The group has particular expertise in litigation involving claims relating to Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS), roofs, mold, wood siding, thin brick cladding systems, fire suppression systems, filigree slab systems, structural failures, HVAC and other mechanical systems, sanitary sewer systems, sea walls, reserve deficiencies, professional malpractice, breaches of fiduciary duty by Builder-Sponsors and Boards of community associations, as well as issues arising under the Consumer Fraud Act, the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act, the New Jersey Condominium Act, the Homebuilders Warranty Act and the Products Liability Act.
Donald B. Brenner, chair of the group, has over 20 years of litigation and trial experience and has substantial training in the technical aspects of various construction deficiencies. Mr. Brenner has been quoted in the New York Times and has appeared on WABC’s Eyewitness News and on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. Mr. Brenner has been named as a “New Jersey Super Lawyer” every year that this honor has been awarded. In addition, Shareholder John Randy Sawyer has substantial experience handling complex construction litigation cases. Mr. Sawyer is uniquely qualified to handle EIFS cases since, in addition to being an experienced trial attorney, he is certified as an EIFS inspector by the Exterior Design Institute. Mr. Brenner and Mr. Sawyer have both written and lectured extensively on construction litigation and transition issues. They are the co-founders of The Construction Litigation Law Blog and NJEIFS.com.
- Won a five-and-a-half month long jury trial resulting in a nearly $20,000,000 recovery for a condominium association in a case involving balconies, fire suppression systems, structural issues, EIFS, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, sea wall and framing issues.
- Won a first-of-its kind-trial verdict against Dryvit Systems Inc, the biggest manufacturer of EIFS in the world, for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The ultimate recovery from Dryvit and other defendants was over $5,000,000.
- Settled at trial for $7,250,000 a complex condominium construction defect case involving significant damage from water infiltration from EIFS, manufactured stone veneer, roofs and balconies.
- $5,900,000 settlement for a case involving construction defects with claims relating to EIFS, brick, vinyl, roofs, windows and massive structural damages in seven buildings that contained 463 condominium units.
- Filed suit on behalf of a community association that owns 50 condominium buildings containing almost 300 condominium units clad with stucco, manufactured stone veneer, which have wood balconies clad with vinyl sheet membrane. There is substantial water infiltration inside the units causing substantial damage. Damages are in excess of $10,000,000.
- Settled for $4,000,000 a case for a condominium association that owns 100 units in 27 buildings that are experiencing severe water penetration. This has significantly damaged sheathing and framing and has caused mold.
- Filed suit for 225 unit condominium with multiple mid-rise buildings and townhouse clusters. Claims involve balconies, EIFS, roofs, fire suppression systems, structural issues, brick and fiber cement panels. Damages total approximately $17,000,000.
- Represent a 120-unit condominium in a 6-story building clad with stucco and manufactured stone veneer suffering significant water infiltration. Negotiations with developer are underway. Damages are estimated at in excess of $4,000,000.
- Settled for $3,000,000 a complex, multi-million-dollar EIFS-related construction case. The clients owned over 300 units in a townhouse development in Northern New Jersey. All of the townhouses were clad with STO-manufactured EIFS on all sides. The units were three to five years old and none were showing visible signs of trouble. Moisture probe readings, however, revealed significant water penetration behind the EIFS, which is now being replaced.
- Filed suit for a condominium for damages to a 5-story building with 40 units. Damages arose from builder installing ceramic floor tile on the exterior walls of the building. Claims involve severe water infiltration through ceramic tile and brick exterior, plus roof issues. Damages are estimated at approximately $3,000,000.
- Representing an association that owns an 8-story high-rise condominium building clad with a barrier EIFS system. There is heavy damage to the structure of the building from water penetration. The cost to tear off the EIFS, fix the structural damage underneath and re-clad the building is expected to exceed $8,000,000.
- Represent a homeowners association in a 1000-plus unit community that has severe damage caused by negligent site work, negligent construction of roads, the irrigation system for the entire 16 square mile site and the deficient installation of stucco on the exterior facades of the clubhouse and other buildings. The case is valued in excess of $8,000,000.
- Filed suit for condominium for damages to an 8-story building with 70 units. Claims involve stucco, roof, structural issues, fire suppression systems, and HVAC. Damages are estimated at approximately $7,000,000.
- Settled for just under $3 million a complex transition/construction litigation case against Kushner Companies, Westminster Communities and many subcontractors and material suppliers for a 50-unit condominium complex at the Jersey Shore. The complex’s 50 units are worth approximately $500,000 to $1,400,000 each. The buildings suffered substantial damage from water penetration including mold.
- Represented an association that owns a 6-story high-rise building clad with “thin brick” which is a defective product and is improperly installed. There is massive structural damage and tremendous mold growth inside the cavity between the thin brick and the dry wall. The case was settled for approximately $2,000,000.
- Settled claims for a condominium association that has two buildings clad with EIFS. One building is clad with a barrier system and the other has a drainable system. The building with the barrier system has massive water penetration that has caused enormous damage to the sheathing and structural framing and mold growth throughout the building. The building is being evaluated now to determine the extent of the damage. Settlement was for almost $2,000,000.
- Represented a 69-unit subdivision of single family homes clad with stucco on the front exterior elevation only. These homes have been stripped, the damage to their substructure has been repaired and the homes were then reclad at a cost of approximately $1,700,000. Case was settled for $1,600,000.
- Settled for $1,650,000 a case for a condominium association with a six story mid-rise building suffering significant framing damage and mold caused by water penetration due to faulty design and construction.
- Settled a case for a condominium association at trial for $1,850,000 involving defectively installed siding and windows.
- Settled a case for $760,000 against the manufacturer, architect, builder, and the EIFS installation subcontractor on behalf of the owner of a 7,000+ square-foot home in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The home was covered with Energex-manufactured EIFS on all sides and was infested with carpenter ants (which feed on the EPS board attached to the OSB Board sheathing). There was damage to the structural framing.
The Construction Litigation Group has relationships with an extensive array of leading experts including renowned forensic architects, engineers, mold experts, certified industrial hygienists and accountants, Building Code Officials, repair contractors, certified EIFS installers, inspectors and wood experts, among many others.
These relationships enable the group to quickly assemble the right team to efficiently manage our litigation matters and effectively present our client's strongest case.
The Firm has a Tier One ranking for Litigation-Construction in New Jersey.