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Lilley v. JP Morgan Chase, 2013 UT App 285 (November 29, 2013) 

Nov 29, 2013

Plaintiffs defaulted on their home construction loan. They sued the appraiser who provided an appraisal to the bank to support their loan for breach of contract under a third party beneficiary theory. Plaintiffs alleged that the appraisal was over-inflated, which led them to borrow too much for the construction, which led to their default. The court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, finding that plaintiffs were not third party beneficiaries of the appraisal as a matter of law. The court explained that the appraisal between the bank and the appraiser did not indicate a direct intent to benefit the plaintiffs – to the contrary, it clearly stated that it was “intended for use [] only by [Lender] for loan purposes only and is not intended for use by any other party or for any other purpose.” Id. ¶ 7 (alterations in original). The court found that the appraiser’s knowledge that the appraisal was going to be used to support plaintiffs’ home construction loan was insufficient to confer third party beneficiary status on them.