HOUSTON — A Texas appeals panel on May 13 ruled that claims brought by homeowners alleging that a builder’s failure to construct the homes at the proper elevation allowed for flooding during Hurricane Harvey must be arbitrated because arbitration provisions in home purchase agreements were not unconscionable.
Five lawsuits were filed in Florida state court between April 26 and April 28 by homeowners who complain that the installation of the stucco on their homes, which failed to comply with industry standards and the Florida Building Code, has caused damage to the structures.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A subcontractor says in a motion to compel filed April 21 in South Carolina state court that a proposed class of homeowners claiming that the improper installation of the roofs on their homes has caused water damage has failed to respond to its initial request for interrogatories and requests for production.
SAN DIEGO — A California appeals panel on April 28 sustained a ruling denying a motion by a general contractor seeking prevailing party status in a construction defects suit because a jury found for both parties following a trial as well as a ruling that rejected a homeowner’s request to offset damages awarded for negligence because the trial court lacked jurisdiction.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A trial court judge’s entry of a no-answer default judgment against a homebuilder accused by a couple of construction defects was reversed by a Texas appeals court panel on April 29 after the panel found that the plaintiffs failed to present evidence that the Texas secretary of State forwarded a copy of the lawsuit and process papers to the builder.
AUSTIN, Texas — A homebuilder seeking reversal of a ruling denying its motion to compel arbitration of a construction defects suit tells a Texas appeals court in an April 20 appellant brief that a lower court erred when sustaining a couple’s argument that the arbitration provision in the home sales agreement was unconscionable because the costs are higher than litigating in state court.
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.