Justia Construction Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissing this action brought by Somersett Owners Association (SOA) seeking to recover damages against those involved in the design and construction of stacked retaining walls supporting the Somersett residential development in northern Nevada, holding that the statute of repose barred this lawsuit.After the rockery walls began failing, SOA brought suit against Defendants alleging negligence and negligence per se, breach of express and implied warranties and other claims. Defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground that the six-year period of repose set forth in Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.202 applied. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants. At issue was when the rockery walls achieved "substantial completion" for purposes of section 11.202. The Supreme Court held (1) the six-year period in section 11.202 begins when the improvement to the real property is "substantially complete," which means sufficiently complete so that the owner can occupy or utilize the improvement; and (2) SOA failed to set forth specific facts demonstrating the existence of a genuine factual issue as to whether it brought the underlying suit within the six-year period set by section 11.202. View "Somersett Owners Ass'n v. Somersett Development Co." on Justia Law

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In this construction defect lawsuit, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Respondents and reversed the grant of attorney fees to respondent Land West Builders, Inc., holding that Appellant's action was time-barred but that the district court abused its discretion in awarding attorney fees to Lands West.Approximately seven years and three months after her home was built, Appellant filed a construction defect lawsuit against Sunridge Builders, Inc., Lands West as Sunridge's alter ego or successor, and other subcontractors (collectively, Respondents). The district court granted summary judgment for Respondents, concluding that because Appellant had failed to file her lawsuit during the grace period and the statute of repose had run, her claim was time barred. The district court then granted Lands West's motion for attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court (1) did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of Respondents because Appellant's action was time barred; and (2) abused its discretion awarding attorney fees to Lands West. View "Byrne v. Sunridge Builders, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment and awarding attorney fees and costs in favor of Zitting Brothers Construction, a subcontractor on a development project, on its breach of contract action against APCO Construction, Inc., the general contractor, holding that the pay-if-paid provision in construction contract here was void under Nev. Rev. Stat. 624.628(3).Provisions in the subcontract in this case conditioned payment on the general contractor receiving payment first and required the subcontractor to forgo its right to prompt payment under Nev. Rev. Stat. 624.624 when payment would otherwise be due. When the project failed, Zitting sued APCO seeking payment for work completed. APCO defended its nonpayment with the pay-if-paid provisions in the contract. The district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of Zitting on its breach of contract and mechanics' liens claims, concluding that the pay-if-paid provisions were void and unenforceable. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the pay-if-paid provisions in the parties' subcontract were void and unenforceable under section 624.628(3) because they limited Zitting's right to prompt payment under section 624.624(1). View "APCO Construction, Inc. v. Zitting Brothers Construction, Inc." on Justia Law

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At issue in this case is when a notice of completion has been “issued” for purposes of determining the commencement date under Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.2055(1)(b) for Chapter 11’s construction defect statutes of repose. Appellants owned homes developed by Respondent. Approximately ten years after notices of completion of Appellants’ residences were signed, notarized, and recorded, Appellant served notices of construction defect on Respondent. Respondent moved to dismiss the claims on the grounds that their claims were untimely under Chapter 11’s statutes of repose for construction defect claims. Appellants opposed the motion to dismiss, arguing that the statutes of repose began to run on the date the notices of completion were recorded rather than the dates the notices of completion were signed and notarized. The district court dismissed the claims, concluding that they were time-barred under the ten-year statute of repose in Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.203. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a notice of completion is “issued” on the date it is recorded, not when it is signed and notarized. View "Dykema v. Del Webb Communities, Inc." on Justia Law

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Respondent, a contractor, and Appellant, a homeowner, entered into a contract under which Respondent agreed to install automation, sound, surveillance, and landscaping systems in Appellant’s residence. Respondent did not have an electrical contractor’s license when it bid the contract and began the work but did receive a license before it completed the work. When the parties disagreed on the performance of the contract, Appellant refused to tender further payment to Respondent, and Respondent filed a notice of lien against Appellant’s residence. Respondent filed a complaint alleging breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, foreclosure of notice of lien, and declaratory relief, alleging that an electrical license was not required for the work performed on Appellant’s residence and that its lien was proper and perfected. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Respondent. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that genuine issues of material fact existed regarding whether Respondent’s work on Appellant’s residence required a license and whether Respondent completed the contract in a workmanlike manner, thereby possibly negating Appellant’s obligation to make final payment under the contract. Remanded. View "Tom v. Innovative Home Sys." on Justia Law

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High Noon at Arlington Ranch Homeowners Association filed a complaint against D.R. Horton, Inc. alleging breach of implied warranties of workmanlike quality and habitability, breach of contract, breach of express warranties, and breach of fiduciary duty. High Noon moved, ex parte, for a stay and enlargement of time for service of the complaint until the Nev. Rev. Stat. Chapter 40 prelitigation process for constructional defect cases was complete. The district court granted High Noon’s motion. The Chapter 40 process was still not complete more than eight years later. In these original petitions for extraordinary relief, D.R. Horton argued that the district court erred when it initially granted the ex parte stay and further erred when it denied a motion to dismiss the underlying complaint pursuant to the five-year rule in Nev. R. Civ. P. 41(e) when the Chapter 40 process was still not complete. The Supreme Court denied both of these petitions for a writ of prohibition or mandamus, concluding (1) the district court’s order granting a stay was not in error; and (2) the five-year period was tolled under the Boren exception to Rule 41(d). View "D.R. Horton, Inc. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court" on Justia Law