Construction Defects

News & Analysis as of

Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Economic Loss Rule No Bar to Condo Trustees’ Claim for Damages to Common Areas Caused By...

Wyman v. Ayer Properties, LLC, 469 Mass. 64, 2014 Mass. LEXIS 524 (July 10, 2014) - The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the economic loss rule, which bars recovery of tort damages from the negligent supplier of...more

Missouri Court of Appeals Affirms Award of Compensatory Damages Against Insurer Based Upon Bad Faith Failure to Settle and Overall...

The Missouri Court of Appeals recently affirmed an award of compensatory damages against an insurer based upon bad faith in Advantage Bldgs. & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 Mo. App. LEXIS 975 (Missouri Court...more

Construction Case Law Update - September #2 2014

FLORIDA FEDERAL CASES - - Contribution, Equitable Subrogation, and Breach of Contract – Insurer adequately alleged elements of contribution, equitable subrogation, and breach of contract claims in construction defect...more

Nevada Court Holds NRS Chapter 40 Does Not Require a Subcontractor to Provide Pre-Litigation Notice to a Supplier

Under Nevada Revised Statutes Annotated (NRS) Chapter 40, a general contractor is required to provide pre-litigation notice (followed by an opportunity to repair) to a subcontractor or supplier the general contractor believes...more

The Jury is Still Out On The Effectiveness Of The “Calderon Process”

The State of California implemented the “Calderon Process” almost two decades ago. The hope was this pre-litigation “mediation” process would lower the cost, and increase the likelihood of early settlement, of construction...more

Public Offering Statement Disclosure Limits Developer's Liability

A New Jersey judge earlier this year dismissed a construction defect complaint by a condominium association against the developer and contractor, finding that the lawsuit was filed outside the state’s six-year statute of...more

In California, Looks Really Do Matter: Visual Appearance and Internal Consistency of Policy Language Supports Application of...

In Yu v. Landmark American Ins. Co., 2014 WL 4162365 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 22, 2014)*, the California Court of Appeals relied on the visual appearance and internal consistency of an endorsement entitled “EXCLUSION – YOUR PRIOR...more

Did the 4th Circuit “Tarnish” Sustainable Construction in the CBF Case?

Christopher Hill, LEED AP discusses the ramifications of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' remand of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation "Parallam" case at Construction Law Musings....more

LITIGATION ALERT: Texas Supreme Court Limits the Application of the Economic Loss Rule

In Texas, the economic loss rule has been applied by courts to prevent a plaintiff from recovering purely economic losses in a negligence or strict liability action. In products liability cases, when a loss results from the...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Only Original Purchasers May Recover Damages for Breach of the Builder’s Implied Warranty of...

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a builder’s implied warranty of habitability extends only to the initial buyer of a home, and not to subsequent purchasers. In Conway v. The Cutler Group, Inc., the Court reversed an...more

"Construction Alert" Texas Supreme Court Confirms Owners May Bring Negligence Claim Directly Against Subcontractors

Several cases have held that a homeowner cannot sue a subcontractor for defective work because the homeowner’s contract is with the general contractor and not the subcontractor. Those cases left it to the general contractor...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/14 - Part 2)

In its weekly orders on Friday, August 22, 2014, the Supreme Court was busy. The Court issued 7 opinions, granted 4 petitions for review, and set 4 mandamus petitions for argument. Scott Stolley summarized 3 of the opinions,...more

Fifth Circuit Holding Breathes Life Back Into the Contractual Liability Exclusion

Liability insurance policies typically exclude coverage for obligations arising out of the insured’s “assumption of liability in a contract or agreement.” Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court took a narrow view of this...more

Architects and Design Professionals Can Be Held Liable for Defects Based On Third Party Claims

A homeowners association, on behalf of its members, sued a condominium developer and various other parties for construction design defects that allegedly made their homes unsafe and uninhabitable for a significant portion of...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

Appellate Court Notes

SC19089 - Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Netherlands Ins. Co. - Travelers brought a declaratory judgment action, claiming that the Netherlands Insurance Company had to participate in the defense costs of...more

Choose Your Words Wisely: The Allegations in a Construction Defect Complaint

On August 5, 2014, the Supreme Court of Connecticut, in Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Netherlands Ins. Co., 312 Conn. 714 (2014), affirmed a trial court's decision that allegations of years-long, continuing and progressive...more

Whether faulty workmanship constitutes an "occurence" continues to be revisited by courts across the country

Is there a shift in the longstanding majority view, including in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, that construction defect claims do not constitute an occurrence when the damage is to the insured’s own work because it...more

Winning Formula for Construction Litigation – Lessons Learned from a Recent Trial Win [Video]

Most construction contracts for major projects have arbitration provisions or jury trial waivers. As a result, construction litigators do not often get to present high-value complex cases to juries. Pepper’s Construction Law...more

Alabama Joins Recent Trend of States Finding Defective Work May Be Covered Under a Commercial General Liability Policy

The Supreme Court of Alabama recently held in Owners Ins. Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder, LLC that a contractor’s commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy provided coverage for property damage caused by the defective work of...more

Warning: A Builder Who Rejects Assigned Counsel May Jeopardize Insurance Coverage

For many reasons, developers and builders in a construction defect lawsuit want to pick their own counsel to defend them. For instance, they have a good working relationship with the counsel, counsel did well in another case...more

“Your Work” Exclusion Bars Coverage for Tearing Down & Rebuilding Wall

The S.C. Court of Appeals recently applied the “your work” exclusion in a declaratory judgment action arising out of a construction defect suit to find the policy did not provide coverage. In Precision Walls v. Liberty Mutual...more

Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course, Finds Insurance Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims

Companies such as homebuilders, construction companies and contractors face significant financial risk from bodily injury and property damage claims arising from allegedly faulty workmanship or construction defects. Although...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Construction Defects

Regional Steel Corporation v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 13, 2014) - There has been a split of decisions in California as to whether incorporation of...more

5th Circuit Holds No Duty to Indemnify Based on Contractual Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12158 (5th Cir. June 27, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had occasion to consider whether the Contractual...more

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