BOSTON — Three subcontractors owe a defense to a general contractor against negligence and breach of the implied warranties of habitability and good workmanship claims brought by a subrogated insurer for water damage in a condominium building, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled March 22 (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Consigli Construction Company Inc., et al. v. Central Ceilings Inc., No. 14-14687, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41444).
TAMPA, Fla. — A couple claiming that the defective construction of their home allowed for water infiltration and mold growth that led to the death of their daughter can amend their allegations that the home builder violated the Florida Building Code and engaged in fraud, a federal judge in Florida ruled March 17 in granting in part the builder’s motion to dismiss (Rohan B. Goldson, et al. v. KB Home, et al., No. 17-cv-340-T-24 AEP, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38426).
CHICAGO — An Illinois judge on March 14 approved a liquidator’s recommendation of a payment to a class of homeowners that won a construction defect lawsuit against a group of developers insured by an insolvent insurer (In the matter of the liquidation of Legion Indemnity Co., No. 02 CH 06695, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal jury in Connecticut on March 16 found in favor of a couple who claimed that negligently installed spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation resulted in property damage and awarded them $82,400 for diminution in the value of their property and $6,690 in damages for the installation (Richard Beyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn.).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A stucco remediation expert’s methodology for calculating the cost to repair homes made by Pulte Home Corp. that have improperly installed stucco is not reliable or relevant, a federal judge in Florida ruled March 10 in granting the builder’s motion to exclude the testimony (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.).
DENVER — A Colorado appeals panel on March 9 overturned a ruling awarding summary judgment to the builder of a senior living facility in a construction defects lawsuit, ruling that the building is residential property under the Homeowner Protection Act of 2007 (HPA) that waives the builder’s rights under the Construction Defect Action Reform Act (CDARA) (Broomfield Senior Living Owner, LLC, et al. v. R.G. Brinkmann, d/b/a Brinkmann Constructors, No. 16CA0101, Colo. App., 2017 Colo. App. LEXIS 261).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on March 6 entered final approval of a $9.3 million settlement that certified a class of consumers who purchased a concrete resurfacing paint made by Rust-Oleum Corp. that allegedly bubbled and flaked prematurely (In re: Rust-Oleum Restore Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2602, Case No. 15 C 1364, N.D. Ill.).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A civil engineer’s education, experience and expertise in stucco installation was not enough to show that his testimony in support of a proposed class action filed by homeowners against Pulte Home Corp. satisfied the requirements of Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), a federal judge in Florida ruled March 3 in granting the home builder’s motion to exclude (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30251).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware on Feb. 1 granted in part a homebuilder’s motion to enjoin some condominium owners from pursuing construction defects claims against it, finding that the company’s reorganization plan barred all allegations that arose before the company filed its plan (In re: Orleans Homebuilders, Inc., et al., No. 10-10684, Del. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 483).
JACKSON, Miss. — A building supply company that sold salvaged Chinese drywall to a contractor that built a couple’s home is shielded from liability under the “innocent seller” provision of the Mississippi Products Liability Act (MPLA), the Mississippi Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 28 after finding that the supplier did not alter the product or know that it was salvaged (Kent Holifield, et al. v. City Salvage, Inc., No. 2015-CA-01293-COA, Miss. App., 2017 Miss. App. LEXIS 115).
FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The Community Associations Institute (CAI), a nonprofit group specializing in educating community associations and homeowners, released a report on Feb. 28 stating that construction defects are more likely found in condominiums than townhomes and that defects are more commonly the result of poor workmanship.
DENVER — An en banc Colorado Supreme Court on Feb. 27 reversed a trial court’s ruling entering summary judgment against a general contractor on its third-party claims against two subcontractors, finding that the six-year statute of repose is irrelevant for third-party claims brought under Colorado Revised Statute Section 13-80-104(1)(b)(II) (Richard Goodman v. Heritage Builders, Inc., et al., No. 16SA193, Colo. Sup., 2017 Colo. LEXIS 153).
PHOENIX — An Arizona appeals panel on Feb. 23 affirmed a trial court’s judgment requiring a grading subcontractor to indemnify a general contractor for construction defects, ruling that the general contractor was not required to prove negligence or causation to support its request (Amberwood Development, Inc. v. Swann’s Grading, Inc., No. 1-CA-CV 15-0786, Ariz. App., 1st Div., 2017 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 207).
CHICAGO — An Illinois appellate panel on Feb. 17 affirmed a trial court judge’s decisions to dismiss claims for breach of the implied warranty of habitability brought by an association of condominium owners against designers and building materials suppliers, but held that the association could pursue a similar claim against subcontractors who worked on the complex (Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Corporation, d/b/a Champion Window and Door, et al., Nos. 14-3364, 14-3687, 14-3753, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 86).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana appeals panel on Feb. 17 affirmed rulings awarding summary judgment to a home builder and its insurer, finding that a family’s allegations that defective workmanship caused a fire that destroyed the home were perempted by the New Home Warranty Act (NHWA) (James E. Shields Jr., et al. v. Alvin R. Savoie & Associates Inc., d/b/a Savoie Construction, et al., No. 2016 CA 0825 consolidated with No. 2016 CA 0826, La. App., 1st Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 249).
AUGUSTA, Ga. — A federal judge in Georgia on Feb. 22 dismissed without prejudice a proposed class action suit accusing Daikin Industries Ltd. (DIL), Daikin Applied Americas Inc. (DAA) and Daikin North Americas LLC (DNA) of making and selling air conditioning units with faulty evaporator coils, ruling that a building owner lacks personal jurisdiction to assert claims against DIL and failed to state claims against DAA and DNA (Paws Holdings, LLC v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 16-58, S.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24684).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on Feb. 17 held that a couple could pursue claims that allegedly improper installation of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation in their home resulted in property damage requiring remediation but that they failed to provide causation evidence to show that they suffered respiratory problems after being exposed to volatile organic compound (VOC) vapors from the products (Richard Beyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23434).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Feb. 17 ordered a new trial on liability and damages in a construction defects case after learning that the judge who presided over the suit had retired and that no other judge could prepare a supplemental opinion explaining his rulings (Leo J. Dolan v. Hurd Millwork Company Inc., et al., No. 2951 EDA 2015 Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 691).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Pella Corp. says in an opposition brief filed Feb. 16 that a federal judge in South Carolina should not reconsider his Dec. 12 ruling that plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions about defects in the company’s Architect and Designer Series windows are unreliable because the plaintiffs’ arguments have already been raised and were rejected (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and products Liability Litigation, MDL 2514, Case No. 14mn1, D. S.C.).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Feb. 7 overruled a general contractor’s argument that a bankruptcy court judge erred in finding that its negligence claim against a subcontractor who improperly installed shelf angles was barred by the economic loss doctrine, holding that the contractor was unable to show what damage resulted from the improper installation (Weaver Cooke Construction, LLC v. Randolph Stair and Rail Company, No. 14-CV-709-BR, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19442).