Construction Defect Litigation

Developers, contractors, subcontractors, and homeowners' associations all play crucial roles in the successful construction of a home or a retail or commercial structure. Litigation involving construction issues requires evaluating which of these parties are liable. Often, multiple parties bear responsibility for the problem, leading to a complicated and potentially expensive legal battle. The Silicon Valley law firm of Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl & Chuck ("RHRC") offers effective and efficient representation to clients whose properties have been affected by some type of construction defect. The expertise of RHRC is not solely put to the use of parties suing contractors. Often, RHRC's attorneys are retained to defend contractors, home builders and real estate developers against frivolous and meritless claims alleging construction defects.

RHRC represents clients in matters involving:

  • Construction contracts
  • Foundation cracks
  • Soil movement
  • Environmental issues
  • Property lines
  • Underground utilities
  • Mold
  • Moisture penetration
  • Plumbing problems
  • HVAC systems

Examples of Recent Cases

In Re: Jonathan v. Prawat (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #1-01-CV800177). Defended a homeowner in an action by a contractor seeking $400,000 arising out of a construction contract. The firm cross-complained against the contractor, seeking damages for fraud, and won a judgment including attorneys' fees in excess of $900,000.

In Re: Lopez, et al. v. Creative Builders, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #CV791853). Represented a homeowner suing her former contractor, whose substandard work resulting in the property being red-tagged. Homeowner had to hire another contractor to finish the job. Sued the original contractor for breach of the agreement for all money paid to the second contractor in excess of that provided for in the original contract. Obtained a favorable confidential settlement.

In Re: Cleckley v. Coldwell Banker, Bergeson, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #1-03-CV815421, consolidated with Case #1-03-CV815422). Prosecuted a fraud and rescission claim on behalf of homebuyers against sellers and their real estate agents for failure to disclose past landslides. The firm obtained a confidential settlement on the eve of trial.

In Re: Michael Morter, et al. v. Thunderbird Realty, et al. (Santa Cruz County Superior Court Case #CV136523). Obtained an arbitration award in excess of $1 million, including attorneys' fees, arising out of a real estate broker's failure to advise and counsel a home buyer of landslide potential in a mountain property.

In Re: Hogue v. Myer, et al. (binding arbitration). Prosecuted a case for buyers who discovered that their high-end home in the Los Gatos Foothills had non-disclosed defects which would cost at least $150,000 to repair. Obtained a judgment in the buyers' favor for the difference between what they paid for the property and its actual worth its true condition.

In Re: Mullin v. Benaron, et al. (San Mateo County Superior Court Case #CIV 431399). Settled case in mid-arbitration in favor of sellers of residential real property, who were sued by their buyer for failing to disclose foundation issues. After the buyer's deposition was taken, he settled for a complete walkaway.

In Re: Cargill v. Field, et al. (Santa Cruz County Superior Court Case #CV144428). Represented a young couple whose new house in the Santa Cruz Mountains was built on the wrong lot. After buying the next-door lot to gain title to the land under their house, their neighbors denied them access to the road and water pipes. We sued the neighbors, got their case thrown out of court, and obtained prescriptive easements for access and water.

In Re: Morris v. Taulbee, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case CV799421). Represented buyers against a seller and a dual agent who failed to disclose drainage and flooding problems. Seller's earlier letter to a neighbor buying a property next door warning him of the problems proved that she was aware of the problems yet failed to disclose them. Obtained an $85,000 settlement for the buyers.

In Re: Hewell & Sheedy v. Fayram (binding arbitration). Represented a builder and obtained all damages sought against a homeowner who failed to pay for change orders in a home remodeling project.

Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl & Chuck

1960 The Alameda, Suite 200 · San Jose, CA 95126 · (408) 261-4252