Supreme Court Overrules Decisions Subjecting Residential Builders to the Consumer Protection Act

The Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) is a broad statute which seeks to protect Michigan consumers from a variety of fraudulent or unfair trade practices. In Hartman & Eichhorn Bldg. Co., Inc. v Dailey, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the MCPA can be applied to place personal liability on an owner or agent of a residential builder corporation. This would mean that the personal assets of owners, members, shareholders or agents of residential builder corporations or limited liability companies may be exposed to claims brought by their customers under the MCPA for torts committed by the company or agents of the company.

Fortunately, the Michigan Supreme Court accepted the case for review and overturned the lower court's decision. Although this case relieved Michigan residential builders from increased liability exposure under the MCPA, it is still important for residential builders to have a comprehensive asset protection plan.