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Victory at Court of Appeals Against Manufacturer of Defective Building Product

Press Release

September 14, 2017

Berding | Weil is extremely pleased to announce our recent victory at the Court of Appeals on behalf of a client whose buildings are beset by serious construction defects.

A jury in a vigorously contested trial we litigated determined that the Association was entitled to a judgment of $2.5 million dollars resulting from a construction defect and products liability at a 60 lot townhome development known as Riverview Townhomes Owners’ Association (Riverview).

Some cases are easier than others; this one was not. The developer and general contractor were uninsured and bankrupt; and some claims – including broken promises to repair roofs – had expired by the statute of limitations.

We were forced to seek recovery from what is generally considered in the industry to be the most difficult source – the manufacturer of the defective building product that was at least partially to blame for the water leaks and damages.

While we were successful at trial, the manufacturer wouldn't quit and pressed the matter to the Court of Appeal. The key question concerned the “test” to apply to determine a manufacturer's liability. Having worked with associations and their members for years, we know what test they would apply: should a product installed in a brand new home perform as it would be expected to perform by a reasonable consumer? That was one of the main arguments we pressed at the Court and, over the manufacturer's objection that a more technical and narrow standard should apply, the Court just issued its opinion agreeing with our analysis. Ultimately our main goal is to help community association members get what they paid for and to keep their homes dry and safe. Obtaining this large judgment will help and we were proud to work with the Board to achieve this goal.

The case was tried by Berding | Weil Principal, Andrew Baugh, with trial support from Principal, Randy Paul, and Partner Aaron Ehrlich and their litigation team as well as Wendy McGuire Coats from Fisher & Phillips, LLP for her excellent work on defending the judgment and award during the appeal.

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