NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued May 14, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part, Bergen County, Docket No. L-10007-09.
Michael R. Scully argued the cause for appellants (Michael R. Scully, L.L.C., attorneys; Mr. Scully and Maurice Napolitano, on the briefs).
William C. Bochet argued the cause for respondent (Muscarella, Bochet, Edwards & D'Alessandro, P.C., attorneys; Mr. Bochet, on the brief).
Before Judges Fisher and Waugh.
Plaintiffs Michael and Coreen LoGatto appeal the Law Division's orders dismissing their claims against defendant David Lipsky, who conducted his construction business under the name High Ridge Homes, denying their post-judgment motions, and denying their motion for reconsideration. We affirm in part and reverse in part.
We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.
The LoGattos own a home on Pascack Road in Washington Township. In 2008, they sought proposals for a home-remodeling project that included a second-floor addition, including bedrooms and a bathroom, and renovation of the first floor. Lipsky, a home improvement contractor licensed pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-17.3, submitted a proposal sheet itemizing costs, including material, labor, and profit, totaling $258, 121.50. Some of the costs were labeled as being "estimated." After the LoGattos accepted Lipsky's proposal, he did not prepare a written contract as he was required to do by N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.2(a)(12).
In March 2009, Lipsky notified the LoGattos that the expenses exceeded the proposed costs by approximately $25, 000. As of May, the LoGattos had paid Lipsky $247, 500. He informed them that he required an additional $78, 469.37 to complete the work. Because the parties were unable to reach agreement, Lipsky left the job, which was approximately ten percent unfinished. The LoGattos arranged for its completion.
The LoGattos filed suit for the costs of completion in November. Lipsky filed a counterclaim seeking $50, 000 in unpaid costs. The parties subsequently amended their pleadings. In January 2011, the LoGattos moved for summary judgment. Lipsky filed a cross-motion seeking the same relief. Both motions were denied in March.
The case was tried before a jury in October and November 2011. After completion of the LoGattos' evidence, they moved for judgment in their favor on the issue of liability for violations under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 to -195. Lipsky cross-moved for an ...