Mealey's Construction Defects

  • June 23, 2017

    New York Appeals Court Finds Suit Over Defectively Installed Pool Is Untimely

    ALBANY, N.Y.  — An appeals court panel in New York on June 22 upheld a ruling finding that a man’s breach of warranty suit over an allegedly defectively installed pool was untimely because it was filed more than six years after the pool was installed (Paul Fallati v. Concord Pools, Ltd., No. 524075, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. LEXIS 5089).

  • June 23, 2017

    Appeals Court: No Error In Arbitrator’s Rejection Of Contractor’s Counterclaim

    MINNEAPOLIS  — A Minnesota appeals court panel on June 19 affirmed an arbitrator’s decision to reject a general contractor’s counterclaim that a roofing subcontractor performed defective work at a different job site, holding that the arbitrator did not add extracontractual terms to the parties’ arbitration agreement (Minnkota Architectural Products Co., Inc. v. Rice Lake Construction Group, No. A16-2011, Minn. App., 2017 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 541).

  • June 22, 2017

    4th Circuit: Settlement Agreement Bars Association’s Suit Over Defective Windows

    RICHMOND, Va.  — A settlement agreement that was approved by a federal judge in South Carolina in 2015 that resolved 18 class action lawsuits filed against the manufacturer of allegedly defective windows barred a condominium owners association’s California state court lawsuit against the manufacturer, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 20 in affirming a ruling that the state court suit violates the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) (In re:  MI Windows and Doors, Inc. Products Liability Litigation, No. 16-1146, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10886).

  • June 21, 2017

    Texas Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Finding Homeowner Failed To Provide Notice

    HOUSTON — A Texas appeals panel on June 20 upheld a ruling awarding summary judgment to a home builder after finding that a homeowner failed to provide the required presuit notification pursuant to the Residential Construction Liability Act (RCLA) (Vision 20/20, Ltd. v. Cameron Builders, Inc., No. 14-15-01011-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5596).

  • June 21, 2017

    Judge Refuses To Substitute Insurer As Defendant In UCL, Coverage Case

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on June 16 denied a request filed by a group of development companies to substitute an insurer as a defendant in an action seeking coverage in an underlying construction defects case, finding that the substitution would not advance the litigation and refusing to remand the case (Toll CA, L.P., et al. v. American Safety Indemnity Company, et al., No. 16-cv-1523, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94107).

  • June 20, 2017

    Home Builder Agrees To Pay Penalty, Obtain Permits For Storm Water Discharges

    NEWARK, N.J. — NVR Inc., doing business as Ryan Homes, on June 15 agreed to pay a $425,000 civil penalty and agreed to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to resolve allegations from the federal government that the home builder was violating the Clean Water Act (United States of America v. NVR, Inc., No. 17cv4346, D. N.J.).

  • June 20, 2017

    PEX Pipe Maker Removes Suit Filed By Pulte Homes Over Ruptures

    SAN ANTONIO — NIBCO Inc. on June 19 removed to Texas federal court a lawsuit filed by Pulte Homes of Texas L.P. claiming that PEX piping made by NIBCO is defective, arguing that complete diversity exists between the parties and because Pulte is seeking more than $75,000 in damages (Pulte Homes of Texas, L.P. v. NIBCO, Inc., No. 17-CV-544, W.D. Texas).

  • June 16, 2017

    Texas Appeals Court Affirms Verdict Against Maker Of Defective Concrete

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas appellate court panel on June 15 affirmed a jury’s verdict finding that a concrete manufacturer should indemnify a contractor that installed concrete that was defectively made, holding that the trial court judge did not err when striking the manufacturer’s expert testimony and that the company did not clearly argue in its post-trial motions that the contractor that finished the concrete was a seller under the Texas Products Liability Act (TPLA) (RDJRLW, Inc. v. Bobby Elbert Miller, Jr., d/b/a Miller Construction, et al., No. 02-16-00132-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5494).

  • June 16, 2017

    Parties In Fluidmaster MDL To Hold July 14 Settlement Conference

    CHICAGO — The federal judge in Illinois presiding over a multidistrict litigation for lawsuits claiming that coupling nuts and hoses in water supply lines made by Fluidmaster Inc. are defective on June 14 stated that the parties will meet for a settlement conference on July 14 (In re: Fluidmaster, Inc., Water Connector Components Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2575, No. 14-cv-5696, N.D. Ill.).

  • June 12, 2017

    Judge Denies Tennessee Man’s Motion To Certify Class Over Faulty Shingles

    ATLANTA — A federal judge in Georgia on June 8 refused to certify a class for homeowners in Tennessee whose houses have Atlas Roofing Corp.’s Chalet brand shingles that are allegedly defective because they retain water and prematurely cup and curl, finding that the individual issues predominate over classwide issues (In re: Atlas Roofing Corporation Chalet Shingle Products liability Litigation, MDL 2495, Michael Mazza, et al. v. Atlas Roofing Corporation, No. 13-CV-4218-TWT, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88495).

  • June 8, 2017

    Judge Erred When Piercing Contractor’s Corporate Veil Sua Sponte, Panel Rules

    INDIANAPOLIS  — An Indiana appellate panel on June 1 overturned a trial court judge’s sua sponte decision to pierce a remodeling company’s corporate veil in order to find the owner personally liable for construction defects and faulty workmanship, holding that the Indiana Home Improvement Contract Act (HICA) does not give the court such authority (DNS Allen, LLC, d/b/a D & S Allen, LLC v. Alan Cox, et al., No. 61A1-1609-CC-2141, Ind. App., 2017 Ind. App. LEXIS 713).

  • June 7, 2017

    Appeals Court Affirms Judgment Against Contractor For Injuries From Guardrail

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland appeals court panel on May 31 affirmed a judgment against a general contractor for injuries a man sustained after an improperly installed guardrail at a home failed and allowed him to fall 13 feet, finding that the contractor owed a duty to subsequent purchasers of the home (Marrick Homes, LLC, v. Adam Rutkowski, et al., No. 655 Sept. Term 2016, Md. Spec. App., App., 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 562).

  • June 6, 2017

    Ohio Appeals Court Reverses Ruling Compelling Arbitration In Defects Suit

    AKRON, Ohio — A trial court judge in Ohio erred when granting a home builder’s motion to stay proceedings and compel arbitration of a construction defects case, an Ohio appeals panel ruled June 5, finding that the judge was required to first hold a hearing on the motion (Thomas Kelsey, et al. v. Carrington Homes, Inc., No. 16CA0066-M, Ohio App., 9th Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 2163).

  • June 6, 2017

    Colorado High Court Says Developer Has Right To Veto Changes To Declaration

    DENVER — A 5-2 majority of the Colorado Supreme Court on June 5 ruled that developers should maintain the right to consent to amendments made to a common interest community’s declaration requiring that construction defect allegations be resolved through arbitration (Vallagio at Inverness Residential Condominium Association, Inc. v. Metropolitan Homes, Inc., et al., No. 15SC508, Colo. Sup., 2017 Colo. LEXIS 441).

  • June 5, 2017

    Kansas Appeals Court: Exhaust Fan Housing, Motor Not Integral To Home

    TOPEKA, Kan. — An appellate panel in Kansas on June 2 reversed a ruling awarding summary judgment to the manufacturers of a bathroom exhaust fan housing and motor, finding that a builder’s claims that the fan’s motor caused two fires are not barred by the economic loss doctrine because bathroom exhaust fans are not integral parts of a home (Corvias Military Living, LLC v. Ventamatic, Ltd., et al., No. 116,307, Kan. App., 2017 Kan. App. LEXIS 38).

  • June 1, 2017

    Florida Appeals Panel Finds Arbitration Provision Is Against Public Policy

    LAKELAND, Fla. — An arbitration provision in a sales agreement for a home that the owners claim has defectively installed stucco is against public policy because it prevents the couple from pursuing their allegations that the builder violated the Florida Building Code, a Florida appeals panel ruled May 31 in reversing an order compelling arbitration (Reginald Anderson, et al. v. Taylor Morrison of Florida, Inc., No. 2D16-314, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 7777).

  • June 1, 2017

    Judge Denies Homeowner’s Request To Enjoin Destructive Testing

    BEAUFORT, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on May 30 denied a woman’s request for an injunction barring defendants accused of construction defects from conducting destructive testing on the stucco on her home, noting that the motion to compel the testing was withdrawn (Jacqueline Craft v. South Carolina Plastering, LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-5080-PMD, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81816).

  • May 30, 2017

    Plaintiffs’ Counsel Informs Judge Of Settlement Over Allegedly Defective Decking

    NEWARK, N.J.  — Counsel for plaintiffs who claim that decking made by Azek Building Products Inc. is defective because it prematurely faded, discolored, scratched and stained informed a federal judge in New Jersey on May 24 that they have reached a settlement with the manufacturer (In re:  Azek Building Products Inc.; Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 2506, Mel Beucler, et al. v. CPG International Inc., et al., No. 12cv6627, D. N.J.).

  • May 25, 2017

    Colorado Governor Signs Bill Aimed At Making Defects Lawsuits Harder To File

    DENVER — According to published reports, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on May 23 signed into law a bill designed to make it harder to sue developers of condominiums by requiring that a majority of unit owners consent to filing a lawsuit before it can be brought.

  • May 24, 2017

    Colorado High Court Reverses Ruling Allowing Attorney To Represent Homeowners

    DENVER — A 4-3 Colorado Supreme Court on May 22 reversed a ruling allowing an attorney and her firm to represent homeowners accusing a developer and other contractors of construction defects, ruling that the judge improperly found that the matter was subject to issue preclusion rather than the subsequently related requirement under Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct 1.9 and 1.10 (In re:  Villas at Highland Park Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Villas at Highland Park, LLC, et al., No. 16SA212, Colo. Sup., 2017 Colo. LEXIS 415).