Contributory negligence is the common-law construct whereby any negligence by a plaintiff acts as a total bar to recovery against a negligent tortfeasor. The contributory negligence doctrine has been uniformly criticized as overly harsh, allowing culpable parties to avoid the consequences of their actions, and leaving relatively innocent plaintiffs without recourse.
Continue Reading New Jersey Appellate Division Resurrects Deceased Contributory Negligence Doctrine: Consumer’s Pre-Purchase Notice of Product Defect Bars PLA Recovery of “Other Property” Damage Inflicted After Purchase

Stark & Stark Shareholder and Construction Litigation group Chair, Donald B. Brenner, will serve as the moderator and as a presenter at the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s seminar, Tackling Construction Law Issues. The seminar will take place Wednesday, July 29, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the New

The “business risk” doctrine has become a fixture of insurance coverage law, with profound implications for insured contractors and plaintiff property owners involved in construction-defect litigation. Concisely stated, the doctrine holds that “faulty workmanship standing alone, resulting in damage only to the work product itself. . .” falls outside the ambit of coverage provided by a CGL policy.
Continue Reading Fourth and Fifth Circuits Reign in “Business Risk” Doctrine: Rulings in Favor of Coverage Under General Contractors’ CGL Insurance Policies Add Clarity, Signal Return to “Plain Language”

On March 11, 2008, in the matter of Camelot Condominium Association, Inc v. Dryvit Systems, Inc., pending before the Superior Court of New jersey, Docket No. BER-L-012457-04, a jury entered a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff and against Dryvit Systems, Inc (“Dryvit”) for violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Dryvit Systems

After a condominium association president declined a contractor’s request to execute a written change order and directed the contractor to proceed with the additional work, the association was barred from seeking relief under the Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”) (N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 to -167) provisions requiring that all modifications to contracts for home improvements be in writing. B & H Securities, Inc., v. CKC Condominium Ass’n, Inc., 2008 WL 508082 (App. Div., February 27, 2008).
Continue Reading Condo Association Equitably Estopped from Consumer Fraud Act Relief When Its Conduct Resulted in the Violation

In an unpublished case, the Appellate Division recently affirmed the trial court’s decision that defendant property owner did not waive the arbitration clause of its AIA construction contract with plaintiff construction company by participating in plaintiff lawsuit for a year before invoking the arbitration clause.
Continue Reading Property Owner Did Not Waive Arbitration Clause by Participating in Lawsuit

The Appellate Division recently denied a landscaping contractor’s suit to collect amounts due for extra work in addition to that called for in his contract for complete landscaping of the defendants’ home. Online Contracting, Inc. v. Tripucka, No. A-2622-06 (App. Div., December 6, 2007). The defendants counterclaimed for treble damages and attorneys’ fees under