Mike Norris and David Welder successfully defended a national engineering firm against recent claims of professional negligence, negligent misrepresentation, contribution, equitable subrogation, breach of implied warranty, and equitable indemnity. These claims were asserted by a general contractor related to a state highway project in Nebraska.
Mr. Norris and Mr. Welder filed a Motion to Dismiss in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, arguing that the Plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to support its claims for relief, as the Plaintiff was not in privity of contract with the engineering firm. Mr. Norris and Mr. Welder also argued that Plaintiff’s claim for negligent misrepresentation failed to specifically plead facts to show any actionable misrepresentation or fraud.
Judge Joseph F. Bataillon agreed, and granted the Motion to Dismiss. Privity is a requirement under Nebraska state law for negligence claims against a design professional, and Judge Bataillon ruled that Plaintiff failed to show privity of contract, or any exception, with respect to each of its claims. Further, Judge Bataillon ruled that no matter how Plaintiff couched its non-negligence claims, including those for equitable relief, those claims were really claims for professional negligence.