It has been several months since the New Jersey Supreme Court decided Cypress Point Condo Ass’n v. Adria Towers, LLC.

The issue in Cypress Point was whether rain water damage caused by a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship constituted “property damage” caused by an “occurrence” to trigger coverage under a condominium developer’s commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy. Cypress Point, a condominium association, filed claims against Adria Towers, the developer, and its insurers, as well as various subcontractors. Adria Towers was also the general contractor on the condominium project and hired the subcontractors who performed the construction work. The Association alleged faulty workmanship during construction and claimed consequential damages.


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The construction industry appears to be the latest victim of the stream of defectively manufactured goods from China that have poured into our country over the last few years. As if the construction market has not experienced enough hardship in these trying economic times, reports have recently surfaced of defective drywall products that were imported from China as the likely cause of putrid sulfur odor emissions being experienced in newly constructed homes and failure of metal devices typically installed behind sheetrocked walls, such as HVAC systems and metallic wiring.
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In a recent unpublished decision under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, the Appellate Division in D. Wyatt Stone and Stone Foundation, LLC v. Kahr Properties, LLC, December 2008 App. Div. 09-2-2471), decided the appeal of a judgment in the Plaintiff’s favor for damages, attorneys’ fees and costs arising from a home improvement project. The

Every builder operating in New Jersey is most likely aware that our state has plaintiff-friendly laws in the context of construction defect litigation. Even so, the gravity of claims made against builders for alleged defects typically has a direct correlation to relatively known and controllable factors, i.e. their contract performance and quality of product. However, there is another category of claims being made with increasing success in defect cases made under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act (CFA).
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Judge Louis Locascio of the New Jersey Superior Court recently ruled in the matter of Matera et. al. v. M.G.C.C. Group, Inc. et. al., Docket No. L-1812-04, that a cause of action under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act exists where there is no direct contact between the parties but there is a connection between the defendants’ “alleged violation of the Consumer Fraud Act and plaintiff’s ascertainable loss.”
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The New Jersey Appellate Division ruled this month in two companion cases, New Jersey Shore Builders Association v. Township of Jackson, A-5805-06 (June 23, 2008) and Builders’ League of South Jersey v. Egg Harbor Township, A-1563-07 (June 23, 2008), that municipalities cannot require as a condition of approval that builders and developers provide on-site recreation areas or facilities, or common open space, outside the context of planned unit developments.
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The New Jersey Legislature has recently enacted a new Act called the “Prompt Payment Act.” The Act entitles all contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and product suppliers to prompt payment on all public and private projects. By its terms, the Act is only applicable to contracts entered into after September 1, 2006.
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