MINNEAPOLIS — A lawsuit filed in Minnesota federal court by Target Corp. against the maker of allegedly defective roofing membranes that were installed on stores in Minnesota should not be transferred to Ohio, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Aug. 15, finding that the manufacturer failed to show that a similar lawsuit filed by the retailer in Ohio federal court makes it a more convenient forum (Target Corp. v. Seaman Corp., No. 18-cv-3305, D. Minn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138216).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals court panel on Aug. 13 upheld a trial court judge’s denial of a builder’s request to find an architect liable for $3 million in damages awarded to a condominium owners’ association by a jury, finding that an indemnification agreement between the parties requires the architect to indemnify the builder only for the architect’s negligence and that the jury’s decision was based on the builder’s breach of express warranty that common areas were fit for their intended use (Grandview at Riverwalk Port Imperial Condominium Association Inc. v. K. Hovnanian at Port Imperial Urban Renewal II LLC, et al., No. A-2308-17T2, N.J. Super. App. Div., 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1771).
SAN DIEGO — A California appeals panel on Aug. 9 upheld the denial of a motion for expert fees under the Right to Repair Act filed by the supplier of allegedly defective pipes that were installed in a condominium complex, finding that the company’s offer to settle the case represented 2 percent of the amount the homeowners association (HOA) received from a settlement with the developer (Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI Inc., No. D073666, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 1st Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5280).
NEW LONDON, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on July 15 ordered a contractor to pay $1,740 to replace four windows that were improperly installed in a woman’s home and found that the contract between the parties did not comply with the Home Improvement Contractors Act because it did not provide a start date, finish date and rescission period (Rose Stanley v. Martinaj Brothers Construction LLC, No. KNL-CV-17-6031542-S, Conn. Super., New London Dist., 2019 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1937).
SAN ANTONIO — An appeals panel in Texas on July 31 affirmed the denial of a foundation repair company’s motion to compel arbitration, holding that an arbitration provision in an agreement between the company and the home builder did not apply to a couple’s claims over allegedly faulty work because it was not signed by the owners and returned to the company (Advanced Foundation Repair LP, et al. v. Jose Menendez, et al., No. 04-19-00073-CV, Texas App., 4th Dis., 2019 Tex. App. 6545).
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Missouri appeals court panel on July 30 affirmed a lower court judge’s ruling ordering a subcontractor to pay $40,250 to a general contractor for breach of contract when installing a waterfall at a couple’s home, finding no reversible error, and transferred the case to the state’s high court for a determination of whether substantial evidence supported the award (Fox Creek Construction Inc. v. Opie’s Landscaping LLC, No. SD35668, Mo. App., 2019 Mo. App. LEXIS 1171).
GEORGETOWN, Del. — The builder of a housing development in Delaware says in a July 19 motion to dismiss that a lawsuit brought by homeowners over the stormwater management plan is premature and that it, as the builder, cannot be liable for alleged defects in the system (Anthony Nieves, et al. v. Insight Building Co., LLC, et al., No. 2019-0464-SG, Del. Chanc., Sussex Co.).
DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa appeals panel on July 24 upheld a lower court judge’s ruling that the buyers of a home could not pursue a claim for breach of the implied warranty of good and workerlike construction, finding that the trial court did not err when finding that the alleged construction defects were noticeable when the couple purchased the home (David Sokol, et al. v. Robert Morrissey, et al., No. 18-1200, Iowa App., 2019 Iowa App. LEXIS 675).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A company that sold a newly built home with an undisclosed water infiltration problem was found liable by a Connecticut state court judge on June 14 of breach of contract and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) ordered to pay $22,340 to the couple who purchased the home (Daniel Onofrio, et al. v. Joseph Mineri, et al., No. CV17-6072004, Conn. Super., New Haven Dist., 2019 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1674).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A trial court judge’s finding that a contractor was 20 percent liable for water damage to a carpentry room that resulted from the failure to install proper ventilation and that the contractor should pay $9,527.60 was upheld by a Minnesota appeals court panel July 22 after it found that the judge did not err when apportioning the amount of liability based on the testimony of a couple’s expert witness (Kevin Chouanard, et al. v. Oak Lane Construction Inc., et al., No. A18-1733, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 685).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 22 dismissed some claims asserted by a condominium owners’ association against a builder of construction defects that caused water intrusion, finding that some causes of action were barred by the gist-of-the-action doctrine and economic loss doctrine (Roundhill Condominium Association v. NVR Inc., No. 19-442, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121143).
RICHMOND, Texas — A defective air conditioning unit installed in a newly built home caused mold growth that rendered the home uninhabitable, a couple says in lawsuit against the builder of the home filed June 20 in Texas state court (Daniel J. Mech, et al. v. Trendmaker Homes Inc., No. 19-DCV-263661, Texas Dist., 400th Jud. Dist., Fort Bend Co., 2019 Tex. Dist. Ct. Pleadings LEXIS 11803).
RICHMOND, Texas — A couple that purchased a home in 2015 that was built by Lennar Homes of Texas Land & Construction Ltd. sued the builder on June 20 in Texas state court, alleging that defects in the home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit caused mold growth and that the builder has refused to fix the problem (Charles McDonald, et al. v. Lennar Homes of Texas Land & Construction Ltd., et al., No. 19-DCV-263690, Texas Dist., 240th Jud. Dist., Fort Bend Co., 2019 Tex. Dist. Ct. Pleadings LEXIS 11923).
RICHMOND, Texas — A Texas couple sued the builder of their home in state court on June 20, alleging that a defective air conditioning unit’s failure to remove moisture and humidity from the air caused mold growth that rendered the home uninhabitable and that the builder’s “lackadaisical attitude” to repairing the problem prompted the lawsuit (Nidhin Kurian, et al. v. Gateway Homes Ltd., No. 19-DCV-263662, Texas Dist., 268th Jud. Dist., Fort Bend Co., 2019 Tex. Dist. Ct. Pleadings LEXIS 11956).
PHOENIX — An Arizona appeals court panel on July 16 upheld a trial court judge’s ruling that a man lacked standing to pursue a breach of contract claim against his home builder because he failed to list the claim during his bankruptcy proceedings (Rene Detruit v. Castle Rock Homes LLC, No. 1 CA-CV 18-0514, Ariz. App., 1st Div., 2019 Ariz. App. LEXIS 669).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on July 10 affirmed a lower court judge’s ruling that awarded an airpark authority $3.2 million in damages for breach of contract stemming from defects in the construction of airport facilities, finding that the authority was not precluded from being sued, filing suit and entering into a contract (Pipeline Construction Inc., et al. v. Keystone Airpark Authority, et al., No. 1D18-3601, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10804).
TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on July 10 affirmed a trial court judge’s ruling staying a lawsuit brought by the subsequent owners of a home over defects in the stucco, finding that they are subject to the arbitration provision in a special warranty issued to the original purchasers of the house (Shane R. Hayslip, et al. v. U.S. Home Corporation, No. 2D17-4372, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10778).
DALLAS — A Texas appeals panel on July 3 reversed a trial court judge’s ruling denying a homebuilder’s motion to compel arbitration, finding that the claims of the subsequent owners of the home over foundation problems should be subject to arbitration and that claims against their realtor and the realtor’s broker should be abated pending arbitration (Meritage Homes v. Parshant Mudda, et al., No. 05-18-00934-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 5627).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge in Oregon on June 27 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation to allow a homeowners’ association to amend its lawsuit to add a claim for punitive damages because it is not futile or unduly burdensome (Quatama Park Townhomes Owners Association v. RBC Real Estate Finance Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-00023, D. Ore., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107884).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on July 1 entered judgment in favor of a contractor on a woman’s claims for breach of contract and violation of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices (LUPTA) after a jury on June 27 found in favor of the contractor on the plaintiff’s claim for fraud (Janet Jeanes v. Greg McBride, et al., No. 16-1259, W.D. La.).