Construction Defects

News & Analysis as of

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

Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Construction Manager At-Risk Responsible for Design Errors / Holds that Spearin Doctrine Does...

The Worcester Superior Court recently issued a potentially landmark decision clarifying the risk that construction managers assume when entering into CM-At Risk contracts. ...more

Principal Architects on Residential Projects Liable for Construction Defects Outside Their Control; Developers and Owners May Pay...

On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the much watched case Beacon Residential Community Assoc. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. The court held that the “principal architect” “owes a duty of care to future...more

When Can a CGL Policy Do a Disappearing Act?

In Evanston Insurance Company v North American Capacity Company, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 92682, Evanston Insurance Company sued in U.S. District Court to seek contribution from North American Capacity Insurance Company where both...more

Think Twice About Heading to Court with a Construction Claim

Always take a two step approach to every construction claim. The first step is do you have some likelihood of winning. The second is do you have a likelihood of collecting. Regardless do your homework and grab the...more

The California Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of Homeowners In Disputes With California’s Architects

In the case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings and Merrill et. al. (July 3, 2014, S208173) Cal.4th, a condominium homeowners association, sued the developer of the project and the project architect...more

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