SAN FRANCISCO — A class of consumers on Oct. 4 asked a federal judge in California to preliminarily approve a $30 million settlement with Lumber Liquidators Inc. to resolve claims that defective flooring made by the company allegedly scratched easily and splintered (Dana Gold, et al. v. Lumber Liquidators Inc., No. 14-cv-5373, N.D. Calif.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware couple sued the builder of their home and the subcontractor that installed the hardwood flooring in state court on Oct. 14, complaining that the defendants were unable to fix “excessive and objectionable floor squeaking” (Edward Gillin, et al. v. Benchmark Builders Inc., et al., No. N19C-10-110, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Oct. 10 granted a couple’s motion in limine to preclude evidence that their failure to obtain a building permit when finishing their basement constituted a latent defect that should have been disclosed when selling their home to another couple, arguing that the evidence cannot support the plaintiffs’ claims for fraud and breach of contract (Steven Hardy, et al. v. Mervin J. Flood, et al., No. 17-cv-00677, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177603).
MARIETTA, Ga. — Home builder Pulte Home Co. LLC sued six subcontractors in Georgia state court on Sept. 27, claiming that they have refused to help repair or contribute to the cost of repairing defective work they performed at a townhome community that caused water intrusion leading to damage to wood floors and window and door framing (Pulte Home Company LLC v. Stonecreek Masonry LLC, et al., No. 19107154, Ga. Super., Cobb Co.).
DENVER — A Colorado appeals panel on Sept. 5 rejected a developer’s argument that a release in a settlement with homeowners who complained that their homes were built on sinking soil precluded it from contributing to damages a builder was ordered to pay to the homeowners as part of an arbitration award, finding that the developer and builder were found jointly liable for damages (LB Rose Ranch LLC v. Hansen Construction Inc., No. 18CA0269, Colo. App., 7th Div., 2019 Colo. App. LEXIS 1334).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A federal magistrate judge in Mississippi on Sept. 23 denied an architecture firm’s motion to intervene in a construction defects lawsuit over water intrusion at an apartment complex, finding that its interests are adequately represented by other subcontractors named as defendants in the suit (Cross Creek Multifamily LLC v. ICI Construction Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-83, S.D. Miss., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161879).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California couple tells an appeals panel in a brief filed Sept. 3 that a trial court judge erred when ordering a general contractor to pay $218,185.50 in attorney fees after they prevailed at trial, arguing that the construction contract between the parties contained a provision that required the contractor to pay all attorney fees if it is not the prevailing party (Philip Stolp, et al. v. Murphy-True Inc., No. A155426, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div., 2019 CA App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4848).
CHICAGO — An Illinois woman who failed to inform a couple of construction defects in a renovated home can be held liable for violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA), a state appeals panel ruled Sept. 26, finding that the seller’s conduct occurred in the course of trade or commerce because she purchased homes for the purpose of selling them at a profit (Adam Pack, et al. v. Magdalena Maslikiewicz, No. 1-18-2447, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 4th Div., 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 794).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 30 denied a motion to dismiss filed by the successor to a company that manufactured an allegedly defective modular home that had a leaky roof, finding that the man sufficiently stated a claim against the company and that it did not inform the plaintiff that its predecessor was in bankruptcy proceedings (William F. Solfisburg v. Glenco Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-10266-IT, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167933).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals court panel on Sept. 24 upheld rulings from two judges who awarded summary judgment to Beazer Homes Corp. on New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) claims brought by homeowners complaining about the builder’s failure to inform them about what type of septic system was installed in their homes, finding that the claims were barred by the 10-year statute of repose and that the plaintiffs failed to allege that the builder engaged in a deceptive act (Randal Allen, et al. v. Beazer Homes Corp., Nos. A-5576-17T3, A-5579-17T3, A-5581-17T3, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1951).
OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge in Oklahoma on Sept. 19 dismissed without prejudice a lawsuit brought by a company that provides housing for individuals living at the Tinker Air Force Base (AFB) against the manufacturer of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping that was installed in 398 homes, ruling that the action was barred by the statute of limitations because leaks allegedly caused by defects in the pipe occurred in 2009 (AMC West Housing LP v. Nibco Inc., No. CIV-18-959-D, W.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158670).
ATLANTA — A federal jury in Georgia on Sept. 16 ordered a firm that specializes in designing chemical engineering plants to pay $5.75 million to an energy company that accused it of creating plans that resulted in the improper installation of piping and defective construction of compressor foundations of a liquid ammonium nitrate solution plant in Tennessee, finding that the defendant company breached the terms of the contract between the parties (US Nitrogen LLC v. Weatherly Inc., No. 16-cv-00462, N.D. Ga.).
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah appeals court panel on Sept. 6 affirmed the dismissal of a general contractor’s third-party lawsuit against a number of subcontractors as untimely under the statute of repose, holding that the action was filed six years after the issuance of certificates of occupancy and because the subcontractors were not named as defendants in the original lawsuit (Blueridge Homes Inc., et al. v. Method Air Heating & Air Conditioning, et al., No 20180310-CA, Utah App., 2019 Utah App. LEXIS 152).
DENVER — The manufacturer of joists that allegedly emit excessive amounts of formaldehyde fumes and homeowners who contend that the fumes made their homes uninhabitable agreed to dismiss claims in a class action filed in Colorado federal court, according to a stipulation of dismissal filed Aug. 30 (Matt Walewski, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser NR Co., No. 17-cv-01940, D. Colo.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on Aug. 30 upheld a trial court judge’s rulings granting motions for demurrer filed by a developer and two real estate agents, finding that a couple’s second lawsuit over alleged defects in the construction of the home was barred by the statute of limitations and the doctrine of res judicata (Ronald Hogan, et al. v. DeAngelis Construction Inc., et al., No. A152771, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5854).
HACKENSACK, N.J. — A couple sued a construction company, a home inspection company and a real estate agent in New Jersey state court on Aug. 23, complaining that the defendants failed to disclose that the home suffered from water infiltration issues (Trajan Langdon, et al. v. Efim Gilin, et al., No. BER-L-006080-19, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).
CINCINNATI — NVR Inc., doing business as Ryan Homes, on Aug. 29 removed a couple’s construction defects suit to federal court in Ohio, arguing that their request to rescind the purchase agreement for the home exceeds the $75,000 jurisdictional threshold because they agreed to pay $364,410 (Michael Amos, et al. v. NVR Inc., No. 19-cv-719, S.D. Ohio).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on Aug. 16 denied motions filed by a couple, as well as the maker of allegedly defective windows, to alter a jury’s verdict or order a new trial, holding that the jury did not err in finding that the couple’s redhibitory defect claim was untimely and that the window maker should pay $335,000 for breaching the express warranty for the windows (Ronald Leo, et al. v. Jeld-Wen Inc., No. 16-cv-00605, M.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139358).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Aug. 21 found that 30 subsequent buyers of homes built by Toll Brothers Inc. are not required to arbitrate their claims over damages caused by water intrusion, holding that buyers are not subject to an arbitration provision in a limited warranty provided by the builder because they did not sign an acknowledgment and assignment form that transferred the warranty to them (Daniel Porter, et al. v. Toll Brothers Inc., et al., No. 894 EDA 2018, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 829).
NEW ORLEANS — Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., two of its affiliates and homeowners who claim they had defective Chinese drywall installed in their homes on Aug. 20 filed a brief in Louisiana federal court seeking approval of an agreement wherein the manufacturer would pay $248 million to resolve the claims brought in three class actions in Florida, Louisiana and Virginia (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, E.D. La.).