to the undisputed material facts, we reverse and grant summary judgment to NSD.

FACTS

¶ 2 In 2004, the Houks moved into a newly constructed home in NSD's development. The Houks soon began noticing [179 Wn.App. 911] multiple defects in their home, some serious. On October 2, 2006, Washington's secretary of state dissolved NSD as a limited liability company (LLC). On December 16, 2010, the Houks sued NSD for damages, alleging breach of contract; breach of implied

Page 31

warranties, and breach of express warranties; negligence; and violation of Washington's Consumer Protection Act, chapter 19.86 RCW. NSD requested summary judgment dismissal, arguing the Houks' complaint was time barred because it was filed more than three years after NSD dissolved. The trial court disagreed, concluding the recently amended RCW 25.15.303 required an LLC to file a certificate of dissolution and since NSD did not file the certificate, it was still subject to litigation. This court granted NSD's request for discretionary review.

ANALYSIS

¶ 3 The issue is whether the trial court erred by denying NSD's request for summary judgment dismissal after it concluded the limitation provisions of RCW 25.15.303 as ...


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