Chinese Hosp. Ass’n v. Jacobs Eng’g Grp., Inc., 2019 BL 330340, 2 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 03, 2019)

This case arises out of the alleged breach of contract and defective design for the construction of a new hospital in San Francisco.  During construction, property owner and plaintiff Chinese Hospital Association (“Chinese Hospital”) became aware of alleged defects involving the designs provided by its subcontractor, architect-defendant Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. (“Jacobs”).  Chinese Hospital terminated its contract with Jacobs for convenience mid-construction.

Continue Reading Owner Did Not Waive Right to Damages by Terminating Design Contract for Convenience

Skanska USA Building, Inc. v. J.D. Long Masonry, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-00933, 2019 BL 336852, (D. Md. Sept. 9, 2019)

On September 9, 2019, a Maryland federal court awarded Skanska USA Building, Inc. (“Skanska”) compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and litigation expenses including attorney and expert fees in its suit against subcontractor J.D. Long Masonry, Inc. (“Long”) for defective masonry work at a Johns Hopkins University research facility.

Continue Reading Maryland Federal Court Upholds Contractual Indemnity Clause and Awards Judgment Interest and Attorneys Fees in Masonry Suit

MBlock Investors, LLC v. Bovis Lend Lease, Inc., etc., et al., 44 Fla. L. Weekly d1432 (3d DCA 2019)

A Florida Appellate Court recently reversed a trial court’s decision granting summary judgment finding an issue of fact based upon an expert affidavit.  The underlying matter involved an action by MBlock Investors against Lend Lease (US) Construction, Inc. for latent defects following MBlock’s acquisition of a property commonly known as the Midblock Miami East Project (the “Property”).

Continue Reading Florida Court of Appeals Permits Successor-In-Interest to Pursue Claims Originally Thought to Be Barred by Settlement Agreement

DAK Americas Mississippi, Inc. v. Jedson Engineering, Inc. et al, No. 1:18cv31-HSO-JCG, 2019 BL 208838 (S.D. Miss. June 6, 2019)

This dispute arose out of the design and construction of a concrete storage slab at DAK’s polymer resin manufacturing facility located in Hancock County, Mississippi.  DAK hired Ohio-based Jedson to design and oversee the construction of a cement slab suitable for commercial operating loaders and other heavy equipment necessary to transport, unload, and stack shipping containers.  DAK allegedly discovered substantial cracking and chipping of the cement, and filed suit in federal court claiming Jedson failed to design a slab suitable for DAK’s intended purposes.  DAK asserted claims for negligent design, negligent construction management, and breach of contract.

Continue Reading Federal Court Finds That Ambiguous Limitation-of-Liability Clause Did Not Clearly Restrict Owner’s Claims

Dolan v. Hurd Millwork Co., No. 2951 EDA 2015, 2019 BL 229344 (Pa. Super. Ct. June 21, 2019)

This cases arises out of defective windows installed in a residential construction project. In 1999, Leo J. Dolan purchased a custom home from Bentley Homes, Ltd. and its affiliates (“Bentley Homes”).  Hurd Millwork Company, Inc. provided many of the home’s windows.   Dolan almost immediately observed issues in the home’s construction, including air and water leaks around the windows.   Bentley Homes, however, led him to believe the issues had been fixed.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania Appellate Court Affirms Homeowner’s Recovery Against Developer on Tort Claims, Despite Contract and Challenges Based on Gist of the Action Doctrine, Economic Loss Rule, and Statute of Limitations

Westfield Ins. Co. v. Weaver Cooke Constr., LLC, 2019 BL 129431 (E.D.N.C. Apr. 11, 2019)

This case arises out of the alleged defective construction of a condominium complex in North Carolina.  In 2009, the developer on the project filed suit for the alleged construction defects.  This related coverage lawsuit then ensued between the parties’ insurers regarding a duty to defend the general contractor.

Continue Reading Federal Court in North Carolina Enforces Insurers’ Duty to Defend a General Contractor as an Additional Named Insured Under the Subcontractor’s Commercial General Liability Policy

McMillin Albany LLC v. Superior Court, No. S229762, 2018 Cal. LEXIS 211 (Jan. 18, 2018)

Several homeowners (“Plaintiffs”) brought suit against developer/general contractor McMillin Albany LLC (“McMillin”) for alleged defective construction of new homes.  Plaintiffs alleged the defects caused property damage and economic loss in the form of repair costs and reduced property values, and asserted common law claims for negligence, strict product liability, breach of contract, and breach of warranty, and a statutory claim for violation of the construction standards outlined in the Right to Repair Act (Civ. Code §§ 895–945.5, the “Act”).  The Act defines standards for the construction of individual dwellings; governs various builder obligations, including provision of warranties; creates a prelitigation dispute resolution process; and describes mandatory procedures for lawsuits under the Act.  McMillin sought a stay of proceedings so that the parties could proceed through the Act’s prelitigation dispute process, which includes notice to the builder of defects and an opportunity to cure.  Plaintiffs refused to stipulate to the stay and instead, dismissed their statutory claim.  McMillin then sought a court-ordered stay which Plaintiffs contested, arguing that their suit now omitted any claim under the Act, and therefore, was not subject to its procedures.


Continue Reading California Supreme Court Clarifies That “Right to Repair Act” is Exclusive Remedy for Both Economic Loss and Property Damage Arising From Construction Defects

Tomlinson v. Douglas Knight Constr., Inc., 2017 Utah Lexis 132 (August 29, 2017)

This case arises out of the construction of a residential property.  Lot 84 Deer Crossing (“Lot 84”) purchased the property and contracted with Douglas Knight Construction, Inc. (“DKC”) to build a house on it.  The parties’ contract included a one-year construction warranty.  Lot 84 then assigned to Outpost Development, Inc. (“Outpost”) all of its rights in the property and the construction agreement.  As the home neared completion, Outpost noticed defects in its construction and, pursuant to the warranty, directed DKC to fix the deficiencies.  Despite DKC’s efforts, the defects remained.  Outpost then sold the home to Joseph Tomlinson, but did not assign to Tomlinson its interests in the DKC construction agreement.  Tomlinson subsequently noticed defects in the home and filed suit against Outpost and DKC.
Shortly thereafter, Outpost declared bankruptcy and was dismissed from the case.  During the bankruptcy proceedings, Tomlinson was assigned an interest in any claims that Outpost had asserted or may assert against DKC.  Tomlinson maintained that this assignment encompassed claims for breach of the DKC construction agreement and amended his complaint to include claims for breach of express and implied warranties.  Tomlinson sought to assert these claims as an assignee of rights of parties in privity with DKC: first, through the assignment made when Outpost purchased the property from Lot 84, and second, through the assignment in Outpost’s bankruptcy proceedings.  The district court rejected these theories and dismissed Tomlinson’s claims, holding that they were barred because Tomlinson had never acquired a direct interest in the DKC construction agreement.


Continue Reading In Dismissing Homebuyer’s Defective Construction Suit Against Contractor for Lack of Privity, Supreme Court of Utah Cautions Future Homebuyers to Obtain Express Assignment of All Available Warranties at Time of Acquiring Home

Allstate Insurance Company v. Structures Design/Build, LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34349 (WD VA March 17, 2016)

This construction dispute case arises from a failed pipe connector that caused water damage to a facility and insured personal property, which Hillel at Virginia Tech, Inc. (“Hillel”) owned in Blacksburg, Virginia. Hillel contracted Structures Design/Build, LLC (“Structures”) to design and construct the facility. Structures, in turn, subcontracted PJ Little Plumbing, Inc. (“PJ”) for plumbing and mechanical installation. PJ purchased the failed pipe connector from CMC Supply, Inc. (“CMC”). Allstate Insurance Company (“Allstate”) insured Hillel for the damage to the facility and the personal property.

As Hillel’s subrogee, Allstate filed a complaint against Structures and PJ. Allstate sued Structures for various state law claims. It sued PJ for negligence and breach of express and implied warranties. PJ filed a third-party complaint to join CMC on a breach of implied warranty theory. PJ and CMC moved to dismiss the claims against them.


Continue Reading Western District of Virginia Confronts Several Legal Issues That Frequently Impact Multi-Party Construction Disputes – Economic Loss, Damage to Other Property, Third Party Beneficiary Status, Warranties, Subrogation, and Third-Party Joinder

Transportation Eng’g, Inc. v. Cruz, 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 18273 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Nov. 7, 2014)

The Florida Department of Transportation (“DOT”) hired Transportation Engineering, Inc. (“TEI”) to design, and D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. (“DAB”) to install, median guardrails along the Florida Turnpike.  After the installation project, a woman was killed when a vehicle in which she was a passenger struck an uncushioned guardrail end in a “clear zone,” an area next to a road where drivers can attempt to regain control of errant vehicles.  The woman’s estate filed suit against DOT, TEI, and DAB, alleging, in relevant part, that TEI and DAB negligently designed and constructed the guardrail ends without “crash cushions.”


Continue Reading Florida Appeals Court Holds Contractor and Engineering Firm Entitled to Summary Judgment on Personal Injury Claim Where Owner Accepted Project with Open and Obvious Defect