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If You Can't Say Anything Nice: Criticizing Contractors Can Be Costly

Construction projects can turn acrimonious — and bad feelings often survive dispute resolution. But think twice before voicing thoughts or opinions about a fellow project participant. A false statement about another’s...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

Senator Allain Proposes Mandatory Mediation in Legacy Lawsuits

Legacy litigation refers to hundreds of lawsuits in Louisiana seeking damages allegedly related to environmental harm caused by oil and gas exploration and production activities. These lawsuits have been likened to winning...more

Arizona’s New Construction Defect Law is Effective the Summer of 2015

On March 23, 2015, Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey, signed into law House Bill 2578. This new legislation relates specifically to Arizona’s construction defect claims and revises the Purchaser Dwelling Actions statute - ARS §...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18928 - Rathbun v. Health Net of the Northeast, Inc. - In Connecticut, the Department of Social Services manages the federal Medicaid act and awards contracts to Medicaid managed health care providers. The defendant...more

It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: Equitable Estoppel in Construction Defect Claims

More than 20 years ago, the Watergate scandal taught us “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” that does the damage. The ensuing decades have brought a steady stream of individuals and companies that had to learn the truth...more

How Much Are Your Trees Worth?

In Texas, more than your dog. Gilbert Wheeler, Inc. v. Enbridge Pipelines (East Texas), L.P. is good news for landowners. The Texas Supreme recognized the intrinsic-value-of-trees exception to the general rule for damages to...more

New Jersey Appellate Court Limits Measure of Damages for Contaminated Properties

On August 27, 2014, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of Puritan Oil against a New Jersey property owner, finding that where the oil company had already taken steps to remedy contamination it caused on...more

City May be Liable for Damage to Residence from Falling Tree Under Inverse Condemnation

When is a tree a “public improvement” for purposes of inverse condemnation? According to one court, when the tree was planted by a city as part of a forestry program and maintained over a period of time. City of Pasadena v....more

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...more

Nuisance Claims Becoming More Than a Mere Nuisance in Texas

Plaintiffs Bob and Lisa Parr obtained a $2.9 million verdict in April 2014 against Aruba Petroleum, Inc. for health problems allegedly related to oil and gas drilling operations and air emissions near their home. The large...more

“California’s Right To Repair Act Is Not A Homeowner’s Exclusive Remedy When Construction Defects Cause Actual Property Damage.”

The California Court of Appeals recently issued two decisions holding that California’s Right to Repair Act (“SB 800”) is not the exclusive remedy for a homeowner seeking damages for construction defects that have also...more

Main Street Cashes $3.1 Billion in Checks from Wall Street

With the mortgage crisis almost a decade in the rear-view mirror, some harmed homeowners are just now starting to see reparations for the transgressions of the country’s largest financial institutions. ...more

Covenants Not to Sue in Connection with Nuisance and Other Property Claims Can Be Enforceable against Future Owners

At times, where a developer seeks to obtain an easement from a landowner for the construction of infrastructure or improvements on or adjacent to the landowner’s property, the landowner may request additional consideration to...more

Builders Beware! You Cannot Hide Behind SB 800!

In Burch v Superior Court (Premier Homes et al.) 2014 DJDAR 1991 (decided February 19, 2014) plaintiff Burch, a Pacific Palisades homeowner, sued defendants Premier Homes, the developer, and Custom Home Builders, the general...more

NEW CASE ALERT (Easement Law): Refusing To Consent To Development Plans May Trigger Tort Liability For Interference With Easement

If an easement owner is required to obtain governmental approval in order to develop that owner’s property, and the neighboring property owner refuses to consent to the development (e.g. refusing to execute consent for a...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Application of the Economic Loss Rule in Arizona Since Flagstaff Affordable Housing Ltd. v....

In a recent ruling, the Arizona Supreme Court clarified that the economic loss rule does not apply to non-contracting parties. See Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corporation, 667 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 36 (Ariz. 2013). This ruling both...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Utah’s Economic Loss Rule

In Utah, a plaintiff must generally in be in privity with the “original contractor, architect, engineer or real estate developer” to bring an “action for defective design or construction.” Utah Code Ann. §78 B-4-513(4). This...more

Imminence of Harm is Not Required for Recovering Pure Economic Loss for Dangerous Defects

Lack of “imminent risk” does not bar recovery for economic loss arising from a dangerously defective structure, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently held. Typically, courts are reluctant to award lost profits or other...more

Neutrals create streamlined process for resolving natural disaster cases

Originally published in the Daily Journal on March 15, 2013. With more than 2,000 lawsuits filed by homeowners in the wake of the fires that ravaged San Diego County in 2007, attorneys for plaintiffs and San Diego Gas...more

Court of Appeals Rules that Title Companies Owe Duty of Care in Tort when Conducting Title Searches

In the case of 100 Investment Limited Partnership v. Columbia Town Center Title Co., the Maryland Court of Appeals was asked to determine whether a title company owed a tort duty of reasonable care to its customer, the...more

Title Insurers Not Liable For Agent's Negligence

Title insurance companies can enforce exculpatory provisions in title insurance policies that exclude liability for tort claims based on a negligent title search performed by an agent, Maryland's highest court has ruled....more

Bailey v. Schaaf et al., Supreme Court Docket No. 144055

Amicus Curiae Brief in Bailey v. Schaaf

Attached is the amicus curiae brief I wrote and filed in the Michigan Supreme Court on Friday, November 30, 2012, concerning the issues to be addressed by the Court in the near future. Oral argument has not been set. The...more

A Few Thoughts After “Frankenstorm”

The major impact that Hurricane Sandy had on the East Coast is a good reminder of the importance of the maintenance of sufficient insurance. All condominium projects in Texas (whether they operate under the current Uniform...more

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Climate Change Litigation: Ninth Circuit Rejects Plaintiffs’ Claims for Damages for Alleged Climate...

In Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., No. 09-17490 (9th Cir. Sep. 21, 2012), a panel of the Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed the dismissal of an action brought by plaintiffs who sought $400 million in damages...more

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