Construction Defects

News & Analysis as of

Under Construction - December 2016

Welcome to the winter 2016 edition of our Under Construction newsletter. We hope your year has been good to your family, your company and you as we wrap up these remaining few weeks of 2016. A recent hot topic with...more

Competing Causes of Loss: Florida Supreme Court Issues Decision Applying The Concurrent Causation Doctrine

We have discussed on a number of occasions the issue of causation when there are multiple causes of loss, some covered and some not covered. Most jurisdictions apply what is known as the efficient proximate cause analysis...more

Florida’s Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Concurrent Cause Doctrine; Reverses Second District’s Application of Efficient Proximate...

In John Robert Sebo, etc. v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc., Supreme Court case number SC14-897, the Florida Supreme Court reversed a Second District Court opinion which found the efficient proximate cause doctrine...more

Florida Supreme Court Decides that Concurrent Causes Equal Coverage

It’s said that “defeat is an orphan,” but insurable losses often have multiple, concurrent causes. In some cases, one or more of those causes might be outside the scope of coverage, either by omission or exclusion. In Sebo v....more

Montana Supreme Court Holds Co-Insurer Breached Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in J & C Moodie Properties, LLC v. Deck, 2016 MT 301 (Mont. Nov. 22, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes a breach of an insurer’s duty to defend in a...more

New Appellate Ruling Increases Residential Builders' Exposure to Defect Liability in Illinois

Illinois law on the implied warranty of habitability (IWH) is continuously changing, and residential builders should take notice of a new opinion issued by the Appellate Court, First District, on October 26 in a construction...more

Non-delegable duties of architects and main contractors in construction claims - A case study of MCST Plan No. 3322 v Tiong Aik...

In MCST Plan No. 3322 v Tiong Aik Construction Pte Ltd and Another [2016] SGCA 40, the Singapore Court of Appeal (CA) held that architects and main contractors are not subject to a non-delegable duty in tort to ensure that...more

Dispute an expert's jurisdiction appointed to provide expert determination?

In the recent decision of Zvi Construction Co LLC v. Notre Dame University (USA) in England [2016] EWHC 1924, the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) had to consider whether a party had expressly or impliedly accepted the...more

Federal Court in North Carolina Holds That Impracticability of Arbitration Clause Which Required Decision Within 30 Days of...

Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise v. W.G. Yates & Sons Constr. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86100 (W.D. NC July 1, 2016) - Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise (the “Casino”) contracted with joint general contractors, W.G. Yates...more

Construction E-Note - September 2016

Pokémon Go is the newest craze to hit smartphones, finding colossal success in America. Some estimates claim that five percent of all android users had installed the game on their phones within one week of launch. Nintendo’s...more

Court of Appeals Changes Calculation of Statute of Repose

Colorado law generally prohibits construction defect lawsuits against a construction professional brought “more than six years after the substantial completion of the improvement to the real property.” § 13-80-104, C.R.S....more

California Legislative Update - New Laws Affecting Builders and Contractors

August marks the return to school and bill signing season for California Governor Jerry Brown. In the past month – and like he does every August and September – Governor Brown signed well over one hundred pieces of...more

Subcontractor Exception Torpedoes Insurers’ Defense To Faulty Workmanship Claim

As this blog has reported, a line of cases deciding coverage disputes over faulty workmanship runs against (or, at least, around) a basic rule for interpreting insurance policies. Under that rule, the scope of coverage is...more

New Jersey Federal District Court Holds That Arbitration Clause In AIA A201-1997 Does Not Apply To Post Construction Disputes

Blackman & Co., Inc., v. GE Bus. Fin. Servs., Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87904 (D.N.J. July 7, 2016) - Grove Street Realty Urban Renewal, LLC (“Grove Street”) contracted with Blackman & Co., Inc. (“Blackman”) to manage...more

Class Action Arbitration after Dell Webb

Agreeing to arbitrate disputes, in lieu of traditional litigation, is not a new phenomenon. As consumers, we all contractually agree to arbitrate disputes on an almost daily basis. While not everyone may read the entire...more

Ohio Court Holds No Coverage for Misrepresentation Claims

In its recent decision in Lakeside Terrace Home Sales, Ltd. v. Arrowood Indem. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114828 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 26, 2016), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, had occasion to...more

NJ Supreme Court Gets it Right! Consequential Damages Caused by a Subcontractor's Defective Construction Work is Insured

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s August 4, 2016 decision in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC opened the door for general contractors to obtain insurance coverage under their commercial general...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms General Contractor’s Insurance Coverage for Consequential Damages Caused by a Subcontractor’s...

In an important recent decision, New Jersey joined a growing number of states holding that Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) 1986 comprehensive general liability (CGL) policy extends coverage to a property developer faced...more

Smith v. D.R. Horton, Inc.: The End of Arbitration for Residential Developers and Builders in South Carolina?

Mark Twain famously wrote that the reports of his death were exaggerated. Following the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Smith v. D.R. Horton, Inc. last month, you may have heard arbitration is dead for South...more

Missouri Western District Court of Appeals Reminds Us to Pay No Attention to the Headings for the Revised Statutes

The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s issuance of summary judgment and, in the process, reminded practitioners that the bold faced headings in the Revised Statutes are not part of...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds CGL Policies Cover Developer/General Contractor for Damage Caused by Subcontractor’s Faulty...

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently considered whether damage caused by a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship constitutes property damage caused by an occurrence under a developer/general contractor’s commercial general...more

Separation Panes: Emerging Litigation Over Window Sealant

Relatively few people in the commercial construction industry are kept up at night by polyisobutylene (PIB) — the synthetic rubber sealant commonly used to provide a long term and durable moisture barrier for insulated glass...more

Breaking News—New Jersey Supremes at Last Deliver New Jersey Developers a Win against the Insurance Industry, Finding Coverage...

Action Item: Developers and contractors, as well as commercial and residential property owners and occupants, must be aware of a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria...more

New Jersey high court follows nationwide majority on CGL coverage for general contractor

On August 4, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed an intermediate court's ruling that where a subcontractor's defective work causes physical damage to other, nondefective parts of a general contractor’s project, it...more

Washington Court Finds Coverage For “Collapse” Is Not Set In Stone

As this blog has documented, the language of insurance policies evolves; it changes to address new risks, and it also responds to new interpretations of old policy provisions. Even if a policyholder maintains a long-standing...more

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