THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY v. WOOD RIDGE DEVELOPMENT, INC., ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Nov 7, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Arthur E. McClellan, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellants, Wood Ridge Development, Inc., et al.

Attorneys 2:

Lora Barkenbus Fox and Catherine J. Pham, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Philip L. Robertson, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lexon Insurance Company.

Judge(s): DINKINS

The developer of a Nashville subdivision and its surety entered into three performance agreements by which they bound themselves to complete the infrastructure in the subdivision. The Metropolitan Government brought an action to enforce the agreements against both parties when the developer failed to complete the infrastructure. The surety filed an answer as well as a cross claim against the developer and a third-party complaint against a group of investors who had executed a separate agreement to indemnify the surety for any amounts the surety might pay or be held liable. After settling with the Metropolitan Government, the surety sought summary judgment against the developer and investors; the cross and third-party defendants also sought summary judgment asserting that, since the surety did not issue a separate bond, they had no obligation to indemnify the surety. The court granted summary judgment to the surety upon holding that the performance agreement operated as a bond and entitled the surety to indemnification. The developer and investors appeal the grant of the surety's motion and the denial of their motion. We hold that the surety's execution of the performance agreements operated as an "undertaking[] or other writing[] obligatory in nature of a bond" as contemplated by the indemnity agreement and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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