NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Feb. 12 recommended ordering a United Kingdom-based valve maker to pay more than $2 million in damages to an energy company that installed the valves in its steam turbine generator (STG), finding that the plaintiff company sufficiently alleged that the valves were defectively designed and manufactured and that the manufacturer did not issue a sufficient warning about the possibility that disk retainers within the valve could become dislodged during nonthrottling steam flow.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — U.S. Home Corp. tells the Florida Supreme Court in a Feb. 23 answering brief that it should uphold a trial court’s ruling requiring subsequent purchasers of a home to arbitrate their claims over the alleged improper installation of stucco because an arbitration covenant in the deed to the home runs with the land and that it was passed on to the couple from the original buyers.
CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals court on Feb. 19 upheld a ruling dismissing a condominium unit owners association’s claims for breach of implied warranties of habitability and good workmanship, holding that purchase agreements between the owners and the seller as well as the association’s declaration clearly disclaimed that the buyers were waiving the implied warranty of habitability when buying the units.
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 13 dismissed an appeal of a federal judge in Louisiana’s ruling awarding summary judgment to the makers of allegedly defective Chinese drywall, finding that it lacked jurisdiction because the appellants’ notice was untimely.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Feb. 17 granted in part and denied in part a roof system manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment, finding that genuine disputes exist as to whether a condominium association’s claims for negligence and breach of express warranty are timely, and denied the defendant company’s motion to exclude the testimony of two experts on the ground that any challenges to their opinions can be raised on cross-examination.
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Feb. 12 denied motions seeking to limit testimony proffered by experts retained by the owner and developer of a 28-building condominium development that suffers from construction defects, finding that the disclosure of the experts’ identities was timely and that the challenges to their testimony are to the weight of the evidence, not admissibility.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico appeals court panel on Feb. 11 affirmed a general contractor’s summary judgment award in a construction defects lawsuit, finding that the subsidiary of a lender that obtained possession of a three-story office building as a result of foreclosure was not a subsequent purchaser that could pursue a claim for negligence against the builder and that the economic loss doctrine was inapplicable.
CLEVELAND — A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 8 dismissed with prejudice a class action lawsuit brought by consumers against the manufacturer of a deck resealing and weather protection product that they claim prematurely peeled after the parties announced that they reached a settlement.
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Feb. 2 affirmed an arbitrator’s award to a couple over a contractor’s defective work and use of unlicensed subcontractors to remodel a home that was severely damaged by a fire, rejecting the contractor’s arguments that the dispute was not subject to arbitration and that the arbitrator exceeded his authority.
Lawsuits filed by homeowners in state courts in California and Florida on Jan. 29 and Jan. 27, respectively, accuse the builders of their homes of construction defects that have resulted in water intrusion and subsequent property damage.
EASTERN HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A federal judge in Mississippi on Dec. 14 denied a masonry subcontractor’s motion to exclude the opinion of an expert on structural engineering about the causes of water intrusion at an apartment complex, finding that the proffered testimony is not outside the scope of his expertise and that he is not offering engineering opinions.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals court on Feb. 1 reversed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a developer accused of selling a home riddled with construction defects, finding that genuine issues exist as to whether the developer was a commercial seller of real estate and whether an agency relationship existed between the developer and the homebuilder, who allegedly made misrepresentations to the buyers about the quality of the home.
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana appeals panel on Jan. 29 reinstated claims for negligence and breach of implied warranty brought by an association of condominium unit owners against a group of contractors, finding that the economic loss rule should not be applied to the association’s negligence claim and that the association sufficiently alleged in its amended complaint that the defendants were involved in the construction and sale of the units.
EASTERN HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A federal judge in Mississippi on Jan. 21 granted only portions of a masonry subcontractor’s motion for summary judgment after the general contractor agreed that the subcontractor was not liable for damage to an apartment complex stemming from missing brickwork and found that triable issues exist as to whether the subcontractor breached the construction contract by failing to install a steel lintel in brick archways and insufficiently applying mortar to the brickwork of the building’s façade.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland appeals court on Jan. 28 affirmed the dismissal of a carpeting subcontractor’s negligence claim against a bank, finding that it owed no duty to the noncustomer to obtain a mechanic’s lien against a homebuilder after the builder failed to pay the subcontractor for its work
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Jan. 25 awarded partial summary judgment to the lessee of a warehouse that was damaged following a roof collapse after a heavy rainfall in 2016, finding that the roofing contractor was negligent for failing to install secondary drains that were required by the North Carolina Building Code and North Carolina Plumbing Code and that the weight of the excess rainwater from the storm resulting from poor drainage was the proximate cause of the collapse.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals court panel on Jan. 6 affirmed a ruling denying a homebuilder’s motion to compel arbitration, holding that construction defects claims brought by a subsequent purchaser of the property were not subject to arbitration because a provision in the home’s original sales agreement was not enforceable.
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Jan. 22 granted a siding subcontractor’s motion for partial summary judgment, finding that a homebuilder’s causes of action over defects in the work that allowed the pipes of the fire sprinkler system to freeze resulting in $242,636.71 in damages sounded in tort and are barred by the six-year statute of repose.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 25 issued a one page per curiam opinion dismissing as improvidently granted a writ of certiorari in an already argued case concerning arbitrability disputes in a case between two distributors of dental equipment.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Jan. 21 quashed an appeal brought by a homebuilder and seller accused of construction defects, finding that a ruling that some claims brought by the homeowners were not barred by the 12-year statute of repose period is not appealable under the collateral order doctrine.