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EUGENE CLINT VINSON, INDIVIDUALLY, AND AS EXECUTOR OF ESTATE OF EUGENE VINSON, DECEASED v. MERIDIAN MASONIC TEMPLE BUILDING ASSOCIATION; MR. & MRS. L. M. DUDLEY

AUGUST 28, 1985

EUGENE CLINT VINSON, INDIVIDUALLY, AND AS EXECUTOR OF ESTATE OF EUGENE VINSON, DECEASED
v.
MERIDIAN MASONIC TEMPLE BUILDING ASSOCIATION; MR. & MRS. L. M. DUDLEY, SR., ET AL.



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, DAN LEE and ROBERTSON

ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

The complaint of Eugene Vinson, trustee for Eugene Clint Vincent; and Merchants & Farmers Bank, conservator of Arlene Vinson; filed in the Chancery Court of Lauderdale County, sought both prohibitory and mandatory injuctions for the repair and maintenance of the roof on a building known as the Masonic Temple Building in the City of Meridian, Mississippi. Defendants in the suit were Meridian Masonic Temple Building Association; L. M. Dudley, Sr., and Flora M. Dudley, his wife; Robert Merson; James T. Speed; David Majure; Barbara Robinson; and Broadhead Foundation, Inc.

After a three-day trial, the lower court entered judgment in the sum of one hundred sixty-five thousand dollars ($165,000) in favor of the Vinsons against Broadhead Foundation, Inc., denied the prayer for prohibitory and mandatory injunctions and denied all relief prayed for against the remaining defendants. The Vinsons have appealed to this Court and assign the following errors in the trial below:

 (1) The lower court erred in not holding all prior owners liable.

 (2) The lower court erred in not holding the defendants Speed, Majure, Robinson and Merson liable.

 Facts

 On December 28, 1950, Clint Vinson and A. P. Carney, predecessors in title to the appellants, executed a warranty deed conveying the second and third floors of the Masonic Temple Building to the Meridian Masonic Temple Building

 Association (corporation) which is now defunct and is a nominal defendant in the case. The deed contained the following provision:

 Purchasers and their successors in title are to maintain the roof over the said building on the said land that is not sold herein as well as on that which is sold.

 The Masonic Temple Building Association conveyed the property by warranty deed on September 30, 1976, to L. M. Dudley, Sr. and Flora Dudley, as joint tenants, with right of survivorship and not as tenants-in-common. The deed contained the following provision:

 Grantees assume occupancy and upkeep of said building.

 Subsequently, on March 10, 1977, L. M. Dudley, Sr., and Flora Dudley executed a special warranty deed to Bob Merson, James Speed, David Majure and Barbara Robinson conveying the property and including the same provision contained in the 1976 deed, viz," Grantees assume occupancy and upkeep of said building. "Those four appellees conveyed the property to the Broadhead Foundation, a non-profit corporation, on December 19, 1977, with the same provision in that deed.

 The building sustained considerable water damage from a leaking roof, which caused tenants on the first floor to vacate spaces rented by them at various times between July, 1980, and November, 1981. Attempts of a sort were made to alleviate the problem, but without success. The crucial factual question is - when did the leaking begin and when was the damage incurred - before or after December 19, 1977? ...


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