The state Supreme Court is considering an appeal filed by a Weirton couple who bought the Morgantown area home of former WVU football coach Rich Rodriguez.
Ray Hinerman and his wife Barbara purchased the Cheat Lake house in 2010. During the period when the house was under contract, Rita Rodriguez discovered a water leak in the basement which had damaged the carpet. She disclosed the leak and the Hinerman’s were allowed the option of bringing in a home inspector and pulling out of the contract. They did neither, but later filed suit claiming a breach of contract. A Monongalia County judge issued a summary judgment in favor of Rodriguez.
“The lower court simply stated it was ruling as a matter of law that the petitioners couldn’t meet the elements of either a breach-of-contract cause of action or a fraud cause of action,” Rodriguez’s attorney Gary Wigal told the High Court Tuesday.
Hinerman, who represented himself in the case, argued before the court the contract was breached when the Rodriguez legal team failed to provide a general warranty deed free and clear of liens and encumbrances.
“We object because we weren’t given a deed that meets the exact language of the purchase agreement,” Hinerman argued. “Therein is the clearest breach of the contract that anyone can ever argue.”
Wigal says there was clear language in the sales agreement the home was as is and there would be no repairs made.
“We think the breach-of-contract cause of action was correctly dismissed because they cannot meet the breach-of-contract elements,” Wigal argued. “The purchase agreement says the seller will make no repairs and when they did not have a professional inspection, they waived their right to request repairs.”
Hinerman told the High Court in his rebuttal he’d never seen a more clear breach of contract in his 45 years of practicing law and remains shocked the Rich and Rita Rodriguez were even entitled to a summary judgment at all.
“If anyone knows of any law that says a party can breach an agreement and then get the benefit of summary judgment after doing so, it would shock me and I know of no such laws,” said Hinerman.
The High Court agreed to take the matter under advisement and will issue an opinion at a later date.