HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appeals panel on May 14 affirmed a trial court judge’s ruling awarding summary judgment to a subcontractor in a suit brought by a condominium owners association over its installation of French doors that leaked, holding that the lower court properly found that the association’s claims were barred by the gist of the action doctrine as well as the four-year statute of limitations (Villas at Packer Park Condominium Association v. JPC Group Inc., et al., No. 827 EDA 2018, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1890).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals court panel on May 13 held that a trial court judge did not err when dismissing claims for fraud and under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) brought by homeowners accusing a builder of construction defects, finding that evidence that could have been used to support the claims was properly stricken as part of discovery sanctions imposed upon the plaintiffs after the first phase of the trial (Edward Guillen, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. E066028, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 2nd Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3310).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal magistrate judge in Delaware on May 10 denied a couple’s motion to vacate an arbitration award they obtained from a home warranty company over defects in the construction of their home, finding that they were unable to show that the arbitrator violated the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) when reaching his decision (Jason Jones, et al. v. Home Buyers Warranty, et al., No. 17-773-JFB,SRF, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan appeals panel on May 9 affirmed a general contractor’s summary judgment award, holding that a notice provision in a home warranty provided to a woman clearly informed her that she had one year from the issuance of the certificate of occupancy to inform the builder of any construction defects (Karen K. Beer v. Kropf Construction Consulting LLC, et al., No. 342666, Mich. App., 2019 Mich. App. LEXIS 1827).
BEAUFORT, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on May 8 ordered jurisdictional discovery on the relationship between two companies in a lawsuit brought by a couple claiming that the roofing shingles installed on their home are defective in order to determine if they are alter egos of each other (Angelo Guagliano, et al. v. Cameron & Cameron Custom Homes LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-0839-RMG, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77703).
DANBURY, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on April 5 dismissed a business owner’s claims for negligence and breach of warranty stemming from the allegedly defective installation of a cedar roof, finding that the negligence claim was barred by the economic-loss doctrine and that the claim for breach of warranty was duplicative of a claim for breach of contract (Nordic Builders Inc. v. Trademarc Construction Inc., No. DBD-CV-18-6025176-S, Conn. Super., Danbury Dist., 2019 Conn. Super. LEXIS 642).
BEAUFORT, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on April 2 denied a country club owner’s motion to reconsider a December 2018 decision that the three-year statute of limitations barred the plaintiffs’ construction defects claims against an architect and general contractor on claims regarding water damage to a clubhouse, holding that new evidence provided by the owner did not sufficiently demonstrate that it did not know about the cause of the damage until destructive testing occurred in 2017 (Hampton Hall LLC v. Chapman Coyle Chapman & Associates Architects AIA Inc., et al., No. 17-1575, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57072).
RICHMOND, Texas — A Texas couple sued the builder of their home in state court on March 1, alleging that construction defects by the defendant caused mold growth that will require extensive remediation and replacement of their possessions (Nick Smith, et al. v. Trendmaker Homes Inc., No. 19-DCV-260160, Texas Dist., 400th Jud. Dist., Fort Bend Co.).
URBANA, Ill. — The federal judge in Illinois presiding over litigation stemming from allegedly defective organic asphalt roofing shingles made by IKO Manufacturing Inc. on April 11 recommended terminating the proceedings because the $30 million settlement resolving the actions has been finalized and because the judge does not anticipate any further actions (In re: IKO Roofing Shingle Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2104, Case No. 09-md-2104, C.D. Ill.).
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama on April 16 ruled that a couple must arbitrate their claims against a home builder accused of failing to construct a home with wheelchair accessibility, finding that the provision was enforceable and not unconscionable (Jane Doe, et al. v. Stoneridge Homes Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-2101-CLS, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64791).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on April 11 entered final approval of a $43.5 million settlement for a class of homeowners who allege that cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) plumbing systems made by NIBCO Inc. are defective because they fail prematurely, causing water leaks, but modified the definition of the class to exclude from the class homes that were built in certain areas so the builders and contractors could also pursue claims against the manufacturer (Kimberly Cole, et al. v. NIBCO Inc., No. 13-cv-07871, D. N.J.).
AKRON, Ohio — The University of Akron sued the designer, construction manager, concrete contractor and grout provider that worked on its football stadium in Ohio state court on April 10, alleging that the defective installation of the railing system has made the stadium unsafe and that it will cost $1 million to repair (University of Akron v. HNTB Ohio Inc., et al., No. CV-2019-04-1389, Ohio Comm. Pls., Summit Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 2 consolidated and centralized in South Carolina federal court seven lawsuits filed in different states claiming that Allura and Maxitile brands of fiber cement siding made by Plycem USA LLC and Elementia S.A.B. De. C.V. are defective because they prematurely crack and split and that the makers misrepresented the products’ durability (In re: Allura Fiber Cement Siding Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2886, JPMDL, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57061).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Three Delaware couples sued the builder of their homes in state court on April 22, alleging that defects in the construction of the buildings allowed for water intrusion that caused damage to the structure’s envelope and other property damage (Greg Porter, et al. v. Capano Homes Inc., No. N19C-04-208, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
HACKENSACK, N.J. — A New Jersey couple filed suit in state court on April 4, seeking to vacate an arbitration award in favor of their home builder on the ground that the proceeding violated the New Jersey Uniform Arbitration Act because the arbitrator was partial to the builder and had conversations during the proceeding with the builder’s representative that were outside their earshot (Bethany Hills, et al. v. Hudson 661 LLC, et al., No. BER-L-002622-19, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Supreme Court on April 12 reinstated a subcontractor’s suit accusing a general contractor of fraud and misrepresentation as part of the construction of a restaurant in Hawaii, finding that a settlement agreement entered into between the parties superseded the parties’ subcontract, which included a dispute resolution clause that required mediation (SMJ General Construction LLC v. Jet Commercial Construction LLC, Nos. S-16785, S-16985, Ala. Sup., 2019 Alas. LEXIS 50).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on April 4 affirmed a ruling denying a plaintiff company’s motion to amend an arbitration award to add two companies as judgment debtors, holding that the judge properly found that there was not enough evidence to show that the companies were corporate successors to a construction company accused of defective work (Shered Holiday LLC v. American Construction Corp., No. E069095, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 2nd Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2364).
LAS VEGAS — A federal judge in Nevada on April 2 approved D.R. Horton Inc.’s settlements with three subcontractors who provided supplies and services to a development that is allegedly plagued by construction defects, finding that the agreements were reached in good faith (Azure Manor/Rancho De Paz Homeowners Association v. D.R. Horton Inc., No. 14-cv-02222-JCM-NJK, D. Nev.; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56418).
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.