CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on April 16 trimmed a large portion of claims brought by a couple who accused a builder of breaching the terms of the sales agreement and violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA) when constructing their home, finding that triable issues existed only as to whether NVR Inc. breached the sales agreement by installing allegedly improper floor framing and whether it violated the ICFA by installing wood veneer cabinets rather than cabinets made from solid wood.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The builder of houses for service members stationed at the Tinker Air Force Base (AFB) says in a motion to dismiss filed April 15 in federal court in Oklahoma that the manufacturer of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing that allegedly prematurely ruptured and caused more than 200 water leaks in the homes in 2017 cannot pursue third-party claims against it for contribution and indemnification because the claims are untimely since construction of the homes was completed in 2010.
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on April 8 denied one motion to exclude expert testimony and partially granted another in a dispute related to delays and expenses accrued during construction of a hotel.
NEW CASTLE, Del. — A homebuilder was awarded summary judgment by a state court judge in Delaware on March 26 after finding that a couple’s 2019 lawsuit over water intrusion was barred by the three-year statute of limitations because they knew about the problem since 2011.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on April 9 refused to remand a lawsuit brought by property owners against a contractor they claim failed to properly repair the roof of a historic mill, finding that the plaintiffs’ arguments that the sole member of the company is a resident of Illinois was not convincing.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on March 31 dismissed with prejudice a contractor’s amended third-party suit asserting claims for indemnification, contribution, negligence and breach of warranty against the plaintiff’s parent company and agent, finding that the allegations were conclusory and that another amendment of the complaint would be futile.
SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge in Texas on March 18 refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by subclasses of homeowners in Alabama and Texas over damages sustained as a result of allegedly defective cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping installed in their homes, finding that the court has jurisdiction over their claims and that their allegations are adequate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Four new lawsuits filed by homeowners in Florida state courts in March say that the builders of their homes are liable for damages to the structures because the installation of stucco did not conform to the Florida Building Code and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.
SAN ANTONIO — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Feb. 23 preliminarily approved a $7.6 million settlement for classes of homeowners in Alabama and Texas who suffered damages as a result of allegedly faulty cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping made by NIBCO Inc., finding that the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable and the result of arms-length negotiations.
SAN ANTONIO — The maker of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping filed a motion in federal court in Texas March 30 seeking sanctions against counsel for a proposed class of Alabama and Texas residents over leaks allegedly caused by defects in the piping, arguing that a letter it sent to putative class members in a parallel suit urging them to opt out of a preliminarily approved $7.6 million settlement is unauthorized and “incomplete, misleading, and coercive.”
NEW ORLEANS — Two Chinese drywall manufacturers on March 29 filed a motion for summary judgment in federal court in Louisiana, arguing that claims brought by 11 plaintiffs in a 2015 lawsuit are barred by either the subsequent purchaser rule or the state’s one-year prescriptive period for products liability claims.
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on March 12 vacated a jury’s decision to award a couple $461,163.38 for defects found in renovations to a home they purchased in 2013, finding that the trial court judge erred when denying motions for post-trial relief filed by the sellers of a home because they could not be held liable for breach of the implied warranty of habitability and violation of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 93A since they were not acting as builder-vendors when selling the property.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on March 26 refused to dismiss or compel arbitration of a couple’s deceptive trade practices claims against a home seller, a lender and an insurer, finding that their amended complaint can reference allegations that were resolved by a partial settlement of causes of action over alleged defects in the construction of a mobile home and that claims regarding the loan agreement are not subject to arbitration.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on March 18 denied remand of a class action brought by homeowners claiming that the improper installation of the roofs on their homes caused water intrusion and dismissed the suit after finding that the court should abstain from jurisdiction under Colorado River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States because a state court action filed the day before the present is a parallel action.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on March 15 held that a man sufficiently stated claims for negligence, negligent misrepresentation and violation of Section 349 of the New York General Business Law (GBL) against a log cabin designer accused of referring him to a subpar contractor and advertising that it will help consumers throughout the construction process only to have buyers sign a last-minute purchase agreement that designates the company as a product supplier.
FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas appeals court on March 11 vacated a ruling awarding summary judgment to a home warranty provider on a couple’s claims regarding the legality of a release they were forced to sign before the company would honor its warranty to repair defects in the construction of the plaintiffs’ home, finding that an arbitrator should have determined whether the claim was barred by res judicata.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appeals court on March 9 affirmed a ruling granting a contractor’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after finding that a church’s construction defects action over water intrusion that occurred after the completion of an addition in 1995 was barred by the 12-year statute of repose and that the church could not pursue a claim under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Unfair Competition Law (UTPCPL) against the contractor.
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 5 vacated a ruling dismissing a woman’s claim under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) against NVR Inc. over misrepresentations the builder made about the construction of her home, holding that the ruling in Werwinski v. Ford Motor Co. should no longer be applied to find that the economic loss doctrine bars UTPCPL claims.
Four newly filed complaints in state court in Florida complain that construction of residential homes and a mixed-use facility suffers from improperly installed stucco, and one action accuses the builder and property inspector of negligence and personal injuries stemming from gas leaks that resulted from loose gas fittings.
WATERBURY, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on Jan. 14 denied a building service company’s motion for summary judgment in a suit accusing it of failing to properly inspect construction of a building, finding that the allegations against the company were not previously decided during arbitration between the plaintiffs and the general contractor.