Johnson, Ray, C Et Al v. Vita Built LLC Et Al

  • Court: Connecticut, Superior Court, J. D. OF Stamford-Norwalk
  • Case number: FST-CV19-5022735-S
  • Filed: December 24, 2019
  • Judge: Edward Krumeich | Yamini Menon | Sheila Ozalis | Robert Genuario
  • Case type:   C00 – Contracts – Construction – All other

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff: Ray C Johnson | Indre L Johnson
    • Counsel for Plaintiff: Vanessa R. Wambolt | Colin B. Connor
  • Defendant: Vita Built LLC | Vita Design Group LLC
    • Counsel for Defendant: Bruce L. Elstein, Esq.

Verdict Information

  • Verdict date: May 31, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to the Plaintiff: $0.00

About the Case


Plaintiffs Ray C. Johnson and Indre L. Johnson owned property at 281 Compo Road South, Westport, Connecticut. Defendant Vita Built, LLC (Defendant Contractor) was a Connecticut Limited Liability Company and licensed home construction and improvement contractor at 1 Wilton Road, Westport. Defendant Vita Design Group, LLC (Defendant Architect) provided architectural services at the same address.

On June 13, 2017, Defendants drafted a “Joint Venture Agreement” for new home construction on the property. This document was never signed. The Plaintiffs then hired Defendants to tear down the existing structure and build a new home.

On September 13, 2017, the parties signed a “Construction Contract” for the new single-family home. It required the Plaintiffs to pay a fixed fee to both Defendant Contractor and Defendant Architect and costs associated with the work.

Later, the Defendants reduced the fees. On September 29, 2017, Lucien Vita, principal for both companies, signed a “Fee Reduction Letter” reducing the fees. This letter was appended to the Construction Contract.

On February 2, 2019, the parties signed an “Additional Fee and Profit Sharing Agreement.” It included terms for the home’s design and construction, Builder’s cost management commitment, fee reductions, and profit and loss sharing.

The final property sale price was $4,900,000, resulting in a net loss of $563,530. As per the “Additional Fee and Profit Sharing Agreement,” Defendants were each responsible for 40% of the property’s net profits or losses. Plaintiffs performed as per the agreement; however, Defendants breached it, violating their contractual obligations.


Due to Defendant Builder’s alleged breach of contract, Plaintiffs suffered damages totaling $162,412. Moreover, due to Defendant Architect’s alleged breach, Plaintiffs incurred an additional $162,412.


Defendant Builder and Defendant Architect breached the agreement terms, failing their contractual obligations with Plaintiffs. The amount demanded, exceeding $15,000, excludes interest and costs. Plaintiffs sought compensatory damages, costs, and any other relief deemed just and proper by the Court.

Jury Verdict

On May 31, 2024, a Connecticut jury found in favor of the Defendants on the first counterclaim of breach of contract. Consequently, the court individually granted Defendants $63,000 against the Plaintiffs. Thus, in total, the court awarded Defendants $126,000 against the Plaintiff.

The jury also held that the Plaintiffs had breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the second counterclaim. However, the jury was in favor of the Plaintiffs on the question of the third counterclaim which was about the violation of the Connecticut Fair Trade Practices Act.

Court Documents: