Construction Defects

News & Analysis as of

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

PA Supreme Court Grants Important Victory for Insurers Regarding CGL Coverage for Progressive Property Damage

In a comprehensive and sweeping opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed several key principles of commercial general liability (CGL) policy interpretation in Penn National v. St. John, decided on December 15, 2014....more

Oregon Court Denies HOA’s Effort to Proceed Against Subcontractors for Construction Defect

In Liberty Oaks Homeowner’s Ass’n v. Liberty Oaks, LLC, 2014 Ore. App. LEXIS 1696, the Liberty Oaks Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”) sued the developers of townhomes, alleging that they were responsible for construction...more

The Construct - December 2014

In This Issue: - Another Perspective: Constructing (and Eating) a Piece of the Energy Sector Pie - An Interview with Melvin Stroble, REM, Project Manager, Energy for Black & Veatch - Executive Order 13658...more

Developing Issues in Utah Construction Defect Litigation

Following the Utah Supreme Court’s decision in Davencourt at Pilgrim’s Landing Homeowners’ Association v. Davencourt at Pilgrim’s Landing, which clarified the law regarding the claims for which homeowner’s associations (HOAs)...more

Recent Decisions Reinforce the Value of Quality over Quantity in a Reservation of Rights Letter

In two recent cases, Advantage Builders & Exteriors v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. No. WD 76880 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014) and EAN Services, LLC v. Brunson, No. 2-14-118 (Ill. Ct. App. September 8, 2014), the courts remind...more

Nevada Construction Law Developments in 2014

This is an off year for Nevada’s biennium legislative session; but even though the Legislature was quiet, Nevada’s electorate was not. Nevadans approved State Question No. 1 at the ballot box. This measure amends the Nevada...more

Tenth Circuit: Property Damage Surrounding Defective Windows Is an “Occurrence” Because Damage Is Unexpected from Insured’s...

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. AMSCO Windows, No. 13-4155 (10th Cir. November 26, 2014), Cincinnati insured AMSCO, which manufactures windows for use in homes and sells the windows to distributors. Certain AMSCO windows...more

Recent Developments in Colorado Construction Law

Hot Button Issues in Colorado Construction - Liability for owners, developers, contractors and design professionals - A construction defects measure, which was introduced to the state legislature in the 2014...more

Recent Developments in California Construction Law

Notable 2014 Case Law - Liability for owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals - This year, California courts decided a variety of cases with important relevance to...more

Recent Developments in Arizona Construction Law

Notable 2014 Case Law: Bonds - In Ponderosa Fire District v. Coconino County, 235 Ariz. 597 (Ct. App. Ariz. 2014), the Court of Appeals considered whether the County had discretion to decide not to call...more

Seventh Circuit Declines to Issue Bright-Line Rule Regarding Trigger in First-Party Property Cases

The Seventh Circuit addressed Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. 21794 (7th Cir. November 18, 2014) on an appeal from the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The Strausses constructed a home in Mequon, Wisconsin in...more

Federal District Court in Pennsylvania Grants Summary Judgment To CGL Insurer Based Upon Lack of “Occurrence”

On October 14, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment filed by State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. (“State Farm”), seeking a declaration that it had no duty...more

U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania Dismisses Owner’s Claim Against Performance Bond Surety – Repeated Instances of Poor...

Milton Reg’l Sewer Auth. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155419 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 3, 2014) - The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that multiple...more

Ninth Circuit Enforces Waiver of Subrogation Clause in Design/Build Agreement Against Post-Construction Property Insurer

Travelers Indem. Co. v. Crown Corr, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21101 (9th Cir. 2014) - This action arose out of the construction of the University of Phoenix Stadium (the “Stadium”), home of the Arizona Cardinals. ...more

New False Claims Act Whistleblower Trends Revealed in Recent Verdict: What Can We Learn?

On October 20, 2014 in a case brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), a federal jury handed down a $175 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff. While the outcome was newsworthy because of its size...more

Finding Insurance Coverage for Consumer Products Class Action Complaints

Consumer class action claims are a familiar tool for addressing dissatisfaction with a defective product. Given that one of the goals of a consumer class action claim is to recover damages for the claimants, triggering...more

Hawaii Finds Unilateral Arbitrator-Selection Provision Fundamentally Unfair

The Supreme Court of Hawai’i concluded last week that it is fundamentally unfair to allow one party to an arbitration agreement to unilaterally select the arbitral forum. Nishimura v. Gentry Homes, Ltd., __ P.3d__, 2014 WL...more

Fifth Circuit Addresses Contractual Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20737 (5th Cir. October 29, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit withdrew its prior ruling and held that the...more

More “Texas Justice” For Policyholder On Contractual Liability Exclusion

On October 29, the Fifth Circuit reversed itself for the second time this year in a case involving the interpretation of a contractual liability exclusion in a CGL policy. This recent decision by the Fifth Circuit in...more

New York Court Revisits Architect’s Duty Under Contract and Tort Principles

Issues of privity and whether claims sound in breach of contract or negligence are common in construction defect cases involving architects and New York is no exception. Indeed, New York courts have long wrestled with...more

Nevada Supreme Court Clarifies Right to Construction Defect Remedies Involving Residential Units with Previously Occupied Spaces

In Oxbow Constr., LLC v. Eight Judicial Dist. Ct., 2014 Nev. LEXIS 109, 130 Nev. Adv. Rep. 86 (Nev. Oct. 16, 2014), the Nevada Supreme Court considered issues regarding class-action certification and the availability of...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC18975 - Connecticut Ins. Guaranty Assn. v. Drown - SC18975 Concurrence - Connecticut Ins. Guaranty Assn. v. Drown - SC18975 Dissent - Connecticut Ins. Guaranty Assn. v. Drown This started as a medical...more

Regional Steel: the continuing effort to avoid the cost of correcting the insured’s work

Casualty insurers normally do not expect to pay the cost of their insureds simply doing a good job. Insurers typically view their contracts as assuming the risk of delineated consequences – damages – if the insured’s work...more

Lakewood Passes Construction Defect Action Reform

On October 13, 2014, Lakewood’s City Council passed Ordinance O-2014-21, which reforms the process for handling construction defect claims on condominium projects in the City of Lakewood. The ordinance has three primary...more

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