NEW ORLEANS — The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation over allegedly defective drywall manufactured in China on March 6 denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by manufacturers after finding that the plaintiffs’ claims were timely due to the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), or under their state’s discovery rule (In re: Chinese Manufacture Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, Case No. 09md2047, E.D. La.; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36083).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — New legislation was introduced to Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives’ Committee on Consumer Affairs on March 25 that is designed to protect consumers who enter into construction contracts for new homes by requiring builders to register with the Bureau of Consumer Protection every two years and provide written notification to homeowners about defective materials within three months up to 30 years after completion of the construction.
WILMINGTON, Del. — According to a March 8 docket entry in Delaware state court, a couple leading a proposed class of 63 townhome owners suing a developer and other third parties over construction defects that resulted in water infiltration and damage to laminate veneer lumber (LVL) that is holding the second- and third-floor terraces on the buildings have agreed to settle the action (Jason Jones, et al. v. BPG Residential Partners IV LLC, et al., No. N15C-10-131 WCC, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
ARLINGTON, Va. — A Virginia couple sued a general contractor in state court on March 20, alleging that the defendant failed to complete a three-story addition to their home and that the work done was defective (Archie Attarian, et al. v. Old Dominion Custom Homes LLC, No. CLI19000930-00, Va. Cir., Arlington Co.).
SAN DIEGO — A California appeals panel on March 29 affirmed a trial court judge’s ruling that a window and sliding door subcontractor was not a prevailing party in a countersuit brought by D.R. Horton Los Angeles Holding Co. Inc. seeking indemnification and defense of a construction defects suit, finding that the subcontractor did not timely raise an affirmative defense under California Civil Code Section 1717(b)(2) or properly tender an amount of costs to the court (D.R. Horton Los Angeles Holding Co. Inc. v. Milgard Manufacturing Inc., No. D074889, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 1st Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2266).
LAKE CHARLES, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on March 27 ruled that while Lowe’s Home Centers LLC was entitled to summary judgment on a couple’s tort claim arising from the allegedly defective installation of the roof on their home because the cause of action was prescribed by the state’s one-year limitations period, the couple’s complaint supports a claim for breach of contract against the retailer (Elmo Green, et al. v. Lowe’s Home Centers LLC, No. 16-cv-0698, W.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53363).
RICHMOND, Texas — A contractor accused of defective workmanship on a woman’s home says in a March 25 brief filed in Texas state court that the plaintiff’s choice of venue cannot be disturbed because she did not file an affidavit in support of her motion to transfer the action to a different court and because the parties have already filed motions (Erica Lemon v. James Brazelton, No. 18-DCV-254286, Texas Dist., Fort Bend Co.).
GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland on March 20 denied a developer’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of violating the Maryland Consumer Protection Act by failing to inform unit owners that a condominium complex was built without weather-resistant barriers, finding that the association’s claims are not barred by the state’s 10-year statute of repose limit (Council of Unit Owners of Milestone Townhouse Condominiums v. Beazer Homes LLC, No. GJH-18-1572, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45914).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A trial court judge in California erred when denying a portion of a combined motion filed by homeowners seeking to compel either judicial reference or arbitration of their construction defects claims against the builder of their homes, a state appeals court panel ruled March 18, finding that the conditions, covenants and restrictions (CC&Rs) between the builder and the homeowners call for arbitration (Theresa Baldwin, et al. v. Woodside 05S L.P., et al., No. E068267, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 2nd Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1804).
CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals panel on March 15 dismissed two appeals brought by the developer and general contractor of a condominium building over a judge’s denial of a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration of a construction defects lawsuit, holding that it did not have jurisdiction over the case because the defendants did not seek appeal of the ruling within 30 days (Library Tower Condominium Association v. Library Tower LLC, et al., Nos. 1-18-1035, 1-18-1049, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div., 2019 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 433).
JACKSON, Tenn. — A Tennessee appeals court panel on March 13 ordered a trial court judge to reduce a $118,926.12 award of damages issued to a man who sued a contractor over a defectively installed roof, holding that amounts for remediation from two companies were duplicative and the cost of replacing the man’s hardwood flooring was unnecessary (Patrick Durkin v. MTown Construction LLC, No. W2018-0953-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App., 2019 Tenn. App. LEXIS 127).
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).