SAN FRANCISCO — The maker of hurricane straps that are allegedly defective because they corrode prematurely moved to dismiss in federal court in California on March 17, arguing that the allegations in an amended class action suit brought by two couples and a Georgia company should be dismissed with prejudice because the amended pleading “is as misguided as the original” (Cary Cooper, et al. v. Simpson Strong-Tie Co. Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-7901, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on March 11 vacated a trial court judge’s ruling denying a property owner’s motion to compel arbitration in a construction defects suit, finding that enforcement of the agreement was subject the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and that the statute preempted a state law that allows a purchaser to pursue a construction defect claim against a developer in court even when the sales agreement contains an arbitration clause (Victrola 89 v. Jaman Properties 8 LLC, NO. B295439, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 4th Div., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 199).
NEW ORLEANS — A couple tell the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a March 10 reply brief that a portion of a jury’s verdict that concluded that their redhibitory defect claim against the maker of windows installed on their home was prescribed should be vacated because the prescription period for redhibitory defect claims begins on the date the defect is discovered (Ronald Leo, et al. v. Jeld-Wen Inc., No. 19-30761, 5th Cir.).
OKLAHOMA CITY — A Nevada man sued Pella Corp. in federal court in Oklahoma on March 30, complaining that defects in the manufacturer’s Architect series windows allowed for water leaks that caused wood rot and resulted in his house selling for $125,000 less than the asking price (John Hamlin v. Pella Corp., No. 20-cv-281, W.D. Okla.).
BRANDON, Fla. — A couple sued the builders of their home in Florida state court on March 19, alleging that the improper installation of stucco resulted in water intrusion that caused property damage, violated the state’s building code and breached the terms of the home purchase agreement (Walter B. Blake, et al .v. KB Home, et al., No. 20-CA-002652, Fla. Cir., 13th Jud. Cir., Hillsborough Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — A 2-1 Louisiana appeals panel on March 25 affirmed a ruling finding a contractor in contempt of court for failing to have a representative appear for a judgment debtor examination after being found liable for construction defects at a couple’s home, finding that the representative’s failure to appear at the hearing was imputable to the defendant (Ann Streiffer, et al. v. Deltatech Construction LLC, et al., No. 2019-CA-0990, La. App., 4th Cir., 2020 La. App. LEXIS 504).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on March 25 adopted a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation to grant a subcontractor’s motion to stay and compel arbitration of a homebuilder’s third-party claims, finding that the question of arbitrability should be determined by the arbitrator (Verano Homeowners Association Inc. v. Beazer Homes Corp., et al., No. 18-cv-1119-J-34JRK, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51607).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A church sued a contractor it hired to repair a leaking roof in Delaware state court on March 16, complaining that the work failed to repair the problem and actually worsened the water infiltration issue, resulting in additional interior damage (Cathedral of Fresh Fire Inc. v. Warren Lunbeck, No. N20C-03-151, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
SEATTLE — A Washington couple on March 5 stipulated to dismiss with prejudice their claims against the manufacturer of allegedly defective shingles that suffered from severe granule loss that resulted in premature deterioration and water infiltration before the expiration of the product’s 30-year limited warranty (Paula Wetzel, et al. v. Certainteed Corp., No. 16-cv-01160-JLR, W.D. Wash.).
TRENTON, N.J.— A New Jersey appeals court panel on March 6 affirmed the dismissal of a woman’s lawsuit accusing U.S. Home Corp., doing business as Lennar, of construction defects that resulted in water intrusion and mold growth, finding that her expert’s testimony was unable to establish proximate causation (Joann Wean v. U.S. Home Corp., et al., No. A-5521-17T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina man filed a lawsuit on Feb. 11 in state court against the maker of 90 windows that were installed in his home, alleging that defects in the design and installation of the windows allowed for water intrusion leading to damage to other components of the structure (Charles P. Darby III v. Marvin Windows Inc., et al., No. 2020-CP-10-0765, S.C. Comm. Pls., 9th Dist., Charleston Co.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A general contractor named as a defendant in an action brought by three couples complaining of construction defects that led to water intrusion in their homes on Feb. 28 filed a third-party complaint in Delaware state court seeking indemnification and contribution against six subcontractors who performed work on the houses (Greg Porter, et al. v. Capano Homes Inc., No. N19C-04-208, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on Feb. 10 affirmed a verdict awarding a building owner $344,571.82 in damages for alleged construction defects, finding that the plaintiff building owner waived its arguments on appeal regarding the use of a special verdict form that allowed the jury to allocate negligence between the parties (VillaSport LLC v. Colorado Structures Inc., No. A150372, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div., 2020 Cal. Unpub. LEXIS 971).
TAMPA, Fla. — Two developers named as defendants in a class action lawsuit brought by current and former residents of housing MacDill Air Force Base filed motions to dismiss Feb. 14 in federal court in Florida, arguing that the plaintiffs are unable to state claims against them (Joshua Lenz, et al. v. Michaels Organization LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-2970-T-30, M.D. Fla.).
STAMFORD, Conn. — A trial court judge in Connecticut on Feb. 10 denied a couple’s application for prejudgment remedy (PJR), ruling that their claims against a homebuilder over alleged construction defects are subject to arbitration pursuant to the construction contract (Deborah McIvor, et al. v. Stellar Homes LLC, et al., No. CV19-5022492-S, Conn. Super., Stamford-Norwalk Dist.).
OTTAWA, Ill. — An Illinois appeals panel on Feb. 28 answered a certified question in a municipality’s lawsuit arising from the allegedly defective construction of a sewer system of the construction defects and held that the statute of limitations on the plaintiff’s claims begins to run when it discovered the alleged defects rather than the date of the project’s completion (Village of Onarga v. Atlas Excavation Inc., et al., No. 3-18-0716, Ill. App., 3rd Dist., 2020 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 344).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals panel on Feb. 26 affirmed rulings awarding summary judgment to subcontractors who performed stucco work on an active adult community, finding that a report prepared by an owners association’s expert did not demonstrate that the subcontractors’ work was deficient and the cause of water leaks in individual units (Xanadu at Wall Condominium Association Inc. v. Amboy Bank, et al., No. A-0666-18T3, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2020 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 396).
SAN FRANCISCO — A couple who purchased a home in San Francisco in 2016 from the original purchasers sued the developer and builder of the home in California state court on Feb. 7, complaining that defects in the construction of the home have resulted in water intrusion and property damage (Michael J. Moats, et al. v. Michael Tsang, et al., No. CGC-20-582811, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina couple filed a lawsuit in state court on Jan. 29 against the general contractor and a number of subcontractors who worked on the construction of their home, complaining that the improper installation of a number of the home’s features, including an elevator and fireplace, resulted in violations of the state’s building code, as well as industry standards (James Byerly, et al. v. Saltwater Homes LLC, et al., No. 2020-CP-1000560, S.C. Cir., 9th Jud. Dist.., Charleston Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing lawsuits stemming from allegedly defective drywall made in China on Feb. 20 ruled that a fee dispute between two law firms should be arbitrated because the agreement between the parties contained an arbitration provision (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, E.D. La.).