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Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/29/14)

As expected, the last order list of the Supreme Court's fiscal year was a busy one. The Court issued opinions in 12 argued cases, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. There were no grants and no mandamus...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

Court Of Appeal Finds Lender Is Not Entitled To Recover Portion Of Developer's Future Judgment In Connection With Property Damage...

In Thoryk v. San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 386, Thoryk owned a large piece of land ("Land") in San Diego County. Encumbering the Land was a first deed of trust in favor of PFI Realty ("PFI") and a...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

Construction Defect Litigation: Right to Repair Act (SB 800) Does Not Eliminate Common Law Remedies for Actual Damage to...

California’s Right to Repair Act (also known as SB 800) provides court remedies for a homeowner when construction defects diminish the economic value of a home, even though no personal injuries or actual property damage have...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

Homeowners May Sue Design Professionals For Construction Defects

In Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 1 Dist., December 13, 2012), a California court of appeal found that a homeowners association could seek damages...more

Pa. Superior Court Extends Protection of Implied Warranty of Habitability to Subsequent Purchasers of a Newly Constructed Home

For the first time, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has extended the protection of the implied warranty of habitability to the second or subsequent purchaser of a newly constructed home in Conway v. The Cutler Group, 2012...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

Another Nail in the Public Nuisance Litigation Coffin: The 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal of the Kivalina Claims

On Friday, in Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil,the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals may have sounded the death knell for public nuisance litigation concerning the impacts of climate change, affirming dismissal of the...more

When Can Private Security Stop and Detain?

Today we begin a new feature for Appellate Strategist -- detailed previews of civil cases just granted review in the latest term of the Illinois Supreme Court. This week we will review the late May grants, and the feature...more

Risk of Landlord Liability Rises in Pit Bull Attack Cases

Maryland landlords beware: the state’s highest court has made it much easier for victims of attacks by pit bulls or pit bull mixes to win judgments — not only against the dog’s owner, but also against any landlord that allows...more

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