Stucco is a product that has been in use as an exterior building cladding since the early 1800’s. It is made from Portland cement, sand and water. When installed correctly, stucco has been a reliable building material that looks good and allows incidental moisture infiltrating behind the stucco to be safely and efficiently evacuated from the building. Once stucco dries it is as hard as concrete.

Continue Reading What’s Wrong With the Stucco on Our Buildings?

On Monday, November 15th, 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in the controversial case of Dean v. Barrett Homes, Inc., 406 N.J. Super. 453 (App. Div. 2009), cert. granted, 200 N.J. 207, 976 (2009). The contested issue in Dean was whether the economic loss doctrine, a judicial construct which bars recovery in tort for damage a product causes only to itself, applied to bar a homeowner’s tort claim for a defective exterior finishing system installed on their home during construction.
Continue Reading New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses Appellate Division in Seminal Economic Loss Rule Case

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

In a unanimous vote of 26-0, Oregon State Senators, led by Senator Jackie Winters (R-Salem), voted to ban the use of synthetic stucco on Oregon homes. This decision came after Senator Winters told the story of an 11-year old Salem resident, Whitney McClain, who is currently being treated for multiple brain tumors after a mold

One of the first considerations is applicable statutes of limitation or repose. The statute of limitations is a statutory limit on when a claim can be brought. It is an equitable statute. The case law allows the statute to be extended if a reasonable person could not, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, have known about the defect. This is known as the “discovery rule.”
Continue Reading Case Intake: Applicable Statutes and Insurance

There are various types of building materials such as brick that are specifically delineated in the UCC and its sub-codes so that anyone wanting to know how to apply them can simply look at the UCC and the applicable sub-codes and find the requisite manner of installation. There are many other materials that are not specifically delineated in the UCC. That leads to the question of how does one apply or use those materials in a manner consistent with the building code?
Continue Reading How Does the Building Code Treat EIFS?

Exterior insulation and finish system (“EIFS”) has been around since the 1970’s. The older systems are known as “barrier” EIFS because they are designed to be face-sealed barriers to water penetration and do not incorporate any secondary drainage mechanism. Thus, any moisture that gets behind the barrier EIFS may be trapped inside the walls and