CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A trial court judge in West Virginia erred when dismissing a couple’s construction defects lawsuit against their homebuilder as a sanction for improperly serving him with a subpoena, the state’s high court ruled April 6, holding that the sanction was too harsh (Terri Smith, et al. v. Robert Todd Gebhardt, et al., No. 17-0206, W.Va. Sup., 2018 W.Va. LEXIS 242).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on March 21 upheld a trial court judge’s decision to apply settlement amounts a couple reached with numerous subcontractors accused of defective construction to breach of contract claims they asserted against the builder and sellers of the house, finding that the claims overlapped (Addison Construction Corp., et al. v. Leo A. Vecellio Jr., et al., Nos. 4D16-0618, 4D16-0863, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 3942).
BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on April 4 affirmed a homebuilder’s award of summary judgment on a man’s claim for breach of the implied warranty of habitability stemming from alleged construction defects that caused water intrusion, holding that the claim was untimely because it arose in contract (Edmond Petrus, et al. v. Chris Kirk, et al., No. 44784, Idaho Sup., 2018 Ida. LEXIS 75).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California appeals panel on April 3 ordered a trial court to vacate a 2014 ruling denying a homebuilder’s motion to stay a construction defects lawsuit brought by the owners of 37 homes so they can complete the presuit requirements of the Right to Repair Act, following a Jan. 18 ruling by the state’s supreme court that found that the act applied to all construction defect claims (McMillin Albany LLC, et al. v. Superior Court of Kern County, No. F069370, Calif. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2242).
TRENTON, N.J.— A federal judge in New Jersey on April 2 dismissed the majority of claims brought by buyers of allegedly defective white-cedar roofing shingles, finding that the plaintiffs could not pursue claims for breach of contract, breach of implied warranty and breach of implied warranty of merchantability due to lack of privity to contracts with the manufacturer and no agency relationship between Maibec Inc. and the retailers (Ilene Stern, et al. v. Maibec Inc., No. 11-3951, D. N.J., U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55388).
CHICAGO — Menard Inc. tells the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a March 26 brief that a federal judge in Illinois did not err in dismissing a class action suit contending that the labels for dimensional lumber violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA), maintaining that the labels are not deceptive because they do not contain the word inch (Michael Fuchs, et al. v. Menard Inc., No. 17-3260, 7th Cir.).
PITTSBURGH — Plaintiffs leading a proposed four-state class action suit against Owens Corning and Owens Corning Sales LLC over allegedly defective roofing shingles asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 29 for an en banc rehearing, claiming that a panel of the appeals court erred when upholding denial of their certification motion (Jamie Gonzalez, et al. v. Owens Corning, et al., No. 16-2653, 3rd Cir.).
AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas appeals panel on March 22 reversed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a home builder and its president on a couple’s breach of the implied warranty of habitability claim, finding that it was timely and because they could pursue the claim as subsequent purchasers of the home (James Maroney, et al. v. Chip Buerger Custom Homes Inc., et al., No. 03-17-00355-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Texas App. LEXIS 2082).
CHICAGO — A class action suit accusing Home Depot Inc. of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA) by selling lumber that was not the size described on its label was dismissed without prejudice on March 12 by a federal judge in Illinois, who found that the label was not misleading because it did not have unit indications aside from the number of feet the piece of wood measured (Mikhail Abramov, et al. v. Home Depot Inc., No. 17-cv-1860, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39752).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal court did not abuse its discretion when it denied certification of two proposed classes in a lawsuit alleging defective roof shingles as the first class, consisting of consumers from all over the nation, can’t satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)’s commonality requirement and the second class fails to satisfy Rule 23(b)(3)’s predominance requirement, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 19 (Jaime Gonzalez, et al. v. Owens Corning, et al., No. 16-2653, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 6757).
MIAMI — A cyclist who was injured when a car swerving to avoid debris from a bridge that collapsed on the campus of Florida International University sued the entities involved in the bridge’s design, construction and inspection on March 19 in Florida state court, contending that the defendants breached their duties to ensure that the public was safe while the bridge was being built (Marquise Rashaad Hepburn v. Figg Bridge Engineers Inc., et al., No. 2018-008144-CA-01, Fla. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
CONCORD, N.H. — A federal judge in New Hampshire on March 19 dismissed a breach of implied warranty claim against an exterior trim maker accused of selling a defective product, holding that the claim is not subject to the doctrines of equitable tolling or fraudulent concealment (Brian Begley, et al. v. Windsor Surry Co., et al., No. 17-cv-317, D. N.H., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44062).
SHREVEPORT, La. — A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on March 9 stayed a second-filed breach of construction contract suit pending a judge in Ohio’s ruling in the first-filed suit over jurisdiction, finding that a stay would potentially save judicial resources (Joy Global Conveyors Inc. v. Richard Goettle Inc., No. 17-cv-1121, W.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39359).
JACKSON, Tenn. — A trial court judge erred when awarding a man $135,383.93 in damages for the defective installation of a new roof, a Tennessee appeals panel ruled March 13, holding that the judge should have based the amount on the cost of repair rather than the diminution of value of his home (Patrick Durkin v. MTown Construction LLC, No. W2017-01269-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App., 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 128).
BEAUFORT, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on March 12 clarified an earlier ruling finding that breach of contract and breaches of express and implied warranties claims against an architecture firm and contractor are barred by the state’s eight-year statute of repose, explaining that the ruling only involves allegations about the allegedly defective construction of a community clubhouse (Hampton Hall LLC v. Chapman Coyle Chapman & Associates Architects AIA Inc., et al., No. 17-1575-RMG, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39957).
ATLANTA — A Georgia appellate panel on Feb. 27 affirmed a trial court judge’s decision to award $38,084.08 in damages for a contractor’s breach of two construction contracts, finding that a plaintiff presented sufficient evidence showing that the work did not comply with the terms of the agreements (Kirk Blackmon, et al. v. Irma Pena, No. A17A1500, Ga. App., 4th Div., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 164).
PITTSBURGH — A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 26 recommended dismissing claims for indemnification sought by two manufacturers of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) because their theories of liability against the management and subcontractors who installed the product at a condominium complex that caught fire were neither primary nor secondary to each other (Adams Pointe I LP, et al. v. Tru-Flex Metal Hose Corp., et al., No. 16-CV-00750-CB, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31539).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida man sued Beazer Home Corp. in state court Feb. 16, complaining that the builder breached the terms of a construction agreement and violated the Florida Building Code when improperly installing the stucco of his home (Rayan Garib v. Beazer Homes Corp., No. 2018-CA-001728A, Fla. Cir., Orange Co.).
RIVERHEAD, N.Y.— A subcontractor who prematurely installed a lawn sprinkler system could be liable for indemnification of other subcontractors accused of defective construction, a New York state court justice ruled Feb. 14, holding that there is sufficient evidence showing that the early installation of the three-phase system could have caused the problems (Michael Spano, et al. v. AM Sutton Architect PC., et al., No. 12-5308, N.Y. Sup., Suffolk Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 612).
KENNEWICK, Wash. — A homebuilder filed a lawsuit against a plumbing subcontractor in Washington state court Jan. 26, arguing that the subcontractor breached the terms of a master form trade agreement when improperly installing a sewage line that caused a backup of drainage water (StoneCrest Builders Inc v. David Patrick McMahon, et al., No. 18-2-00239, Wash. Super., Benton Co.)