Personal Injury Civil Procedure Residential Real Estate

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Georgia Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Lead Paint Injury

In its recent decision in Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 2016 Ga. LEXIS 245 (Ga. Mar. 21, 2016), the Supreme Court of Georgia had occasion to consider whether under Georgia law, the pollution exclusion applies to...more

Actual knowledge is a prerequisite to liability: Houston Appeals Court reiterates Chapter 95’s central role in suits against...

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Oiltanking Houston, L.P. v. Delgado, No. 14-14-00158-CV, 2016 WL 354439 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Jan. 28, 2016, no pet. h.) has reversed a $21 million verdict against a property owner...more

SB 800 – Can Builders Enforce It, Or Not?

15 years ago, the California Supreme Court held in Aas v. Superior Court, 24 Cal.4th 627 (2000), that homeowners could not recover for construction defects unless the defects caused consequential damages to the building. In...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: Released after 11:30 a.m. AC36320 - Valencis v. Nyberg - This decision upheld the granting of a PJR for ~ $1.5 million in favor of the plaintiff property owner when the...more

Denver City Council Passes Construction Defect Litigation Reform Ordinance

After successive failures to pass similar legislation at the state level, the Denver City Council is following Lakewood and other municipalities to pass reforms to curb construction defect litigation. Designed to address...more

Alabama Supreme Court Follows Line of Recent Federal Court Decisions Holding That Alabama Law Does Not Recognize a Cause Of Action...

As Chief Judge Steele in the Southern District of Alabama recently put it, “a veritable avalanche” of recent federal cases has found that Alabama law does not recognize a cause of action for negligence or wantonness in the...more

Fracking-Related Earthquake Litigation Gains Momentum

On June 30, 2015, the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a decision that opened the courthouse doors to lawsuits for property damage and personal injuries caused by earthquakes purportedly related to fracking activities. See Ladra...more

Reports of the Death of SB800 are Greatly Exaggerated – The Court of Appeal Revives Mandatory SB800 Procedures

In a 20 page opinion, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District repudiated the holding of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Brookfield Crystal Cove, LLC (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 98 (“Liberty Mutual”), and held that plaintiffs in...more

Making The California Assumption Of Risk Doctrine Work For You

The doctrine of assumption of risk is a legal defense that may operate to relieve a California owner or occupier of and from liability to third parties who are injured on their premises. One species of the doctrine, primary...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Broad Expansion of Private Nuisance and Trespass

Action Item: On August 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Ross v. Lowitz, et al., No. A-101-13 (N.J. Aug. 6, 2015), held that property owners could not prove claims for private nuisance and trespass against the...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: June 4, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on June 4, 2015 during its June term. This term resulted in two opinions affecting Virginia local government law. These opinions addressed defamation alleged from statements by a...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Property Damage Directly Caused By Fire

In Stankova v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8935 (9th Cir. May 29, 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Arizona law, had the opportunity to address the concept of...more

Statements Made in HOA Recall Election Campaign are Subject to Anti-SLAPP Protection

A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or “SLAPP” is a civil lawsuit brought to either prevent or punish another person for exercising their First Amendment right to petition the government or to speak about public...more

Illinois Supreme Court Appears Skeptical of Wrongful Death Claim Arising From Suicide

Earlier this month, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Turcios v. The DeBruler Company. Turcios poses a simple question: can a plaintiff state a claim for wrongful death arising from a suicide? Our detailed...more

Appellate Court Notes

- AC36342 - Budrawich v. Budrawich Post-dissolution motion to modify child support denial was upheld by the Appellate Court due to lack of substantial change in circumstances, when ex-husband’s increased income was not...more

Senate Tightens Requirements for Construction Defect Claims

The Florida Senate is following a recent national trend of tightening its laws governing construction defect claims. Currently, under FL. Stat. § 558.004, entitled Notice and Opportunity to Repair, a party claiming a...more

Florida Supreme Court Overturns Directed Verdict for Defendant in Negligent Security Case

On February 12, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court quashed the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Sanders v. ERP Operating Limited Partnership, 96 So.3d 929 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) and held that evidence of lapses in...more

Amendments to Arizona’s Purchaser Dwelling Act Impact Residential Construction Claims

House Bill 2578, which amends the Purchaser Dwelling Act (“Act”) was signed into law by Governor Ducey on Monday, March 23, 2015. The Purchaser Dwelling Act sets forth a procedure for bringing claims for construction defects...more

Texas Court Upholds Engineer’s Tort Duty to Third Parties

The Texas appellate decision recently confirmed that state’s general rules regarding the outer limits of common law tort liability arising from alleged construction defects. USA Walnut Creek, DST v. Terracon Consultants,...more

Court Finds Potential for Personal Umbrella Coverage of Sexual Assault Not Covered by Underlying Homeowners Policy

In Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. H039368, filed 2/5/15), a California appeals court ruled that a personal umbrella policy's broader coverage gave rise to a duty to defend sexual molestation allegations that were...more

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC18927 - State v. Gonzalez - AC35406 - Rodriguez v. State - AC35570 - Tremper v. State - AC35972 - Bouchard v. Deep River [Dumpster diving can be hazardous to your health. As a devotee of the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Intersection of Party Diligence and Motions to Vacate

Section 2-1401 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-1401) provides that a judgment may be set aside more than thirty days after its entry on petition for various reasons. So when is the apparent lack of...more

New York Federal Court Finds that CERCLA’s Petroleum Exclusion Covers Benzene Derived from Gasoline Degradation

In White Plains Housing Authority v. Getty Properties Corp., No. 13-cv-6282, 2014 WL 7183991 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2014), the district court applied the petroleum exclusion of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Declines to Determine Effect of Permit in Subsurface Trespass Case"

The Supreme Court of Texas upheld a jury verdict finding that a landowner did not suffer trespass from a wastewater injection well located on adjacent property. Environmental Processing Systems, L.C., v. FPL Farming Ltd.,...more

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