Delaware Court of Chancery - 316 A.2d 573
In the 1973 case Ryan v. Ocean Twelve, Inc., the Delaware Court of Chancery resolved a contract dispute between a group of condo owners and a developer. Multiple owners, including John E. Ryan, sued the developer, Ocean Twelve, Inc., for failing to complete construction work on their condos and to address defects in the units, such as issues with the air conditioning, roof, appliances, sewage system, driveway, and seawall. They argued that Ocean Twelve, Inc. had promised to fix these problems and sought specific performance of the contract, which means that the developer would be required to fulfill its obligations.
The court decided not to grant specific performance in this case due to the intricate circumstances and the varying scope, length, and type of work required to address each owner's allegations, given that each claim presented a distinct issue.
The court went on to say that effective enforcement by the Court under the circumstances would be impractical, and, likely to not actually happen. The court granted Ocean Twelve's motion to dismiss, subject to the right of the Plaintiffs to transfer their action to the Superior Court, if they so desire so that they could still pursue monetary damages.
The Plaintiffs, owners of residential units in Ocean Eight Condominium, allege that the Defendant, Ocean Twelve, Inc., did not complete all construction work on the units at the time of transfer. The Plaintiffs were induced to proceed with final settlement based on the Defendant's representation that a list of deficiencies would be compiled for each unit and that the incomplete work would be completed in a timely manner. The Plaintiffs allege that certain warranties have been breached by the Defendant and that the incomplete work set forth on various lists has not been finished and defects have not been corrected. The Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction is based on the argument that the Plaintiffs have an adequate remedy at law. The Plaintiffs complain of several issues, including a defective air conditioning system, a faulty central sewage system, and a seawall that was not properly secured to the pilings.
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