Mealey's Construction Defects

  • August 15, 2022

    Champlain Settlement Increased By $53M; Receiver Seeks To Strike Baseless Claims

    MIAMI — In separate Aug. 10 filings in a Florida court, the class plaintiffs in the largely settled case over the June 2021 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South (CTS) condominium building in Surfside, Fla., filed a class notice that will inform members of an additional $53 million obtained in settlement funds and the receiver moved to strike claims by individuals believed to have no connection to the collapse.

  • August 11, 2022

    Texas Panel: Arbitrator In Mold Case Exceeded Power On Expert, Arbitration Fees

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Texas state panel on Aug. 4 partially reversed a trial court’s decision granting post-judgment interest, expert witness fees and arbitration fees but affirmed the granting of attorney fees to a homeowning couple who sued their builder after allegedly discovering mold in their newly constructed home, finding that the arbitrator had no authority to award the expert witness and arbitration fees.

  • August 04, 2022

    Certifier Of Brazilian Plywood, American Manufacturers Debate False Advertising Claim

    FORT LAUDERDALE — A plywood certifying agency and its accreditor “continue the massive counterfeiting scheme that has completely corrupted Florida’s structural plywood market” by certifying Brazilian plywood as meeting U.S. standards, a coalition of American plywood manufacturers argue in their July 29 opposition to the certifier’s and accreditor’s motion to dismiss the coalition’s negligence and Lanham Act claims filed in the same federal court in Florida that previously issued a permanent injunction against another certifying agency.

  • August 04, 2022

    Pa. Panel: Homebuilders’ List Of Similar Water Claims Not Privileged Or Work Product

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appellate panel on July 28 affirmed a trial court’s finding that a homebuilder’s spreadsheets containing lists of customers who complained of water intrusion damage, the same claims brought by the homeowners in the cases on appeal, was not privileged or protected as attorney work product because the documents were factual in nature and prepared by the company’s operations department, not its legal counsel.

  • August 04, 2022

    Builder, Nonsignatory Dispute Texas High Court Jurisdiction In Arbitration Row

    AUSTIN, Texas — A homeowner on July 21 told the Texas Supreme Court that it should decline to review an appellate court’s ruling affirming the trial court’s denial of a builder’s motion to compel arbitration of the nonsignatory spouse and minor children’s negligent construction claims, contending that the builder’s petition seeking review merely “manufacture[s]” questions regarding whether direct benefits estoppel and third-party beneficiary doctrines apply.

  • August 04, 2022

    Judge In Champlain Towers Allows Attorney Fees Applications For Damage Claims

    MIAMI — A Florida judge overseeing the more than $1 billion class settlement in the consolidated complaint over the June 2021 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South (CTS) condominium building in Surfside, Fla., issued a sua sponte order on Aug. 3 permitting attorneys helping class members present damage claims to apply to the court for attorney fees and costs but reminded the attorneys that no fees or costs may be requested from class members.

  • August 03, 2022

    Homebuilder Appeals To Texas High Court Over ‘Gateway’ Arbitration Decision

    AUSTIN, Texas — The lower courts incorrectly ruled that nonsignatory children of homebuyers could not be compelled to arbitrate personal injury claims after the homebuilder’s motion to compel was dismissed because the children were not third-party beneficiaries to the purchase agreement signed between the parents and the homebuilder, the homebuilder tells the Texas Supreme Court in a May 25 reply brief on the merits.

  • August 02, 2022

    Homeowners Seek Remand Of Water Damage Suit Based On Local Controversy Exception

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Homeowners claiming that the improper installation of the roofs on their homes has caused water damage filed a reply on July 22 in a federal court in South Carolina arguing that their putative class complaint should be remanded pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) local controversy exception based on their evidence that more than two-thirds of the proposed class members are citizens of that state.

  • August 01, 2022

    Wisconsin Panel: Remedial Work Doesn’t Trigger New Date For Statute Of Repose

    MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin appeals court panel on July 21 affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of construction defects claims brought by the owners of an indoor water park, finding that the claims are barred because the allegedly negligent work was remedial, not new, and was completed more than 10 years before the owner filed suit.

  • August 01, 2022

    Conn. Judge Denies Summary Judgment After Caulking Company Fails To Cite Evidence

    HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on July 20 denied a caulking company’s motion to strike and motion for summary judgment, finding that the plaintiff company “only barely” pleaded its claims and that the caulking company failed to point to any evidence that showed the absence of a genuine issue of material fact regarding the claims over the allegedly defective installation of a metal frame in a construction project.

  • August 01, 2022

    Subcontractor Argues Mediation Was Required By Contract In Appeal To 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A subcontractor hired to install insulation over fireproofing on July 18 filed the opening brief in an appeal of a federal judge’s decision to deny its motion for judgment as a matter of law to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that it was entitled to the remedy after the other party to the contract failed to comply with its prelitigation mediation requirement.

  • July 29, 2022

    Contractual Claims Survive In Insurance Dispute Over Pole Barn Construction

    BISMARCK, N.D. — A federal judge in North Dakota on July 27 ruled that a manufacturer of pole barns and the subcontractor it hired to construct a pole barn that was destroyed in a storm are not entitled to summary judgment on claims brought against them by an insurer for breach of contract and breach of implied warranty of fitness because genuine issues of material fact exist as to each claim.

  • July 29, 2022

    N.J. Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Hotel Construction Suit Filed In Successive Case

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey appellate panel on July 19 affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a construction defects complaint under the entire controversy doctrine because the realty company that filed the complaint failed to name the defendant contractors, engineers and architects as third-party defendants in a separate case based on the same transactional facts concerning the construction of a hotel.

  • July 27, 2022

    Delaware Homeowner’s Defects Complaint Dismissed For 4th Time Under Res Judicata

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge on July 12 dismissed a homeowner’s complaint for allegedly defective construction of parts of his home, finding that res judicata precluded his claims because he previously brought the same issues against the same defendants.

  • July 27, 2022

    Maryland Panel: State Board Correct To Bar University From Recovering Carpet Costs

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A panel of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on July 19 held that the State Board of Contract Appeals did not err when it found that a state university forfeited its right to recover the costs incurred in remediating allegedly defective carpet and carpet padding because it did not first comply with the written notice requirement in the contract between it and the contractor hired to install the carpet.

  • July 25, 2022

    Federal Judge Refuses To Certify Homeowner’s Questions After ‘Forum Manipulation’

    MOBILE, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama on July 7 denied a homeowner and general contractor’s motion to certify three questions about federal jurisdiction for interlocutory appeal, finding that the movants failed to meet their burden for certification after determining that the two engaged in forum manipulation by removing their federal warranty claim in an attempt to get the case remanded to state court.

  • July 21, 2022

    Federal Judge: Builder Can’t Compel Arbitration After Using ‘Litigation Machinery’

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on July 14 denied a homebuilder’s motion to dismiss a homeowning couple’s faulty construction counterclaims and to compel arbitration after finding that the builder waived its right to arbitration by using the court’s “litigation machinery” to such an extent that compelling arbitration would prejudice the couple, who started a website describing the company’s business practices.

  • July 21, 2022

    3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Grenfell Tower Case For More Convenient Forum

    PHILADELPHIA — On appeal of a lawsuit brought by former residents of London’s Grenfell Tower, which caught fire in 2017, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 8 affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss the products liability case under the doctrine of forum non conveniens but reversed the imposition of a condition placed on the dismissal.

  • July 07, 2022

    N.C. Panel Affirms Townhome Association’s Lack Of Standing For Construction Claims

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina appellate court on July 5 affirmed a trial court’s order dismissing a townhome association’s negligence and breach of warranty claims against a builder in a suit resulting from alleged defects in the townhomes’ construction, finding that the panel lacked the authority to overturn the court’s previous decision on standing.

  • June 29, 2022

    Vermont Judge: Contractor’s Work Was Defective But Not Willfully Misrepresented

    MONTPELIER, Vt. — A Vermont judge on May 31 found that a contractor breached its contract and implied warranty and awarded a homeowner $44,232.95 in damages and prejudgment interest; however, the judge said the contractor did not violate the covenant of good faith and fair dealing or state consumer protection laws because the contractor did not voluntarily cause defects or willfully misrepresent its services when it damaged hardwood flooring and defectively installed a wall and light fixtures during the renovation of a carriage barn.