NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A company that sold a newly built home with an undisclosed water infiltration problem was found liable by a Connecticut state court judge on June 14 of breach of contract and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) ordered to pay $22,340 to the couple who purchased the home (Daniel Onofrio, et al. v. Joseph Mineri, et al., No. CV17-6072004, Conn. Super., New Haven Dist., 2019 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1674).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A trial court judge’s finding that a contractor was 20 percent liable for water damage to a carpentry room that resulted from the failure to install proper ventilation and that the contractor should pay $9,527.60 was upheld by a Minnesota appeals court panel July 22 after it found that the judge did not err when apportioning the amount of liability based on the testimony of a couple’s expert witness (Kevin Chouanard, et al. v. Oak Lane Construction Inc., et al., No. A18-1733, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 685).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 22 dismissed some claims asserted by a condominium owners’ association against a builder of construction defects that caused water intrusion, finding that some causes of action were barred by the gist-of-the-action doctrine and economic loss doctrine (Roundhill Condominium Association v. NVR Inc., No. 19-442, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121143).
RICHMOND, Texas — A defective air conditioning unit installed in a newly built home caused mold growth that rendered the home uninhabitable, a couple says in lawsuit against the builder of the home filed June 20 in Texas state court (Daniel J. Mech, et al. v. Trendmaker Homes Inc., No. 19-DCV-263661, Texas Dist., 400th Jud. Dist., Fort Bend Co., 2019 Tex. Dist. Ct. Pleadings LEXIS 11803).
RICHMOND, Texas — A couple that purchased a home in 2015 that was built by Lennar Homes of Texas Land & Construction Ltd. sued the builder on June 20 in Texas state court, alleging that defects in the home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit caused mold growth and that the builder has refused to fix the problem (Charles McDonald, et al. v. Lennar Homes of Texas Land & Construction Ltd., et al., No. 19-DCV-263690, Texas Dist., 240th Jud. Dist., Fort Bend Co., 2019 Tex. Dist. Ct. Pleadings LEXIS 11923).
RICHMOND, Texas — A Texas couple sued the builder of their home in state court on June 20, alleging that a defective air conditioning unit’s failure to remove moisture and humidity from the air caused mold growth that rendered the home uninhabitable and that the builder’s “lackadaisical attitude” to repairing the problem prompted the lawsuit (Nidhin Kurian, et al. v. Gateway Homes Ltd., No. 19-DCV-263662, Texas Dist., 268th Jud. Dist., Fort Bend Co., 2019 Tex. Dist. Ct. Pleadings LEXIS 11956).
PHOENIX — An Arizona appeals court panel on July 16 upheld a trial court judge’s ruling that a man lacked standing to pursue a breach of contract claim against his home builder because he failed to list the claim during his bankruptcy proceedings (Rene Detruit v. Castle Rock Homes LLC, No. 1 CA-CV 18-0514, Ariz. App., 1st Div., 2019 Ariz. App. LEXIS 669).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on July 10 affirmed a lower court judge’s ruling that awarded an airpark authority $3.2 million in damages for breach of contract stemming from defects in the construction of airport facilities, finding that the authority was not precluded from being sued, filing suit and entering into a contract (Pipeline Construction Inc., et al. v. Keystone Airpark Authority, et al., No. 1D18-3601, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10804).
TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on July 10 affirmed a trial court judge’s ruling staying a lawsuit brought by the subsequent owners of a home over defects in the stucco, finding that they are subject to the arbitration provision in a special warranty issued to the original purchasers of the house (Shane R. Hayslip, et al. v. U.S. Home Corporation, No. 2D17-4372, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10778).
DALLAS — A Texas appeals panel on July 3 reversed a trial court judge’s ruling denying a homebuilder’s motion to compel arbitration, finding that the claims of the subsequent owners of the home over foundation problems should be subject to arbitration and that claims against their realtor and the realtor’s broker should be abated pending arbitration (Meritage Homes v. Parshant Mudda, et al., No. 05-18-00934-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 5627).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge in Oregon on June 27 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation to allow a homeowners’ association to amend its lawsuit to add a claim for punitive damages because it is not futile or unduly burdensome (Quatama Park Townhomes Owners Association v. RBC Real Estate Finance Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-00023, D. Ore., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107884).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on July 1 entered judgment in favor of a contractor on a woman’s claims for breach of contract and violation of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices (LUPTA) after a jury on June 27 found in favor of the contractor on the plaintiff’s claim for fraud (Janet Jeanes v. Greg McBride, et al., No. 16-1259, W.D. La.).
NEW CASTLE, Del. — A trial court judge in Delaware on June 27 denied a solar panel installation company’s motion to exclude the testimony of a couple’s expert witness, finding that while he was qualified to render an opinion on the presence and levels of mold in their home, he could not opine as to whether the defective installation of solar panels caused water leakage that led to the mold growth (Dominic P. DiStefano, et al. v. KW Solar Solutions Inc., et al., No. N16C-11-015 CLS, Del. Super., New Castle Co., 2019 Del. Super. LEXIS 310).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on June 4 granted a property owner’s motion for partial summary judgment on her argument that a general contractor cannot invoke the state’s contractor immunity defense because the plaintiff submitted sufficient evidence showing that the contractor made specifications about parts of a building that were defective (Janet Jeanes v. Greg McBride, et al., No. 16-1259, W.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on June 25 refused to reconsider two previous rulings that precluded a woman’s expert from testifying about the costs of repairs for construction defects, finding that the expert was merely parroting the testimony of a lay witness (Janet Jeanes v. Greg McBride, et al., No. 16-1259, W.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107318).
GALVESTON, Texas — The owners of a beachfront home along the Gulf of Mexico filed suit in Texas state court on June 24 against a contractor they hired to repair water damage, complaining that the work was done negligently and did not remedy the problem (Mario Pantoja, et al. v. Kona International Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-1146, Texas Dist., 56th Jud., Galveston Co.).
LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Louisiana appeals court panel on June 5 overturned a trial court’s ruling vacating an arbitration award to plaintiffs who claim that components of a mobile home they purchased were defective, finding that the defendant companies were unable to show that the arbitrator exceeded his authority when addressing the issue of preemption and by finding in favor of the plaintiffs (Carl C. Brown Jr., et al. v. Kabco Builders Inc., et al., No. 18-928, La. App., 3rd Cir., 2019 La. App. LEXIS 1046).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on June 24 granted a woman’s motion to preclude a defense expert from testifying on legal conclusions about her responsibilities as a contractor but found that her challenges to the opinions on design defects in a building went to the weight of his testimony (Janet Jeanes v. Greg McBride, et al., No. 16-1259, W.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105136).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appeals panel on June 21 upheld a trial court judge’s ruling ordering defendants to pay $748,287.67 to a homeowner who claimed that the installation of defective windows resulted in water infiltration and property damage, finding that the plaintiff’s claims were not barred by the two-year statute of limitations and that his negligence claims were not barred by the gist-of-the-action doctrine (Leo J. Dolan Jr., et al. v. Hurd Millwork Company Inc., et al., No. 2951 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2402).
PHOENIX — An Arizona appeals panel on June 4 upheld a lower court’s decision that the state’s eight-year statute of repose barred a contractor’s third-party claims for indemnification from a subcontractor, finding that the discussions to repair alleged construction defects pursuant to the Purchaser Dwelling Act did not toll the period of repose and that the contractor knew that the subcontractor would not indemnify it as early as 2014 (R.E.P. Custom Builders Inc. v. McBride Excavating Corp., et al., No. 1 CA-CV 18-0358, Ariz. App., 1st Div., 2019 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 653).