DENVER — A Colorado appellate panel on May 3 upheld a trial court judge’s ruling denying a contractor’s motion for summary judgment in an action brought by a couple accusing it of construction defects, finding that the plaintiffs’ initial lawsuit was timely because it was filed within the two-year limitations period (Brock Curry, et al. v. Zag Built LLC, et al., No. 18CA0018, Colo. App., 2018 Colo. App. LEXIS 647).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A homeowners association and 29 individual homeowners sued Lennar Homes LLC and a general contractor in a Florida state court April 18 on behalf of a putative class of residents of a 191-home development, contending that stucco on their homes was improperly installed (Emerson Park Homeowners Association Inc., et al. v. Lennar Homes LLC, et al., No. 2018-CA-003910-O , Fla. Cir., Orange Co.).
SPOKANE, Wash. — A couple could have determined that the trusses installed on their custom-built home were defective in 2007 after receiving the engineer-stamped designs, a Washington appeals court ruled May 8, upholding a trial court’s decision that the plaintiffs’ breach of warranty and Washington Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claims were barred by the four-year statute of limitations (Terry Schilling, et al. v. ProBuild Co. LLC., et al., No. 34435-5-III, Wash. App., 3rd Div., 2018 Wash. App. LEXIS 1102).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A subcontractor accused of construction defects waived its argument that it was not properly served with a third-party complaint by a general contractor and an amended complaint from a homeowners association, a Minnesota Court of Appeals panel ruled May 7, holding that the subcontractor waived its argument because it did not pursue it as a means to dismiss the actions (Village Homes of Grandview Square II Association, et al. v. R.E.C. Inc., et al., No. A17-1747, Minn. App., 2018 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 342).
CHICAGO — Two men who argue that a federal judge in Illinois erred when dismissing their class action suit accusing Menard Inc. of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA) by misrepresenting the size of dimensional lumber tell the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an April 30 brief that contrary to the retailer’s argument, the industry standards that establish that 4x4s are not actually that size are not common knowledge (Michael Fuchs, et al. v. Menard Inc., No. 17-3260, 7th Cir.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on April 13 entered final approval of a settlement for claims brought by purchasers of decking material made by Azek Building Products Inc. that allegedly faded and warped before the expiration of the product’s warranty and awarded plaintiffs’ counsel $5.25 million in fees, holding that the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable (In re: Azek Building Products Inc.; Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 2506, D. N.J.).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois’ failure to provide the leader of a putative class with ways to amend his lawsuit accusing Home Depot Inc. of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (IFCA) when selling lumber that is inaccurately labeled gives the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals jurisdiction over his request to review the ruling, the man says in a jurisdictional brief filed April 26 (Mikhail Abramov, et al. v. Home Depot Inc., No. 18-1779, 7th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A couple seeking to lead a class for the owners of 63 townhomes that were defectively built say in an April 26 reply brief in support of certification filed in Delaware state court that the defendants’ opposing arguments regarding damage caused by the problems are premature and not part of the class inquiry (Jason Jones, et al. v. BPG Residential Partners IV LLC, et al., No. N15C-10-131 WCC, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Louisiana appeals panel on April 25 affirmed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a builder and his insurer, holding that a man was unable to show that alleged defects in the construction of his home warranted his refusal to pay for the work (Lynton O. Hester IV v. Burns Builders, et al., No. 17-824, La. App., 3rd Cir., 2018 La. App. LEXIS 782).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appellate court on April 13 affirmed a trial court judge’s ruling awarding $458,482 in damages and $250,000 in attorney fees and costs to the buyer of a commercial property after finding that the contractor who installed a foundation could be liable for breach of warranty when misplacing plumbing and electrical conduits, holding that the rights of the previous owner passed on to the new owner (New Pacific Carlyle LLC v. White Residential Inc., No. G051437, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 3rd Div., Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2513).
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on April 12 applied its earlier ruling in U.S. Home Corp. v. The Michael Ballesteros Trust, et al. to reverse a motion to compel arbitration, holding that the arbitration provision in the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) between a developer accused of construction defects and homeowners in a common interest community are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) (Greystone Nevada LLC v. Oliver M. McCoy Jr., et al., No. 68769, Nev. Sup., 2018 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 302).
BEAUFORT, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on April 26 denied a woman’s motion to certify a class for homeowners who claim that a builder improperly installed stucco on their homes, finding that individual issues, such as the extent of damages and the statute of limitations defense, predominated over classwide issues (Jacqueline L. Craft, et al. v. South Carolina Plastering LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-05080-PMD, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70048).
BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on April 24 reinstated a couple’s negligence claim based on a plumber’s failure to properly install a bathtub in their vacation home, holding that the plaintiffs did not need to strictly comply with the notice requirements of the state’s Notice and Opportunity to Repair Act (NORA) (Scott Davison, et al. v. DeBest Plumbing Inc., No. 44625, Idaho Sup., 2018 Ida. LEXIS 98).
FORT WORTH, Texas — A trial court judge in Texas did not err when refusing to subject a home warranty company to classwide arbitration for claims brought by a couple, a Texas appeals panel ruled April 19, holding that the matter was a gateway issue properly addressed by the judge and that the couple’s limited warranty with the company did not allow for classwide arbitration (Nathan Robinson, et al. v. Home Owners Management Enterprise Inc., et al., No. 02-16-00380-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 2787).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals panel on April 16 revived claims brought by three subsequent purchasers and one original buyer of single-family homes that sustained damages as a result of improper soil compaction and bad soil conditions, finding that their claims were not barred by the state’s statute of limitations (Donald Holsapple, et al. v. Wallace-Kuhl & Associates Inc., et al., Nos. C072369, C074737, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2545).
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Arbitration provisions in purchase and sales agreements (PSAs) as well as in a common-interest community’s covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) because construction defects allegations brought by homeowners within the community involve interstate commerce, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled April 12 in reversing a trial court judge’s decision denying U.S. Home Corp.’s motion to compel arbitration (U.S. Home Corp. v. The Michael Ballesteros Trust, et al., No. 68810, Nev. Sup., 2018 Nev. LEXIS 28).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 16 affirmed a lower court judge’s denying a motion to compel arbitration filed by a contractor accused of construction defects, finding that its attempt to invoke its right to arbitration in a footnote in a post-answer motion to dismiss was untimely (Stephen Kelleher v. Dream Catcher LLC, et al., No. 17-7104, D.C. Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing claims stemming from allegedly defective drywall manufactured in China on April 12 refused to reconsider a Feb. 9 ruling that barred a couple and a contractor from pursuing claims against a manufacturer due to a 2013 settlement agreement, finding that the contractor did not successfully argue that sufficient grounds exist to disturb the ruling (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62791).
DENVER — A homebuilder that constructed homes with joists that are coated with a flame-retardant formaldehyde-based resin that emits noxious fumes was ordered April 10 by a federal magistrate judge in Colorado to respond to a subpoena filed by plaintiffs leading a putative class action suit in Delaware federal court seeking six categories of documents, finding that the plaintiffs can seeking merits-related information before the class certification stage (Infinity Home Collection v. Jamal Coleman, et al., No. 17-mc-0200-MSK-MEH, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60627).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — An appeals panel in Minnesota in April 9 affirmed a trial court judge’s decision allowing a condominium developer to pursue cross-claims for indemnity from a builder over alleged construction defects, holding that the law-of-the-case doctrine as well as the doctrine of res judicata did not bar the developer from moving for relief (650 North Main Association v. Frauenshuh Inc., et al., No. A17-0890, Minn. App., 2018 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXS 271).