ST. PAUL, Minn. — A condominium owners association’s common-law claims were properly found to be barred by the state’s 10-year statute of repose, a Minnesota appeals panel ruled Feb. 7, holding that the complex’s two buildings were separate improvements to real property and that the limitations period began to run when the certificates of occupancy were issued for each building (Village Lofts at St. Anthony Falls Association v. Housing Partners III-Lofts LLC, et al., No. A18-0256, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. LEXIS 51).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Jan. 30 denied a petition filed by two condominium owners claiming that their homes were damaged as a result of defective valves and caps made by Kohler Co. that sought review of an appeal’s court’s ruling that the Right to Repair Act does not allow the plaintiffs to pursue class action claims against the manufacturer because the product was made offsite before being installed in the homes (Kohler Co. v. Superior Court, No. S253173, Calif. Sup., 2019 Cal. LEXIS 711).
BEAUMONT, Texas — An arbitrator’s $1,000 contribution to an attorney’s campaign for a judicial position and their friendship status on Facebook did not justify vacating an award in a favor of a couple who accused a contractor of construction defects, a Texas appeals court panel ruled Feb. 7, finding that there was no evidence of partiality in favor of the attorney (John P. Sebastian, et al. v. Weston Lee Wilkerson, et al., No. 09-18-00223-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 880).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two North Carolina homeowners on Jan. 18 filed a class action lawsuit accusing the maker of cement fiber siding of selling and marketing a defective product that is manufactured using excessive amounts of fly ash that allows for water absorption, leading to premature cracking and splitting before the expiration of the product’s advertised 50-year lifespan (Martha P. Carbonara, et al. v. Allura USA LLC, et al., No. 19cv29, W.D. N.C.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Jan. 28 voted 8-1 to quash an appeal brought by a defendant in a construction defects lawsuit finding that judgment was prematurely entered in favor of the homeowners because the judge had not yet ruled on the amount of attorney fees they should receive under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) (Eugene Kennedy, et al. v. Horseshoe Pointe Inc., et al., No. 3113 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 307).
PHILADELPHIA — Weyerhaeuser Co. on Jan. 14 filed a notice of appeal in Pennsylvania federal court stating that it will ask the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review a judge’s Dec. 14 ruling denying its motion to compel arbitration on the ground that the joist maker was not a party to home purchase agreements (HPAs) with individuals who claim that the company’s products emit harmful levels of formaldehyde that make their homes uninhabitable (Kristina Kipp, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., No. 17-3958, E.D. Pa.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 25 withdrew a Nov. 27 opinion that affirmed an engineering firm’s summary judgment award in a suit brought by the owner of an airport that claims that the firm’s failure to supervise construction resulted in the use of substandard materials and replaced it with an opinion that clarified a question to the state’s high court (Keystone Airpark Authority v. Pipeline Contractors Inc., et al., No. 1D17-2897, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 961).
HACKENSACK, N.J. — A trial court judge in New Jersey on Jan. 23 dismissed a condominium owners association’s lawsuit seeking to hold a developer’s corporate individuals liable for construction defects, holding that the action was barred by the state’s six-year statute of limitations and 10-year statute of repose (Vela Townhomes Condominium Association Inc. v. Rosen Partners LLC, et al., No. BER-L-4477-18, N.J. Super., Bergen Co., 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 182).
CLEVELAND — An Ohio appeals panel on Jan. 10 upheld a ruling finding that a man’s second lawsuit against the company that allegedly did faulty work when repairing the foundation of his home was properly dismissed, holding that the action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata because the suit involved the same claims against the same parties (James Perk v. Tomorrows Home Solutions, et al., No. 107012, Ohio App., 8th Dist., 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 111).
HONOLULU — A federal judge in Hawaii on Jan. 15 overruled a construction company’s objections to a magistrate judge’s recommendation to deny its request for attorney fees and costs, holding that the company was not a prevailing party in a construction defects lawsuit because the action was not dismissed based on the merits of the case (Ward Management Development LLC v. Nordic PCL Construction Inc., No. 17-00568, D. Hawaii, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8163).
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge in Minnesota on Jan. 2 overruled Weyerhaeuser Co.’s objections to a magistrate judge’s July 30 ruling denying its motion to compel arbitration, holding that a man’s claims are not subject to the arbitration provision in a home purchase agreement (HPA) because he brought suit before he closed on the sales agreement (Dennis Esanbock, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., No. 17-cv-3702, D. Minn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105).
BOSTON — In a statewide class action filed Jan. 22 in Massachusetts federal court, a woman alleges that a company’s use of an excessive amount of fly ash during the manufacturing of fiber cement siding causes the product to prematurely crack, split and break (Antonetta Luongo v. Allura USA LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-10143-IT, D. Mass.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware state court judge on Jan. 7 denied in part a home builder’s motion for summary judgment, finding that a couple’s water intrusion expert’s opinion was admissible and that the plaintiffs waived their right to a jury trial because their allegations stem from an alleged breach of a 2006 sales agreement (Paul Agostini, et al. v. Blenheim at Augustine Creek LLC, No. N16C-06-167 CLS, Del. Super., New Castle Co., 2018 Del. Super. LEXIS 8).
FLORENCE, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Jan. 22 dismissed a class action accusing D.R. Horton Inc. of forcing home buyers to waive the warranty of habitability as part of their purchase of a new home, finding that the plaintiffs did not suffer an injury-in-fact because they do not allege that the homes have any construction defects (Hyland Winnie Jr., et al. v. D.R. Horton Inc., No. 18-cv-01023-RBH, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9715).
PITTSBURGH— A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 11 adopted a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation to deny remand of a couple’s construction defects suit based on the improper joinder of an in-state flooring supplier (Nicholas Tripodes, et al. v. NVR Inc., et al., No. 18-1131, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5107).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania 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, a federal magistrate judge said in a Jan. 11 report and recommendation denying in part the builder’s motion to dismiss, finding that it is unclear whether the causes of action are untimely (Nicholas Tripodes, et al. v. NVR Inc., et al., No. 18-1131, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6464).
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 10 affirmed the dismissal of a class action against an air conditioner manufacturer regarding allegedly defective evaporator coils, finding that the plaintiffs’ warranty claims were barred by California’s four-year statute of limitations and that the plaintiffs failed to state claims for relief under the Right of Repair Act (RORA) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) (Joanna Park-Kim, et al. v. Daikin Applied Industries Inc., No. 17-55566, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 920).
OAKLAND, Calif. — An in-state supplier that allegedly failed to abide by the terms of an oral settlement agreement to resolve a woman’s claims over defective windows installed in her home is properly joined to her breach of contract action against the window manufacturer, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 7 in granting the woman’s motion to remand, holding that her cause of action was equitably tolled (Theresa Teuma v. Marvin Lumber & Cedar Co., et al., No. 18-cv-06561-PJH, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2818).
HACKENSACK, N.J.— A New Jersey couple on Jan. 4 filed a complaint in state court accusing a flooring maker, a wholesale distributor and contractor of selling and installing defective unfinished hickory engineered plank flooring and failing to repair and replace the product despite an agreement to do so (Limor Regular, et al v. Highlander Hardwood Floors, et al., No. BER-L-000092-19, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A 3-2 Supreme Court of South Carolina on Jan. 4 found that the eight-year statute of repose for construction defect claims begins to run on the date of substantial completion rather that the date a certificate of occupancy is issued and that a 2015 amendment to South Carolina Code Section 15-3-640 did not supersede its earlier ruling in Ocean Winds Corp. of Johns Island v. Lane, 347 S.C. 416, 556 S.E. 2d (2001) (Mark Lawrence v. General Panel Corp., No. 2017-002350, S.C. Sup., 2019 S.C. LEXIS 1).