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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 1, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James G. Stranch, III, and Michael J. Wall, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Paul T. Sorace and David G. Rogers.

Attorneys 2:

Eugene N. Bulso, Jr., and Paul Joseph Krog, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Estate of Jane Kathryn Ross and Joan Wildasin.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

This is the second appeal of an action to recover, under either the theory of unjust enrichment or a resulting trust, the value of improvements paid by the plaintiff for a house constructed on her son’s property. The plaintiff paid the construction costs to build a new home on her son’s land for both of them to reside. This action was commenced when the son refused to put his mother’s name on the deed after the house was constructed. Following the first trial, the trial court found that the plaintiff never intended to convey an inter vivos gift to her son, and, after considering the plaintiff’s alternative claims for relief, the court established a resulting trust in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $417,000. In the first appeal, we ruled that a resulting trust was not an available remedy and remanded for further proceedings. On remand, the trial court awarded the estate a judgment against the son based on unjust enrichment. The son appeals again, this time contending the estate waived its unjust enrichment claim in the first appeal and that the estate did not prove the value of the improvements. We affirm.