June 16, 2016.
From Lexington County William P. Keesley, Circuit Court Judge
William E. Booth, III, of Booth Law Firm, LLC, of West
Columbia, for Appellant.
Robin Turner, of J. Robin Turner, P.A., of Columbia, for
Respondent S2P, LLC and Kathryn M. Cook, of Myrtle Beach for
Respondent Southern Produce, Inc.
dispute arising out of a construction project, Rose Electric,
Inc. (Rose Electric) appeals the trial court's order
finding for Southern Produce, Inc. (Southern) and S2P, LLC,
(S2P) (collectively Respondents) arguing the trial court
erred in (1) finding an expressed contract barred its
recovery under the theory of quantum meruit; (2) finding Rose
Electric did not establish the elements of its quantum meruit
claim; (3) and failing to award Rose Electric damages.
is in the business of processing produce for sale. In the
fall of 2010, Southern leased a parcel of land from S2P in
the new South Carolina Farmers Market in Lexington County. On
October 27, 2010, Southern entered into a "flat fee,
turnkey contract" with Cooler Erectors of Atlanta
(Cooler Erectors) to construct a refrigerated processing
center on the property.
the first week of November 2010, Morris Teasley, the
president of Cooler Erectors, contacted Homer Rose, the owner
of Rose Electric, about subcontracting the electrical work on
the Southern project. Cooler Erectors and Rose Electric
worked on three other projects at the new Farmers Market
prior to working on the Southern project. Rose Electric
agreed to complete the work; however, Rose Electric and
Cooler Erectors did not discuss a price for the Southern
the project Southern asked Rose Electric to modify the plans
and materials Rose Electric received from Cooler Erectors.
Rose Electric agreed to make those changes.
the construction process, Southern paid Cooler Erectors
$203, 277.00 of the project's $213,
385.00 contract price. However, Cooler Erectors did not
pay Rose Electric. Eventually, Rose Electric filed a
mechanics' lien on Southern's property. The statement
of account attached to the mechanics lien claimed Rose
Electric was owed $54, 339.13 for the "Total
Contract Price" and $10, 755.39 for
20, 2011, Rose Electric filed its complaint alleging causes
of action for foreclosure of its mechanics' lien, breach
of contract, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit. During
opening statements, Rose Electric notified the trial court it
would only be pursuing its equitable cause of action for
trial court issued its order finding for Respondents on
January 30, 2014. The trial court found an expressed contract
existed between Rose Electric and Southern for the change
orders and between Rose Electric and Cooler Erectors for the
original scope of work. The trial court recognized Rose
Electric elected not to proceed on its contract claims;
therefore, the trial court found for Respondents. The trial
court found the existence of an expressed contract precluded
Rose Electric from recovery under quantum meruit. In the
alternative, the trial court found Rose Electric failed to
establish the elements of quantum meruit because Southern
paid all but $10, 108.00 of the contract price to
Cooler Erectors and offered to pay Rose Electric for the
change orders and a prorated share of the retainage.