Justia Commercial Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Kentucky Supreme Court
Wells Fargo Bank v. Commonwealth
This case arose from a consolidated appeal. In the underlying cases, the respective property owners failed to satisfy their debt obligations to professional lending institutions, which precipitated the foreclosure proceedings. In both cases, the professional lenders asserted that their respective mortgages were superior to the general tax liens filed pursuant to Ky. Rev. Stat. 134.420(2). The circuit court entered a judgment granting the professional lenders' liens priority over the other liens. The court of appeals determined that the circuit court had erred in reordering the priorities and reversed the judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals, holding (1) the prior-recorded section 134.420(2) tax liens enjoyed priority pursuant to the long established first-to-file doctrine; and (2) the doctrine of equitable subrogation does not act to relieve a professional lender of a negligent title examination. View "Wells Fargo Bank v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law
Giddings & Lewis, Inc. v. Industrial Risk Insurers
In this case the Kentucky Supreme Court considered whether to adopt the "economic loss rule," which prevents the commercial purchaser of a product from suing in tort to recover for the economic losses arising from the malfunction of the product itself. The case involved a claim to insurers for a damaged piece of machinery. The insurers sued the manufacturers to recover the amount paid, claiming several causes of action including negligence, strict liability, and negligent misrepresentation. The trial court held the economic loss rule barred the tort claims. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's adoption and application of the rule. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, holding (1) the economic loss rule applies to claims arising from a defective product sold in a commercial transaction, and that the relevant product is the entire item bargained for by the parties and placed in the stream of commerce by the manufacturer; and (2) the economic loss rule applies regardless of whether the product fails over a period of time or destroys itself in a calamitous event, and the rule's application is not limited to negligence and strict liability claims but also encompasses negligent misrepresentation claims.