Personal Injury Residential Real Estate

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New York Imposes Duty on Mortgage Lenders to Maintain “Zombie Properties” and Increases Lenders’ Exposure for Premises Liability...

On June 23, 2016, New York State enacted legislation imposing a duty on banks and mortgage companies to maintain one- to four-family residential properties abandoned by their owners before they have foreclosed on the...more

Common Law Indemnity Claim Affirmed on Justifiable Beliefs

Yesterday, the Arizona Court of Appeals issued an interesting opinion in Hatch Development v. Solomon. Hatch illustrated two key points in real estate and construction litigation: (1) a contractor’s indemnity does not always...more

Make the Most of Your Mediation: The Neighbor Dispute

Disputes between neighbors are among the most blistering battles in the courthouse. As one advocate observed during a break in Day 3 of Hatfield v. McCoy, “At least in a divorce, one of the parties moves out of the house.”...more

A New Defense to Nuisance Injunction Actions in Tennessee

After July 1, 2016, under certain limited circumstances, real property owners in Tennessee may abate a nuisance on their property (of which they were unaware), and avoid the harsh effects of an injunction, without...more

8th Circuit Court Finds Class Action Inappropriate to Resolve Neighborhood Claims for Damages Arising From Environmental...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Eighth Circuit found that a class action could not be sustained in an environmental pollution case because “the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23.”...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19233, SC19234 - State v. Wright - SC19233, SC19234 Concurrence - State v. Wright - SC19382 - State v. Anthony D. - SC19382 Dissent - State v. Anthony D....more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Jury Verdict Against Mortgage Servicer for Extreme and Outrageous Conduct

Following the Eleventh Circuit’s decision last month in McGinnis v. American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., No. 14-13404, mortgage servicers should be aware that failing to recognize and correct miscalculations of a...more

Homeowners' Associations Could Face Liability for Bear Attacks

It is sometimes said that law is what separates humans from wild animals. While humans have been developing laws since the Code of Hammurabi, they have also been developing land, so much so that both commercial and...more

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

After Pit Bull Case, Questions Dog New York’s “Unfortunate Event” Test

Where an insurance policy contains a “per occurrence” limit on coverage, New York courts apply what they call the “unfortunate event” test to determine how many “occurrences” are involved in a given claim or set of claims. ...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

Georgia Court Confirms Measurement of Damages from Construction Stormwater Runoff onto Adjacent Property

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently upheld the assessment of damages against a property owner for the damage caused to a neighboring pond by erosion and sedimentation resulting from grading and construction inRidley v....more

Negligence – Premises Liability – Property Owner Not Liable For Painter’s Accident – No Evidence of Negligence by the Property...

Tomas Vebr v. Gary A. Culp et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (October 28, 2015) - Workers’ compensation insurance is required for issuance of a contractor’s license in California pursuant to...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

Residential Landlords May Be Responsible for Snow Removal Due to Past Conduct

Under Ohio law, a residential landlord ordinarily has no duty to remove natural accumulations of ice and snow from common areas under his control when the lease is silent on the matter; ice and snow removal from steps and...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

Texas Court Requires Expert Testimony to Support Toxic Tort Personal Injury Claims

Reinforcing the requirement for expert testimony to support toxic tort personal injury claims under Texas law, a Texas appellate court held that claims for damages due to “symptoms caused by discomfort” do not fall within the...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Reaffirms Restatement Approach to Nuisance, Trespass

In a ruling that further delineates the threshold for maintaining private nuisance and trespass claims in New Jersey, the state’s highest court held that defendant landowners were not liable for contamination to neighboring...more

What If We Have Too Much Water: El Niño and Flood Damages

If recent weather forecasts hold true, we can expect an El Nino this rainy season. And with an El Nino comes flooding and related litigation. As counter-intuitive as it may be during this drought, it makes sense for...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

Oh My! Oklahoma Court Allows Earthquake Case to Proceed

What should we make of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s order sending a suit alleging injuries from an earthquake back to the trial court for further action?  Did the court unleash the lions, tigers and bears of the litigation...more

Do You Have A Duty To Cross The Rubicon?

Property boundaries have great significance in law and life. Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the boundary between Gaul and Italy in violation of Roman law, and nothing was the same for him thereafter. ...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

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