WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. will pay $33 million in total penalties as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors over the company’s role in a securities fraud scheme in which it misrepresented to investors that its Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring complied with California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations, according to documents filed in Virginia federal court on March 12 (United States v. Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc., No. 19-cr-52, E.D. Va.).
LOS ANGELES — The vice president of two contracting companies told a California appeals court on Jan. 25 that a trial court judge erred when denying a motion to compel arbitration, arguing that the third-party litigation doctrine is inapplicable because the plaintiffs’ claims against contractors who did not sign the construction contract were significantly intertwined with those against the contractor who signed agreement (David Garelick, et al. v. Ron Bernards, et al., No. B288358, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 1st Div., 2019 Cal. App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 538).
PITTSBURGH — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 12 adopted a magistrate judge’s Jan. 11 report and recommendation that says a couple should be allowed to pursue their claims for breach of contract and breach of express and implied warranties against their home builder over defects in the flooring installed in their home, as well as the heating, air conditioning and ventilation system (Nicholas Tripodes, et al. v. NVR Inc., et al., No. 18-1131, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22103).
HOUSTON — A trial court judge in Texas did not abuse his discretion when dismissing with prejudice a lawsuit brought by Texas Southern University (TSU) against the parties who designed and built the university’s School of Public Affairs, a state appeals court panel ruled Feb. 26, finding that the school was unable to demonstrate why it was entitled to extensions to file certificates of merit in support of its allegations that the defendants were liable for construction defects (Texas Southern University v. Kirksey Architects Inc., et al., No. 14-18-00146-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 1390).
ROCK HILL, S.C. — A South Carolina woman sued a roofing contractor who failed to complete work on her home, as well as Angie’s List Inc. and the manufacturers of the roofing supplies, in federal court Feb. 22, arguing that she based her decision to hire the contractor on the defendants’ representations that the contractor was a certified master elite contractor, a member of the Platinum Preferred Contractor program, and on Angie’s List Honor Roll (Lori Saylor v. Kemp Custom Homes Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-00548-MGL, D. S.C.).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Supreme Court on Feb. 21 vacated a trial court judge’s ruling denying a home builder’s motion to compel arbitration of a construction defects lawsuit, finding that an arbitrator should interpret the provision and decide if the doctrine of impossibility is applicable (Brush Arbor Home Construction LLC v. Andrea Alexander, et al., No. 180454, Va. Sup., 2019 Va. LEXIS 13).
SAN FRANCISCO — A property owner in San Francisco on Feb. 1 sued in California state court a contractor it hired to design and renovate a historic three-story, four-unit building over construction defects and for submitting bills for work that was not completed (Augusta Legacy San Francisco Properties LLC v. Sigura Construction Inc., No. CGC-19-573477, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware couple filed a lawsuit in state court Feb. 15 against a company that conducted stucco remediation on a home in 2014, complaining that the work was defective because it allowed for water infiltration (Daniel Callahan, et al. v. TBS Construction LLC, No. N19C-02-143, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
GREENBELT, Md. — A property manager’s claims for breach of contract and breach of warranty over defects in the construction of a home on Andrews Air Force Base is untimely, a federal judge in Maryland ruled Feb. 14, holding that the plaintiff company was not a party to the construction contract and that it failed to bring the suit within two years of the construction of the house (AMC East Communities LLC, et al. v. Sundt Construction Inc., No. TDC-17-3598, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25398).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A condominium owners association’s common-law claims were properly found to be barred by the state’s 10-year statute of repose, a Minnesota appeals panel ruled Feb. 7, holding that the complex’s two buildings were separate improvements to real property and that the limitations period began to run when the certificates of occupancy were issued for each building (Village Lofts at St. Anthony Falls Association v. Housing Partners III-Lofts LLC, et al., No. A18-0256, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. LEXIS 51).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Jan. 30 denied a petition filed by two condominium owners claiming that their homes were damaged as a result of defective valves and caps made by Kohler Co. that sought review of an appeal’s court’s ruling that the Right to Repair Act does not allow the plaintiffs to pursue class action claims against the manufacturer because the product was made offsite before being installed in the homes (Kohler Co. v. Superior Court, No. S253173, Calif. Sup., 2019 Cal. LEXIS 711).
BEAUMONT, Texas — An arbitrator’s $1,000 contribution to an attorney’s campaign for a judicial position and their friendship status on Facebook did not justify vacating an award in a favor of a couple who accused a contractor of construction defects, a Texas appeals court panel ruled Feb. 7, finding that there was no evidence of partiality in favor of the attorney (John P. Sebastian, et al. v. Weston Lee Wilkerson, et al., No. 09-18-00223-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 880).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two North Carolina homeowners on Jan. 18 filed a class action lawsuit accusing the maker of cement fiber siding of selling and marketing a defective product that is manufactured using excessive amounts of fly ash that allows for water absorption, leading to premature cracking and splitting before the expiration of the product’s advertised 50-year lifespan (Martha P. Carbonara, et al. v. Allura USA LLC, et al., No. 19cv29, W.D. N.C.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Jan. 28 voted 8-1 to quash an appeal brought by a defendant in a construction defects lawsuit finding that judgment was prematurely entered in favor of the homeowners because the judge had not yet ruled on the amount of attorney fees they should receive under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) (Eugene Kennedy, et al. v. Horseshoe Pointe Inc., et al., No. 3113 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 307).
PHILADELPHIA — Weyerhaeuser Co. on Jan. 14 filed a notice of appeal in Pennsylvania federal court stating that it will ask the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review a judge’s Dec. 14 ruling denying its motion to compel arbitration on the ground that the joist maker was not a party to home purchase agreements (HPAs) with individuals who claim that the company’s products emit harmful levels of formaldehyde that make their homes uninhabitable (Kristina Kipp, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., No. 17-3958, E.D. Pa.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 25 withdrew a Nov. 27 opinion that affirmed an engineering firm’s summary judgment award in a suit brought by the owner of an airport that claims that the firm’s failure to supervise construction resulted in the use of substandard materials and replaced it with an opinion that clarified a question to the state’s high court (Keystone Airpark Authority v. Pipeline Contractors Inc., et al., No. 1D17-2897, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 961).
HACKENSACK, N.J. — A trial court judge in New Jersey on Jan. 23 dismissed a condominium owners association’s lawsuit seeking to hold a developer’s corporate individuals liable for construction defects, holding that the action was barred by the state’s six-year statute of limitations and 10-year statute of repose (Vela Townhomes Condominium Association Inc. v. Rosen Partners LLC, et al., No. BER-L-4477-18, N.J. Super., Bergen Co., 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 182).
CLEVELAND — An Ohio appeals panel on Jan. 10 upheld a ruling finding that a man’s second lawsuit against the company that allegedly did faulty work when repairing the foundation of his home was properly dismissed, holding that the action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata because the suit involved the same claims against the same parties (James Perk v. Tomorrows Home Solutions, et al., No. 107012, Ohio App., 8th Dist., 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 111).
HONOLULU — A federal judge in Hawaii on Jan. 15 overruled a construction company’s objections to a magistrate judge’s recommendation to deny its request for attorney fees and costs, holding that the company was not a prevailing party in a construction defects lawsuit because the action was not dismissed based on the merits of the case (Ward Management Development LLC v. Nordic PCL Construction Inc., No. 17-00568, D. Hawaii, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8163).
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge in Minnesota on Jan. 2 overruled Weyerhaeuser Co.’s objections to a magistrate judge’s July 30 ruling denying its motion to compel arbitration, holding that a man’s claims are not subject to the arbitration provision in a home purchase agreement (HPA) because he brought suit before he closed on the sales agreement (Dennis Esanbock, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., No. 17-cv-3702, D. Minn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105).