Category Archives: Design and Construction Defects

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Contractors May Benefit by Taking Equity in the Project They are Constructing

Contractors may benefit in making a small equity investment in the projects they construct. The financial benefit can arise from the investment itself and from improved understanding and communication with the owner during construction itself. In the past, it was not unusual for construction companies to make small equity investments in the projects they worked … Continue Reading

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

Beacon Residential Community Assoc. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (Cal. Supreme Court., 07/03/2014, S208173) 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 homeowners in the design … Continue Reading

The Year 2010 In Review: Design And Construction Defects Litigation

This article is the first in a series summarizing construction law developments for 2010. By Candace Matson, Harold Hamersmith & Helen Lauderdale 1. Centex Homes v. Financial Pacific Life Insurance Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1995 (E.D. Cal. 2010)   After settling numerous homeowners’ construction defect claims – and more than ten years after the … Continue Reading

Court Of Appeal Finds That A Tolling Agreement Between An HOA And Developer Tolls The Applicable Statute Of Limitations Even As To A Non-Party Subcontractor.

Landale-Cameron Court, Inc. v. Ahonen (Oct. 10, 2007, B190309 [2nd Dist., Div. 2]), ___ Cal. App. 4th ____; http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/opinions By Thomas B. Snyder and Andriana Ledesma In Landale-Cameron, the homeowner’s association of a condominium complex ("HOA"), discovered various water leaks to the building and subsequently sued the builder-developers Arnold and Helen Kaufman ("Kaufman") and Petri … Continue Reading

Federal Arbitration Act Preempts Contrary California Law and Prevents Purchaser of Real Property from Bringing an Action in Court for Construction and Design Defects

Shepard v. Edward Mackay Enterprises, Inc., et al., — Cal. Rptr. 3d —, No. C052564, 2007 WL 853456 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 22, 2007) While Section 1298.7 of the California Code of Civil Procedure generally allows homebuyers to pursue defect litigation in court regardless of an agreement to arbitrate, the Third District Court of Appeal … Continue Reading

A Public Entity’s Determination That A Subcontractor Could Be Substituted Under Public Contracts Code Section 4107 Is Denied Preclusive Effect In Subsequent Litigation

Kemp Bros. Construction, Inc. v. Titan Electric Corp. (2007) Cal.App.4th By Thomas B. Snyder In this case, Kemp was a prime contractor on two public works projects for the Los Angeles Unified School District ("LAUSD").  It subcontracted the electrical work to Titan Electric on both projects.  Partway through performance, Titan began to struggle with its … Continue Reading

Court Of Appeal Holds General Contractor Is Not Entitled To Indemnity From Subcontractors Under General Indemnity Clause Because General Contractor Was Actively Negligent

McCrary Construction Company v. Metal Deck Specialists, Inc., California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, November 14, 2004 In McCrary, a general contractor sought indemnity from two of its subcontractors for damages arising from the death of a construction worker who fell through a hole in the metal roof of the project. One subcontractor, Metal … Continue Reading
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