Build, Inc. v Utah Department of Transportation et al.

Build brought an interlocutory appeal of the summary judgment granted on its breach of contract and consequential damages claims. The Court affirmed. It held there was an inconsistency in Court precedent on whether a successor judge can revisit nonfinal decisions in a case and resolved the inconsistency by changing the rule in the case law which limited the ability of successor judges to revisit nonfinal decisions to factors which successor judges can consider and allowing successor judges to revisit decisions even if error is not clear as al judges to hear a matter are considered on appeal to be one single judicial officer. It held that under the new rule the grant of summary judgment was within the power of the successor judge as the earlier denial of the motion was not final and would have led to a judgment as matter of law at trial and it makes no sense to require that outcome. It held the grant was correct because Department’s engineer stated he did not consider the hauling of extra materials to be change in plans under the contract and Build offered no evidence that directly contradicts this. It affirmed on consequential damages because Build failed to disclose its method for calculating consequential damages or the amount sought and the claim would inevitably have been dismissed for failure to comply with disclosure requirements thus any error in excluding Build’s experts was harmless.