CHICAGO — After a four-day trial, a federal jury in Illinois on May 9 found that a homebuilder breached its sales agreement by installing improper floor framing and awarded the homeowners $105,750. The jury found in favor of the builder on the homeowners’ claim that it violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA) by installing wood veneer cabinets rather than cabinets made from solid wood.
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on May 7 dismissed Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice Act (FDUTPA) claims, negligence claims and warranty claims in a putative class complaint brought against Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. and breach of contract claims brought against one of its installers while upholding other claims brought by a customer for alleged improper installation of flooring.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee appellate court on May 4 remanded breach of contract and breach of warranty claims brought by homeowners against a builder after finding that the trial court erred in dismissing the claims when it applied a three-year statute of limitations to the entire complaint instead of determining the applicable statute for each individual claim and failed to toll the statute of limitations for injury to real property claims based on fraudulent concealment, which were also remanded.
MIAMI — One day after a more than $997 million settlement was announced in a putative consolidated class complaint over the June 2021 partial collapse of a Florida condominium tower, Champlain Towers South (CTS), the court-appointed receiver and the putative class plaintiffs on May 12 filed a joint motion in a Florida court to stay the claims against the settling defendants.
RALEIGH, N.C. — In a multifaceted appeal, a North Carolina school board that sued several parties alleging faulty construction of a new high school’s retaining walls around its athletic complex, as well as two of the four defendants, filed reply briefs on April 8 and April 11 in a North Carolina appellate court challenging several rulings by the trial court.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appellate court on May 9 affirmed a trial court’s ruling that a complaint for professional negligence brought by a homeowner against a structural engineer failed to include a certificate of merit and that subsequent amended complaints were untimely.
MIAMI — Attorneys representing individuals who brought a putative consolidated class complaint after a Florida condominium tower partially collapsed in June 2021 killing 98 people announced a settlement “in excess of $997 million” on May 11.
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Delaware judge on April 27 ruled on multiple motions to exclude filed in a construction defect lawsuit, reserving some judgments until closer to trial but finding that other experts meet the admissibility standards under state law.
MIAMI — The architect for the “Eighty-Seven Park,” a building constructed next to Champlain Towers South (CTS), a Surfside, Fla., condominium building that partially collapsed in June 2021, filed a cross-claim and third-party complaint on April 29 in a Florida court, along with its answer to putative class claims over the collapse, seeking indemnity from others involved in the construction of Eighty-Seven Park and contribution of damages from the engineer that inspected CTS prior to the collapse.
LAKELAND, Fla. — A trial court erred by granting a Chinese drywall manufacturer’s motion to vacate an $18 million default judgment in favor of a homebuilder, saying that the builder’s failure to serve notice of the default on the manufacturer’s counsel in the Chinese drywall multidistrict litigation did not violate the manufacturer’s due process rights, a Florida appellate court ruled April 13.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 31 issued a mandate in a case in which it affirmed that a consequential-damages exclusion is enforceable in a contract for the sale of windows between the window manufacturer and a subcontractor.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A townhome developer accused by unit owners of negligence and various breaches due to alleged excess humidity and moisture in the units filed a response in a federal court in South Carolina on April 25, arguing that reconsideration of a March 30 dismissal order is not needed as the homeowners simply “repackaged” previous arguments and are “seek[ing] a second bite from the same apple.”
NEW YORK — A New York state justice on March 25 denied condominium owners’ motion to amend their complaint nunc pro tunc to add a claim for punitive damages in their water damage suit against the condo board, finding that the “proposed amended complaint offers only conclusory allegations without pleading the pertinent elements of a punitive damages claim.”
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A U.S. certification agency charged with ensuring that imported plywood complies with American standards failed to show that a coalition of American plywood manufacturers lacks standing under the Lanham Act or has not sufficiently alleged false advertising, negligence or measurable damage, a federal judge in Florida ruled March 30, denying the agency’s motion for summary judgment and announcing that the case will proceed to trial.
DALLAS — A Texas appellate panel on April 26 affirmed a trial court order vacating an arbitrator’s total award of almost $337,000 for homeowners in a home defect suit filed by the homeowners against their construction company, finding that the trial court did not err in vacating the award because the arbitrator lacked jurisdiction.
HOUSTON — An architecture firm on April 19 moved for an extension of time to file for rehearing two weeks after a Texas appellate court affirmed the denial of the firm’s motion to dismiss a construction defect suit against it regarding alleged hurricane-related water damage to a senior community, finding that the plaintiff’s certificate of merit prepared by a licensed emeritus architect meets statutory licensure requirements.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on April 18 dismissed a general contractor’s third-party claims for contribution, indemnification and breach of implied warranty against a soil testing company and landscaper after a distribution center’s owner sued the contractor for negligence related to alleged damage from a leaking water pipe connection, finding that the contractor failed to state a claim against the testing company and landscaper.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina appellate panel on April 20 affirmed a special referee’s award of counterclaims against a homeowners’ contractor related to disputes over the contractor’s renovation of their island home, finding that the contractor’s mechanic’s lien was invalid because the contractor was not properly licensed.
TACOMA, Wash. — A builder on March 3 filed a reply brief with a Washington state appellate court, seeking review of a trial court’s decision to not enforce a right-to-repair provision in a contract between the builder and a homeowner in a suit filed by the builder seeking damages for the homeowner’s failure to pay for work performed related to alleged construction defects.
NEW YORK — A New York state justice on March 3 granted a condominium building owner’s and holding company’s motion to dismiss a unit owner’s negligence suit related to alleged water leaks and damages, finding that the holding company, as a member of the building owner’s limited liability company, is not responsible for its members’ liabilities and the building owner is not “liable for special or consequential damages.”