Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department A
Not for Publication -Rule 28, Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure
Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. CV2011-008669 The Honorable Dean M. Fink, Judge.
DePasquale & Schmidt, PC Phoenix By Mark J. DePasquale Attorneys for Appellant.
Ridenour Hienton & Lewis, PLLC Phoenix By Brian D. Meyers Patrick J. VanZanen Attorneys for Appellee.
KENT E. CATTANI, Judge.
¶1 Caroline Brown appeals from the superior court's grant of a motion for judgment on the pleadings in favor of Pinnacle Restoration LLC ("Pinnacle"). Brown argues the court erred by concluding she had failed to state a claim for unjust enrichment against Pinnacle. We agree. We therefore vacate the judgment in favor of Pinnacle and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this decision.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
¶2 Brown owns a condominium in the Village at Camelback Mountain and, as an owner, is a member of the community's homeowners association, Camelback Village Improvement Association ("CVIA"). By the terms of the covenants, conditions, and restrictions ("CC&Rs") governing the relationship between CVIA and its members, CVIA may purchase a blanket insurance policy insuring the condominium owners against casualty loss and liability. Although the CC&Rs required insurance proceeds to be payable to CVIA and the relevant owner jointly, the policy actually purchased by CVIA provided for payments to CVIA alone as the only named insured. Each owner pays the portion of premiums required to cover that owner's unit through assessments to CVIA, and Brown paid all such assessments for insurance premiums.
¶3 A fire damaged Brown's condominium in mid-2008. A detailed, itemized estimate for repairs to Brown's unit assessed the total repair cost to be over $247, 000. CVIA hired Pinnacle to perform the repair work set forth in the itemized estimate at the cost stated, and the estimate became Pinnacle's work order. After CVIA received the insurance proceeds, it paid Pinnacle in full. Brown alleges that although Pinnacle completed certain repairs, it "did not perform anywhere near all of the work set forth in the estimate/work order." Thus CVIA's full payment to Pinnacle allegedly overcompensated Pinnacle for "almost $100, 000 for work it did not perform." Brown further asserts that she had to hire a separate contractor to complete the work for which Pinnacle had been hired and had been paid, costing Brown in excess of $50, 000.
¶4 Brown filed suit against both Pinnacle and CVIA, alleging CVIA had breached its duties under the CC&Rs and as a fiduciary and that Pinnacle had been unjustly enriched.Specifically, Brown alleged (1) Pinnacle had been enriched by "receiving payments for work it did not perform, " (2) Brown had been impoverished by not receiving completed repairs despite full insurance payment to Pinnacle and by having to pay a different contractor to complete the work, (3) a connection between the two due to Brown's payment of insurance premiums for the proceeds used to allegedly overpay Pinnacle, (4) no justification for the impoverishment or enrichment, and (5) no remedy at law because Brown was not a party to the insurance agreement or the contract between CVIA and Pinnacle.
¶5 Pinnacle disputed Brown's unjust enrichment allegations and moved for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that Brown had not stated a claim for unjust enrichment as a matter of law. After hearing argument, the superior court granted Pinnacle's motion. The court reasoned that "Brown has no claim in equity for unjust enrichment because, even if Pinnacle was enriched by its failure to perform, she did not enrich it." The court denied Brown's subsequent motion for new trial and awarded Pinnacle a portion of its attorney's fees. The court entered judgment in favor of Pinnacle pursuant to Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b).
¶6 Brown timely appealed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to Article 6, Section 9, of the Arizona Constitution and Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") sections 12-120.21(A)(1) and 2101(A)(1).
¶7 A motion for judgment on the pleadings tests the sufficiency of the complaint; judgment should only be entered for the defendant if the complaint fails to state a claim for relief. Shannon v. Butler Homes, Inc., 102 Ariz. 312, 315, 428 P.2d 990, 993 (1967). On review, we accept the well-pleaded factual allegations of the complaint as true, but review de novo the superior court's legal conclusion. Save Our ...