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John S. Prisco is a member of Stark & Stark’s Construction Litigation Group. He concentrates his practice in the representation of complex construction litigation claims. His clients include condominiums and community associations, commercial and industrial property owners, homeowners and developers.

Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer of New Jersey’s 36th District introduced a proposed bill, A.B. 1075, that would require all commercial liability insurance policies issued in New Jersey to include “faulty workmanship” within the definition of “occurrence.”

Continue Reading Proposed Bill Would Require All Commercial Liability Insurance Policies Issued In New Jersey to Specify Coverage For “Faulty Workmanship”

The collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, in June 2021, sent shockwaves throughout the United States and was a wake-up call to condominiums to the dangers of aging infrastructures. In light of this tragic event, secondary mortgage market giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued bulletins advising of new “temporary” requirements for mortgages issued in connection with condominiums and cooperatives.

Continue Reading In The Wake Of The Surfside Tragedy Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Issue “Temporary” Requirements For Condominiums And Cooperatives

Under New Jersey’s current statute of limitations, N.J.S.A. §2A:14-1, all construction defect claims, i.e. property damage claims, must be filed within six years from when the potential claimant knew or should have known he or she had a claim. Tempered only by the equitable doctrine referred to as the “discovery rule,” which stops the limitations clock from running under certain circumstances, New Jersey’s six-year statute applies equally to all property damage claimants. However, a bill working its way through the legislative process in New Jersey may change the game for common interest properties, including co-ops, community associations, and condominiums.

Continue Reading Is a New Statute of Limitations on the Horizon for Community Association Construction Defect Claims?

This week the New Jersey Appellate Division issued its Order and Opinion in the case of Collins v. PJW Servs., 2021 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1556. Plaintiffs owned a home in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and wanted to add an extension, including a second story. Plaintiffs retained the services of an architect to design the architectural plans, bid the project, and to oversee construction. To perform the actual work, Plaintiffs hired PJW Services (PJW).

Shortly after construction commenced, Plaintiffs noticed water leaks in their garage and brought this issue to the attention of their builder on December 12, 2010. As most contractors do, PJW assured Plaintiffs the leak was insignificant since the roof work was still ongoing. PJW further advised that once the roof was sealed, the leak would no longer be a problem. Unfortunately for Plaintiffs, that was not the case.

Continue Reading Construction Defects and New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations – When to File Suit

COVID-19 unquestionably changed the world in countless ways. One of the most significant is that it forced everyone online, from our youngest to our most elder. Those who resisted the lure of online shopping or social interactions pre-COVID were thrust into the jungle of the internet, likely forever captured by its convenience. However, modern-day conveniences are not without traps and pitfalls – enter the case of Wollen v. Gulf Stream Restoration & Cleaning, LLC, issued by the New Jersey Appellate Division on July 9, 2021.

Continue Reading Read Before You Proceed – A Cautionary Tale at the Crossroads of Technology and Construction

It may come as no surprise that litigation can be costly. Many times, potential claimants seeking to temper their litigation costs look for the least expensive counsel they can find. But in the end, are litigants truly saving money by focusing on the lowest hourly rate?

Retaining the wrong attorney simply because that attorney or firm offers the lowest rates can have devastating consequences for any litigant. When your community association is seeking transition counsel, it’s critical to consider a number of factors to ensure your resources are well placed and well spent.

Continue Reading The Dollars and Sense of Transition Litigation – Retaining the Right Counsel

One of the most frequent hot button issues in condominium communities, particularly those with multi-residential buildings, is whether or not the association will pay to repair damage to a unit’s interior stemming from a defect or issue, such as a water leak, in the common elements. A condominium association has specific duties and obligations in maintaining the general common elements of the community for which it is responsible for operating and managing. These duties and obligations are not only spelled out in the association’s governing documents, but also are required by law. For instance, the New Jersey Condominium Act requires that the association “shall be responsible for” such things, including but not limited to, “[t]he maintenance, repair, replacement, cleaning and sanitation of the common elements.”

Continue Reading The Common Element Conundrum – When Common Elements Damage Unit Interiors

COVID-19 is the singular topic currently dominating everyone’s lives and thoughts worldwide. Each passing day new information is revealed, as more questions arise. What is this virus? Where did it come from? Is it okay to drink wine this early in the day? And, most importantly, how can we protect our staff and community from the continued spread of this virus?

Continue Reading COVID-19: Protecting Your Staff and Community

It’s that moment that no homeowner wants to have. You just returned from vacation and were in the midst of stowing the suitcases under the house in your crawlspace. As you were exiting the crawlspace, something caught your eye—a wet spot on the concrete slab floor. It wasn’t a puddle, but it was clearly moisture.

Hoping for something minor, you began to poke around. During your search, you discovered that a portion of insulation in between the floor boards was soaked. While you removed what you thought was the problem, you saw a water leak dripping down a vertical pipe in between your walls.

Unfortunately, every homeowner will have to deal with a situation like this at one time or another. Fortunately, we have insurance for these very situations, however, knowing what to do and how to handle this situation will make a world of difference to both your mental health and to your wallet.

Continue Reading Dealing with the Unexpected: Filing an Insurance Claim

Having construction work or renovations done on your home is certainly an exciting, but undoubtedly stressful time. In fact, the process from selecting a suitable (and experienced) contractor to completion of the project can be downright daunting at times. As a homeowner myself, who coincidentally is going through this very process as we speak, I know the difficulties of sifting through countless potential contractors, negotiating prices, and coordinating schedules and the like. As daunting as it may seem, there are certain steps a homeowner can take at the outset that will mitigate potential pitfalls during construction, ensure your project is constructed properly, mitigate construction disputes, and alleviate unnecessary stress.

Continue Reading How You Can Mitigate Construction Disputes with Contractors