BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Feb. 15 dismissed breach of implied warranty claims brought by three of four leading plaintiffs in a class action suit over allegedly faulty composite decking that prematurely swells and cracks, finding that the claims were untimely because they accrued at the time the plaintiffs discovered the defects (Anthony Pagliaroni, et al. v. Mastic Home Exteriors Inc., et al., No. 12-10164-DJC, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 250096).
PHILADELPHIA — A trial court judge erred when denying a corrugated stainless steel tube (CSST) manufacturer’s motion for a new products liability trial because the jury was improperly instructed on whether the product was unreasonably dangerous, a Pennsylvania appeals panel held Feb. 16 in reversing a $1 million verdict against the company (Terence D. Tincher, et al. v. Omega Flex Inc., No. 1285 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 117).
CHICAGO — Two dock and deck resurfacing products made by Sherwin-Williams Co. and its subsidiaries are allegedly defective because they prematurely peel, bubble and crack, allowing the elements to penetrate the surface, a woman says in a nationwide class action suit filed Feb. 13 in Illinois federal court (Regan Sluder, et al. v. Sherwin-Williams Co., et al., No. 18-1121, N.D. Ill.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana couple and the contractor who installed Chinese-manufactured drywall in their home cannot pursue claims against the manufacturer, the federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation stemming from the product ruled Feb. 9, holding that their claims are barred by a settlement agreement that was executed in February 2013 (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21561).
SALT LAKE CITY — A homeowners association lacked privity to sue a developer over construction defects, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Feb. 9, holding that the declaration the developer wrote establishing the creation of the association did not transfer any rights to sue (Gables at Sterling Village Homeowners Association Inc. v. Castlewood-Sterling Village I LLC, et al., No. 2016-0100, Utah Sup., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 3204).
ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands — A federal judge in the Virgin Islands on Feb. 9 dismissed third-party indemnification lawsuits filed by Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc. against the architect and consulting firm that oversaw the design and installation of a hotel’s roof and rain gutters after finding that the hotel operator failed to seek leave from the court before filing the complaints (Henry McAlarney v. Roy’s Construction, et al., No. 2015-64, D. Virgin Islands, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20647).
CHICAGO — Pella Corp. has agreed to pay $25.75 million to resolve claims from homeowners alleging that the company’s ProLine series of windows were defective by allowing water to intrude the casing, causing wood rot, plaintiffs say in a Feb. 8 brief filed in Illinois federal court seeking approval of the agreement (Kent Eubank, et al. v. Pella Corp., No. 06 C 4481, N.D. Ill.).
GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland on Feb. 2 dismissed with prejudice a man’s construction defects lawsuit accusing a lawyer and lender of violating the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and ordered the plaintiff to arbitrate his claims against the home builder (Maurice Washington v. Lennar Corp., et al., No. 17-0079, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18943).
BEAUFORT, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Feb. 1 upheld his earlier ruling finding that the state’s eight-year statute of repose barred breach of contract and breach of express and implied warranties claims asserted against an architecture firm and contractor accused of construction defects, finding that alleged building code violations did not toll the statute (Hampton Hall LLC v. Chapman Coyle Chapman & Associates Architects AIA Inc., et al., No. 17-1575, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17795).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A trial court judge did not err when finding that a couple’s lawsuit accusing a tile subcontractor of negligently installing a marble floor in their bathroom was untimely, a California appeals panel ruled Jan. 31, finding that the subcontractor’s refusal to make repairs did not toll the statute of limitations (Annette Elissagaray v. Venice Tile & Marble Inc., No. C077595, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 686).
CHICAGO — A pair of plaintiffs told the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 25 brief that a federal judge in Illinois erred when dismissing their class action suit after he found that the labels for dimensional lumber were not inadequate and in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA) (Michael Fuchs, et al. v. Menard Inc., No. 17-3260, 7th Cir.).
PENSACOLA, Fla. — A couple and the manufacturer of siding that allegedly peels, cracks, and chips prior to the expiration of its warranty on Jan. 5 agreed to dismiss a state court lawsuit, with each party to pay their own costs (Larry Matthews, et al. v. J.D. Hardie Building Products Inc., No. 16-000534, Fla. Cir., Santa Rosa Co.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Jan. 16 reversed a trial court judge’s decision that a condominium association should not receive $905,985 in stipulated damages to repair defects in common areas of the complex, finding that the judge was not free to disregard the parties’ agreement (Hillside Villas Condominium Association v. Bottaro Development Co., et al., Nos. 615 CD 2017, 616 CD 2017, Pa. Cmwlth., 2018 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 43).
BOSTON — Emails shared with a contractor who discovered construction defects in a couple’s home are protected from disclosure by the work product doctrine, a federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts ruled Jan. 26, holding that the documents contained information about ongoing litigation and litigation strategy (Gregg Wade, et al. v. Touchdown Realty Group LLC, et al., No. 17-10400-PBS, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13069).
HOUSTON — A Texas appeals panel on Jan. 25 upheld a trial court judge’s ruling denying D.R. Horton-Emerald Ltd.’s (DRH) motion to compel arbitration of a construction defects suit brought by subsequent buyers of a home, finding that they are not successors in interest to an agreement between the builder and the original buyers (D.R. Horton-Emerald Ltd. v. Daniel Mitchell, et al., No. 01-17-00426-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2018 Texas App. LEXIS 731).
BOSTON — A condominium association board of trustees can pursue a construction defects claim against a developer, a panel of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Jan. 19, holding that a bylaw in the condominium bylaws requiring the board to obtain the approval of 80 percent of the unit owners was against public policy (Trustees of the Cambridge Point Condominium Trust v. Cambridge Point LLC, No. SJC-12327, Mass. Sup., 2018 Mass. LEXIS 14).
SAN FRANCISCO — The prelitigation requirements established under California’s Right to Repair Act apply to an economic loss and property damage lawsuit brought by homeowners against the builder of 37 homes, the California Supreme Court ruled Jan. 18 in affirming a ruling staying the suit subject to the builder’s ability to remedy the alleged defects (McMillin Albany LLC v. Superior Court of Kern County, No. S229762, Calif. Sup., 2018 Calif. LEXIS 211).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. says in a Jan. 4 notice of removal that an apartment complex owner’s lawsuit that alleges construction defects leading to water intrusion and termite damage have resulted in $4 million in damages belongs in federal court because complete diversity exists between the parties and damages exceed the $75,000 jurisdictional threshold (E.C. Lofts LLC v. Tauer LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-31-RMG, D. S.C.).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A couple who prevailed on their claims that a home builder committed fraud when telling them he built a house that had construction defects cannot receive $30,600 in attorney fees, a 2-1 Louisiana appeals panel ruled Jan. 11, finding that the man was not a party to the sales agreement for the house and that there is no recovery of attorney fees in quasi-delictual actions (Barrett W. Magee, et al. v. Cadis Construction LLC, No. 2017 CA 0515, La. App., 1st Cir., 2018 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A subcontractor accused of construction defects is not required to indemnify or contribute to a $150,000 arbitration award issued to a woman in her lawsuit against D.R. Horton Inc., a South Carolina appeals panel ruled Jan. 10, finding that the indemnification clause in the agreement between the builder and subcontractor violated state law (D.R. Horton Inc. v. Builders FirstSource Southeast Group LLC, et al., No. 5529, S.C. App., 2018 S.C. App. LEXIS 2).