Justia Construction Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
Shea v. State
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's complaint against the State alleging that Nevada's system of public education had failed its students, holding that Plaintiff's claims were nonjusticiable.Appellants - nine parents of students attending public schools in the districts of Clark, Washoe, and White Pine Counties - sued State education agencies and officials alleging that Nevada's system of public education failed to achieve the standards that she argued were required for a sufficient, basic education under Nev. Const. art. 11, 1,2 and 6. In dismissing the complaint, the district court determined that the claims presented nonjusticiable political questions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellants' complaint did not present justiciable questions appropriate for adjudication. View "Shea v. State" on Justia Law
APCO Construction, Inc. v. Helix Electric of Nev., LLC
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court determining that the covenant of good faith and fair dealing applied when it awarded delay damages to a subcontractor, holding that the district court properly determined that the covenant of good faith and fair dealing applied and that the contractor breached the covenant.At issue on appeal was (1) whether the district court properly applied the covenant of good faith and fair dealing when it awarded delay damages to a subcontractor, and (2) whether the subcontractor waived its right to receive delay damages by signing a waiver and release to receive its retention. The Supreme Court held (1) the covenant of good faith and fair dealing allowed for the subcontractor to receive delay damages; and (2) the conditional release and waiver the subcontractor signed did not preclude it from receiving delay damages. View "APCO Construction, Inc. v. Helix Electric of Nev., LLC" on Justia Law
Helix Electric of Nev., LLC v. APCO Construction, Inc.
In this construction contract action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Helix Electric of Nevada, LLC's claims for retention against APCO Construction, Inc. and the award of attorney fees for APCO pursuant to Nev. R. Civ. P. 68 for less than APCO's requested amount.Gemstone Development West, Inc. sought to construct condominiums and hired APCO as its general contractor. APCO subcontracted with Helix at Gemstone's direction. Helix was paid less than it billed, and the difference, $505,021, was withheld in retention. Under the subcontract, the retention would be released only upon the occurrence of several conditions. Later, the relationship between the parties soured, and the project was terminated. APCO, Helix, and other subcontractors recorded mechanics' liens against the property. After a trial, the district court dismissed Helix's claims for retention against APCO and granted attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly concluded that a subcontract provision conditioning the payment of funds on APCO first being paid was unenforceable, but the unenforceablity of the pay-if-paid condition did not also invalidate the remaining conditions precedent for obtaining the retention payment; and (2) none of the remaining arguments on appeal warranted reversal. View "Helix Electric of Nev., LLC v. APCO Construction, Inc." on Justia Law
Panorama Towers Condominium Unit Owners’ Ass’n v. Hallier
The Supreme Court vacated the district court's order granting summary judgment in this construction defect action brought by Appellant against Respondents, holding that the district court erred in denying Appellant's motion to alter or amend the judgment.Appellant, a homeowners' association, brought this construction defect claim against the builders of the Panorama Towers. Respondents moved for summary judgment, arguing that the construction defect claim was time-barred under the statute of repose in Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.202(1). The district court granted summary judgment for Respondents. Appellant subsequently filed two motions to alter or amend the summary judgment, but before the district court considered the second motion (1) the legislature amended the statute of repose to extend the filing deadline, specifying that the amendment was retroactive, and (2) the amended statute became effective. The district court denied the second motion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that under the amended statute of repose, Appellant's construction defect claim was timely. View "Panorama Towers Condominium Unit Owners' Ass'n v. Hallier" on Justia Law
Dekker/Perich/Sabatini Ltd. v. Eighth Judicial District Court
The Supreme Court denied Petitioners' petition for writ relief asserting that the district court properly dismissed the claims against them as precluded by the former six-year statute of repose, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion.The City of North Las Vegas's (CNLV) hired one petitioner in this case to construct a fire station, and that contractor hired several subcontractors to assist in the construction (collectively, Petitioners). When CNLV noticed construction defects years later, CNLV filed this complaint alleging construction defect claims. The district court dismissed the claims as time-barred under Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.202's six-year period of repose. Thereafter, a legislative statutory amendment extending the repose period to ten years became effective. CNLV moved to alter the judgment, arguing that the ten-year statute of repose governed its claims. The district court granted the motion, determined that section 11.202 applied retroactively, and reinstated the claims. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not manifestly abuse or arbitrarily or capriciously exercise its discretion by retroactively applying section 11.202's ten-year repose period to CNLV's claims. View "Dekker/Perich/Sabatini Ltd. v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law
Somersett Owners Ass’n v. Somersett Development Co.
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
Byrne v. Sunridge Builders, Inc.
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
APCO Construction, Inc. v. Zitting Brothers Construction, Inc.
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
Dykema v. Del Webb Communities, Inc.
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
Tom v. Innovative Home Sys.
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