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Arizona Arbitrator Returns Full Defense Award in Construction Defect Arbitration of 15 Single Family Homes

March 28, 2016

Following a two week arbitration in Maricopa County, Arizona, attorneys Jill Ann Herman and Greg Amundson successfully defended all claims sought by the owners of fifteen (15) single family homes in favor of the selling entity of an Arizona residential developer and general contractor. Specifically, the Arbitrator issued a decision which completely exonerated the seller from any liability for all of the claims.

In the case, Claimants alleged that numerous design and construction defects existed at each of the homes, from sulfate attack on foundations, concrete and masonry walls to deficient framing and roofs, with numerous interior and exterior defects in between. The Claimants’ original cost of repair totaled $742,652; by closing argument, the Claimants’ cost of repair was down to $372,111.

Prior to arbitration, the Arbitrator denied summary judgment motions on legal standing and “As-Is” disclosures based on triable issues of fact, and also denied leave to amend to name the developer and general contractor as a respondent based on the statute of repose. Based on the evidence at arbitration, the Arbitrator found that Respondent was not the developer or general contractor of the community and Claimants’ homes, and it was not the alter ego of the developer, despite a similarity in names, officers, directors and corporate logo. Accordingly, the Arbitrator determined that Respondent was the prevailing party on causes of action for breach of contract and breach of implied warranty of workmanship and habitability based on the facts, as well as affirmative defenses including legal standing, “As-Is” disclosure, and the statute of repose.

The Respondent will be seeking its attorney’s fees and costs following this binding arbitration.

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