Appellant landowners sought review of a decision from the Superior Court of Alameda County (California) which granted summary judgment for respondent architect in appellants’ claim for damages arising out of alleged past defects in respondent’s performance under rescinded contracts for services.

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Appellant landowners employed respondent architect to design a large apartment house project. He prepared the basic architectural plans and specifications. Disputes arose before any further architectural services were rendered during actual construction or before any supervision was provided. Appellants purported to terminate respondent’s contracts for services. Thereafter, there was a mutual rescission. In this transaction, the parties executed a mutual release from any and all claims, demands, actions, or suits of any kind, arising out of any liability, known or unknown, of the parties to each other, including but not limited to, any liability arising out of the prior contracts. Sued by the builder, appellants brought a cross-claim against respondent for damages arising out of alleged past defects in his performance under the contracts. The trial court entered summary judgment for respondent based on the mutual release. On appeal, the court affirmed. Based on the rescission alone, the court held, appellants had no cause of action against respondent. Further, the court held, appellants were bound by the clear and explicit terms of the mutual release agreement.


Based on the rescission of respondent architect’s contracts for services and the parties’ mutual release agreement, the court found that appellant landowners had no cause of action against respondent for damages. Accordingly, the court affirmed summary judgment in favor of respondent.

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