- Volume 18, Issue #12
- Judge Strikes Expert's Opinions, Denies Certification Of Class Over Siding
MINNEAPOLIS - A proposed class for consumers claiming that fiber cement siding on their homes prematurely fades and delaminates cannot be certified, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Jan. 2, finding that individual issues involving each class member's home would require a mini-trial (In re: HardiePlank Fiber Cement Siding Litigation, MDL 2359, Case No. 12-md-2359, D. Minn.).
- Siding Maker Awarded Summary Judgment On Plaintiffs' Warranty Claims
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Jan. 2 awarded summary judgment to the manufacturer of fiber-cement siding that allegedly discolors prematurely, finding that the 50-year limited warranty provided by the company does not cover improper installation or design defects (In re: HardiePlank Fiber Cement Siding Litigation, MDL 2359, Case No. 12-md-2359, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102).
- Disputes Exist Over Whether Subsequent Buyers Knew About Building Code Violations
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 14 denied Pulte Home Corp.'s motion for summary judgment, holding that genuine disputes exist as to whether subsequent home buyers knew about building code violations concerning the allegedly faulty installation of stucco on the homes (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corp., No. 16-cv-657, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205416).
- Home Builder Sues Subcontractors Over Faulty Installation Of Stucco
DELAND, Fla. - KB Home Jacksonville LLC and two other KB Home entities on Nov. 30 filed suit in Florida state court against four subcontractors that were responsible for installing stucco on a home, contending that the defendants breached the terms of their construction contracts by failing to perform the work "in a first class and workmanlike manner" (KB Home Jacksonville LLC, et al. v. Branco Lath & Stucco Inc. et al., No. 2017-30254-CICI, Fla. Cir., Volusia Co.).
- Appeals Court Affirms Woman's $154 Award For Improperly Installed Subflooring
PITTSBURGH - A woman is not entitled to more than the $154 she was awarded following a bench trial over a contractor's alleged improper installation of subflooring following mold remediation, a Pennsylvania appeals court panel ruled Dec. 15, finding that other costs associated with repairing the mistake were outside the terms of their agreement (Myrna Cohen v. JS Associated Service, No. 390 WDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4609).
- Couple: Home's Systemic Humidity Problem Caused Mold Growth, Dust Mites
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida couple filed a lawsuit in state court on Dec. 14 against Toll Brothers Inc., the architect of a home as well as the contractor who installed the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, claiming that systemic humidity within the home resulted in mold growth and increased dust mite allergens that have made the structure uninhabitable (Maziar Monshi, et al. v. Toll FL V LLC, et al., No. 2017-CA-022661, Fla. Cir., Broward Co.).
- Judge: Statute Of Repose Bars Majority Of Suit Over Clubhouse Defects
BEAUFORT, S.C. - An architecture firm and general contractor cannot face claims for breach of contract and breach of express and implied warranties over alleged defects in the installation of the trusses of a community clubhouse, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Dec. 27, finding that the clubhouse owner's claims were barred by the state's eight-year statute of repose (Hampton Hall LLC v. Chapman Coyle Chapman & Associates Architects AIA Inc., et al., No. 17-1575, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211833).
- Judge: More Discovery Needed To Determine If Association's Defects Suit Is Timely
NEWARK, Del. - A Delaware judge on Dec. 7 deferred ruling on motions for summary judgment filed by two contractors, holding that more discovery is needed to determine if a construction defects lawsuit brought by a condominium owners association is barred by the statute of limitations (Crest Condominium Association, et al. v. Royal Plus Inc, et al., No. S16C-10-024-RFS, Del. Super., Sussex Co., 2017 Del. Super. LEXIS 642).
- Arbitration Panel Did Not Err When Awarding Damages To Homeowner
SAN ANTONIO - A Texas appeals court panel on Dec. 13 affirmed a judge's ruling awarding $103,340.26 in damages, attorney fees, expenses and interest to a man who claimed that defects in the construction of his home resulted in water intrusion, ruling that an arbitration panel did not err when finding that neither the man nor the home builder was the prevailing party (Pasadera Builders LP v. Todd Hughes, No. 04-17-00021-CV, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11538).
- Developer Removes Defects Suit, Cites Diversity Excessive Damages
BOSTON - The developer of a 150-unit condominium complex on Dec. 28 removed to Massachusetts federal court a lawsuit brought by a trust of individual unit owners over alleged construction defects, arguing that complete diversity exists between the parties and that the trust is seeking damages in excess of $5 million (Liz D'Allesandro, et al. v. Lennar Hingham Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-12567, D. Mass.).
- Nevada Supreme Court Denies KB Home's Challenge To Association's Notice
LAS VEGAS - A panel of the Nevada Supreme Court on Nov. 30 denied a petition for a writ of mandamus or prohibition filed by KB Home Nevada Inc. seeking reversal of a trial court's ruling that supplemental class notices filed by a homeowners association satisfied Nevada Revised Statute 40 requirements, finding that the judge has yet to determine if the association can bring claims on behalf of individual homeowners (KB Home Nevada Inc. v. Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, In and for the County of Clark, No. 73861, Nev. Sup., 2017 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 1081).
- Louisiana Appeals Court Affirms Judgment In Contractor's Favor In Defects Dispute
LAKE CHARLES, La. - A Louisiana appeals court panel on Dec. 6 affirmed a trial court judge's $1,125 award to a contractor accused of construction defects, finding that the evidence demonstrated that while the standards of the contractor's work were comparable to a "Volkswagen" rather than a "Cadillac," it did breach the terms of a construction contract (Calvin Paul Williams v. Vincent Alexander, Nos. CA-17-436, 17-437, La. App., 3rd Cir., 2017 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 377).
- La. Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal Of Defects Claim Against Contractor
GRETNA, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on Dec. 20 upheld a trial court's ruling that a couple failed to submit sufficient evidence of a contractor's allegedly defective work, holding that photographs and videos presented by the plaintiffs failed to support their allegations (Lynda Vinet, et al. v. D & M Renovation LLC, et al., No. 17-CA-161, La. App., 5th Cir., 2017 La. 2383).
- Texas Appeals Court Says Judge Erred When Dismissing Couple's Defects Suit
AMARILLO, Texas - A trial court judge in Texas erred when dismissing a couple's construction defects and breach of contract suit against a builder for want of prosecution without providing proper notice, a state appeals court panel ruled Dec. 11 (Patrick Pence, et al. v. S&D Builders LLC, et al., No. 07-16-00005-CV, Texas App., 7th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11501).
- Louisiana Appeals Court Finds Judgment Dismissing Claim In Defects Suit Appealable
ST. CHARLES, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on Nov. 29 reversed an earlier ruling in which it found that an order dismissing with prejudice a man's claims over alleged construction defects was not immediately appealable, after finding that the decision disposed of the plaintiff's principal demand rather than particular issues (Lynton O. Hester v. Burns Builders, et al., No. CA 17-824, La. App., 3rd Cir., 2017 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 371).
- Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Severing Roofer From Defects Lawsuit
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A trial court judge in Florida erred when granting a couple's motion to dismiss a condominium complex operator's third-party suit against a roofing subcontractor, a Florida appeals court panel ruled Dec. 1, finding that there is a clear risk of inconsistent verdicts if the claims are tried separately (Martinique Condominiums, Inc. v. Michael P. Short, et al., No. 5D17-1546, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 17984).
- Michigan Appeals Court Finds Couple Entitled To Attorney Fees From Association
DETROIT - A Michigan appeals panel on Dec. 12 affirmed a trial court judge's decision to award $7,918 in attorney fees and costs to a couple in a condominium lien suit brought against them by an owner's association, finding that the association had no basis to bring its action (Nottingham Village Condominium Association v. John Pensom, et al., No. 333311, Mich. App., 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 2023).