DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 22 reversed and remanded a trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of a subcontractor in a case alleging faulty stucco work on townhomes, finding that a genuine issue of material fact remains regarding the start of the repose period under Florida’s statute of repose, which bars bringing construction defect claims 10 years after a triggering event because of a lack of “sufficient evidence to determine the contract completion date.”
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A general contractor on Sept. 22. defended findings that two homeowners waived their right to arbitrate allegations of breach of contract and fraud stemming from a defective build because they unduly delayed filing their arbitration demand for five years.
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate court on Oct. 18 ruled that sanctions awarded in a defects case against a construction company for refusing to timely sign a settlement agreement with homeowners were justified because the construction company agreed to the settlement before signing but denied the homeowners’ motion for sanctions regarding a frivolous appeal because the construction company did not have an improper motive or commit egregious actions.
SAN ANTONIO — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Oct. 20 granted final approval of a $7.65 million class settlement in a faulty polyethylene (PEX) piping lawsuit brought by homeowners, overruling objections by a class member represented by counsel in a parallel class complaint who attempted in several ways to challenge the agreement, arguing that the settling class was unaware what relief the settlement would actually provide.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A contractor’s counterclaims against a couple who prevailed on their contractual claim that agreed-upon renovations were never completed were revived by the Alabama Supreme Court on Sept. 30 when it determined that a trial court improperly invoked a state procedural rule to certify a ruling in the underlying lawsuit as final despite the existence of unresolved, intertwined claims and counterclaims.
LAKE CHARLES, La. — In a recent appellee brief filed with the Third Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal, Jeld-Wen Inc. defends a lower court’s decision to grant the window and door maker an exception of prescription in litigation filed by a Louisiana couple who purchased more than $60,000 in products that would go on to suffer from rot.
JACKSON, Miss. — A contract between a home builder and the buyers with an arbitration forum that hadn’t existed in more than a decade was unenforceable, a split Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Sept. 30.
BATON ROUGE, La. — In an Oct. 18 unpublished holding, a Louisiana appeals court ruled that although an affidavit by the owner of a construction company accused of overseeing shoddy work by a subcontractor may be self-serving, “it contains specific underlying facts as to the scope of the work” and should have been considered by a trial court before granting the subcontractor summary judgment.
RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on Oct. 13 granted an architectural firm’s motion to dismiss a complaint in a construction suit filed by a property owners’ company, finding that the complaint was void ab initio because the property owners’ company failed to attach a merit certification required under Nevada law in construction suits against certain professionals.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — In an Oct. 13 nonprecedential holding, the Pennsylvania Superior Court left intact a jury’s verdict that a builder acted with negligence while constructing a home that later required $234,508 in repairs by a subsequent home buyer.
DALLAS — A Texas appellate court on Oct. 5 reversed a trial court’s order denying homeowners’ motion to compel arbitration with their construction company because the arbitration agreement incorporated the rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) by delegating questions of arbitrability to the arbitrator, not to the court.
FRESNO, Calif. — Denying a petition for writ of mandate seeking relief from a discovery production order by the owners of a condominium complex accused of construction defects violations, a California appeals panel on Oct. 4 found that the petition was “wholly without merit” and was filed frivolously as a delay tactic, making sanctions appropriate.
CLEVELAND — Breach of express warranty claims and some claims for declaratory and injunctive relief survive against all defendants that manufactured or sold a plastic piping product that homeowners in a class action complaint allege failed prematurely and damaged their properties, but a federal judge in Ohio allowed other claims to survive only against certain defendants and dismissed the remainder of the claims in a Sept. 8 ruling on multiple motions to dismiss.
NEW CASTLE, Del. — Because construction companies knew that the two leaks in a couple’s home two years apart “were evidence of a more pervasive problem,” and the companies told the homeowners that the issue had been “investigated and fully repaired,” genuine issues of material fact remain about hidden construction defects, and a trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the construction companies, homeowners argue in a Sept. 2 reply brief to the Delaware Supreme Court.
SAN DIEGO — California homeowners’ putative class claims accusing the developers of their neighborhood of constructing a reservoir that delivered “defective” water to their homes that damaged their plumbing and caused health problems failed to make any allegations of willful misconduct until after a developer argued that their claims were time-barred, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 31 in an unpublished opinion, affirming a trial court’s summary judgment ruling.
MIAMI — Objections to subpoenas filed in the consolidated class complaint brought by estates and residents of a Surfside, Fla., condominium high-rise that partially collapsed on June 24 were filed between Sept. 16 and 20 by the company hired to conduct a structural engineering analysis of the building several years prior to the collapse, a law firm and the general contractor of adjacent high-rise.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Supreme Court on Sept. 23 denied contractors’ petition for a writ of mandamus, affirming a trial court’s retroactive application of an amendment to a defects recovery statute extending the repose period from six to 10 years that allowed the city of North Las Vegas’ claims to be revived against the contractors in a construction defects case.
HOUSTON — An expert affidavit merely identifies potential issues in windstorm certification and its list of unrelated construction defects cannot form the basis of a negligence case, an engineering firm tells the Texas Supreme Court in urging review on Sept. 2 (Paul Engineering Inc. v. Sea Scout Base Galveston and Point Glass LLC, No. 21-0761, Texas Sup.).
SAN ANTONIO — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Sept. 9 denied a motion for leave to communicate with more than 400 class members in a faulty polyethylene (PEX) piping lawsuit where there is a preliminarily approved settlement; the motion was filed by the attorney in a parallel class complaint who argued that the class members are unaware of what relief the $7.65 million settlement will actually provide.
NEW YORK — Condominium boards of the 432 Park Condominium sued the developer and its affiliates on Sept. 23 for no less than $125 million in New York state court for construction and design defects in the common elements and areas of the 102-story residential building.