LOS ANGELES — A California judge did not err when denying a woman’s motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and for a new trial against a subcontractor accused of shoddy workmanship, a state appeals panel ruled Nov. 16, holding that the judge properly found that the evidence established that the subcontractor performed work only at the instruction of the project’s general contractor and that there was insufficient evidence to support a verdict that the subcontractor was guilty of negligence (Lauren Cazden v. Josue Cisneros Espinoza, No. B281837, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 4th Div., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7704).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania couple on Nov. 20 objected to a federal magistrate judge’s Nov. 6 report and recommendation to deny remand of their construction defects lawsuit, arguing that the magistrate did not properly consider their intent to pursue a cause of action against a flooring supplier even though the parties were involved in settlement negotiations (Nicholas Tripodes, et al. v. NVR Inc., et al., No. 18-1131, W.D. Pa.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appellate panel on Nov. 27 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, finding that the damages were consequential and not subject to a contract between the parties (Keystone Airpark Authority v. Pipeline Contractors Inc., et al., No. 1D-17-2897, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 16807).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Nov. 14 ordered a trial court judge to vacate a portion of an earlier decision denying a valve maker’s anti-class certification motion, finding that the Right to Repair Act does not allow the plaintiffs to pursue class action claims under the statute because the product was manufactured offsite before being incorporated into the fixtures of their homes (Kohler Co. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. B288935, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 4th Div., 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 1026).
NEW ORLEANS — A proposed class of homeowners who allege that homes built by Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation (MIR) contained defects that allowed for water intrusion and mold growth say in a Nov. 12 motion to remand that the suit should be sent back to state court because the foundation is unable to show that the requested damages will exceed $5 million and that the action satisfies the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) Lloyd Francis, et al. v. Make It Right-New Orleans LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-09906, E.D. La.).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal jury in Louisiana on Nov. 5 awarded a couple $335,000 in damages after finding that windows installed in their home contained a redhibitory defect that caused water damage to the building and that manufacturer Jeld-Wen Inc. breached the warranty for the product (Ronald Leo, et al. v. Jeld-Wen Inc., No. 16-00605-BAJ-EWD, M.D. La.).
PITTSBURGH — A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 6 recommended denying a couple’s motion to remand their construction defects suit, finding that a flooring supplier is improperly joined to the action because the plaintiffs do not assert any allegations against it (Nicholas Tripodes, et al. v. NVR Inc., et al., No. 18-1131, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190685).
GEORGETOWN, Del. — Two women on Nov. 5 sued a contractor in Delaware state court arguing that he breached the terms of a contract by constructing a roof over their rear deck that subsequently leaked (Judith L. Cather, et al. v. Travis Harmon, No. S18C-11-004, Del Super., Sussex Co.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A couple on Nov. 1 opposed a home builder’s motion for summary judgment in Delaware state court, arguing that their expert’s testimony should not be excluded due to his failure to know that the builder obtained a permit to repair stone veneer and stucco that was damaged by water intrusion (Paul Agostini, et al. v. Blenheim at Augustine Creek LLC, No. N16C-06-167 CLS, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
CLEVELAND — An Ohio appellate panel on Nov. 1 overturned a lower court judge’s ruling that an arbitration provision in a construction contract was unenforceable under the doctrine of impossibility because the chosen arbitrator was defunct, finding that the plaintiffs alleged that their home builder and the arbitrator had an improper relationship (Bryan Paulozzi, et al. v. Parkview Custom Homes LLC, et al., No. 106617, Ohio App., 8th Dist., 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 4739).
NEW ORLEANS — Four former directors and operators of the Make It Right Foundation (MIR), which was founded by Brad Pitt for the purpose of rebuilding homes in the Lower Ninth Ward that were destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina, on Oct. 31 moved for dismissal from a proposed class action, arguing that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring claims against them (Lloyd Francis, et al. v. Make It Right-New Orleans LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-09906, E.D. La.).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A property owner sued the builder of a school on Oct. 4 in Florida state court, arguing that the defendant improperly installed concrete masonry units (CMUs) and that its failure to comply with the Florida Building Code constituted a breach of the construction contract (Cameron Avenue Charter Property LLC v. Summit Construction Management LLC, No. 2018-CA-010929, Fla. Cir., Orange Co.).
WAUSAU, Wis. — A Wisconsin appellate panel on Oct. 29 affirmed a lower court’s ruling awarding summary judgment to a contractor that installed a roof on a Kmart Corp. store that later partially collapsed, finding that the retailer’s negligence claim was barred by the economic-loss doctrine and that its claims were untimely (Kmart Corp. v. Herzog Roofing Inc., No. 2017AP1041, Wis. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Wisc. App. LEXIS 842).
TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida couple sued the builder of their Riverview, Fla., home in state court on Oct. 26, claiming that the company’s improper installation of the stucco on the building violated the Florida Building Code and caused damage to the structure (Benito Figueroa, et al. v. Centex Homes, No. 18-CV-010555, Fla. Cir., Hillsborough Co.).
DENVER — A federal magistrate judge in Colorado on Oct. 22 recommended denying a couple’s motion to dismiss another couple’s lawsuit accusing them of failing to disclose construction defects in a home they purchased that resulted in water intrusion and the growth of black mold, finding that the sellers’ failure to inform the buyers that renovations were done without building permits could be considered latent defects that could not be discovered within the limitations period (Steven Hardy, et al. v. Mervin J. Flood, et al., No. 17-cv-00677, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182168).
TRENTON, N.J. — A group of consumers on Oct. 26 asked a federal judge in New Jersey to approve a $43.5 million settlement to resolve claims that cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) plumbing systems made by NIBCO Inc. are defective because they fail prematurely, causing water leaks (Kimberly Cole, et al. v. NIBCO Inc., No. 13-7871, D. N.J.).
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin appeals panel on Oct. 18 reversed a trial court judge’s ruling denying an architect’s motion to compel arbitration with a couple accusing him of fraudulently inducing them to enter into a design consultant agreement with his company, finding that their claims are subject to the provision (Thomas Zimmer Builders LLC v. Kurt E. Roots, et al., No. 2017AP2037, Wis. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Wisc. App. LEXIS 818).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 17 ordered an appeals court panel to conduct a de novo review of a ruling in a construction defects lawsuit where the judge presiding over a bench trial retired and no other judge could prepare a supplemental opinion to explain his decision to award $748,287.67 to a couple who complained that the windows installed in their home were defective (Leo J. Dolan Jr. v. Hurd Millwork Co. Inc., et al., No. 51 MAP 2017, Pa. Sup., 2018 Pa. LEXIS 5463).
ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Oct. 22 dismissed a class action suit accusing a manufacturer of selling siding that prematurely faded from sunlight reflecting off of windows, holding that the court lacked jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ claims because they did not sufficiently allege that the defendant company had a substantial connection with the state (Clement Gazzillo, et al. v. Ply Gem Industries Inc., et al., No. 17-CV-1077, N.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180303).
MIAMI — A Florida man on Oct. 8 sued Daikin Applied Americas Inc. in state court, claiming that defects in the air conditioning unit manufacturer’s product cause premature corrosion in the copper tubing, resulting in refrigerant leaks, and that the company failed to disclose the flaw to consumers despite its knowledge of the defect (Alain J. Viergutz v. Daikin Applied Americas Inc., No. 2018-CA-34044, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).