At the trial, Czar argued that the CFA did not apply because the Heath's home was a new residence, and the HIPR exclude "the construction of a new residence" from the definition of "home improvement." The trial judge agreed and dismissed the consumer fraud claim, noting that although Czar was not the general contractor, it was "intimately involved with the construction of the new residence, at least as to the kitchen." The Heaths appealed.
While that installation was obviously incident to the overall construction of a new residence, Czar itself did not "construct a new residence" for purposes of the HIPR.
2004), that a complete gutting and rebuilding of an existing residence may qualify as "new construction." Czar contended that the "new construction" exception to the HIPR rendered the CFA inapplicable.
The Court rejected this logic, reasoning that because the HIPR are designed to protect homeowners who deal directly with the contractors, it would be inefficient and duplicative to apply them to individual subcontractors having no contractual relationship with the homeowner whatsoever.
Messeka sued for the balance due, and the owners counterclaimed for consumer fraud, citing the HIPR.
It was the same privity of contract analysis, and not a "nature of the project" analysis, that the Court utilized in Czar to conclude that Czar was subject to both the HIPR and the CFA.
This approach eliminates other supportive equipment generally used in HIPR operations.
Herrera cited a further benefit of HIPR: it provides leveling and therefore better control over the placement of the overlay than without that recycled platform.
"It will provide a longer-range study of the efficacy of this new approach to HIPR," said Carriere.