Donald B. Brenner is a Shareholder and Chair of the firm’s Construction Litigation Group. Mr. Brenner has extensive experience in handling complex construction litigation claims on behalf of community associations, developers and other plaintiffs. Mr. Brenner is the co-founder of www.ConstructionLitigationLawBlog.com.
Mr. Brenner has been involved in handling over 200 construction litigation cases dealing with a wide range of issues including, but not limited to, water penetration through virtually every kind of building cladding material including, but not limited to, exterior insulation and finish systems, brick, manufactured stone veneer, fiber cement panels, fiber cement siding, stucco, cedar siding and vinyl siding; deficiencies in commercial and residential roofing systems including tile, EDPM, asphalt shingle, among others; leaks through or around windows and doors which are defective and/or deficiently installed; water infiltration through building penetrations and foundations; design and construction deficiencies in high-rise and mid-rise commercial and residential construction; structural failure of decks, balconies, plazas, steel, concrete, stick and panelized framing systems; deficient design and construction of fire suppression, plumbing and HVAC systems; deficient design and construction of sea walls and revetments; deficient design and construction of septic fields and sewage systems and deficient design and construction of foundations, roads and other site work.
Mr. Brenner has been lead or co-counsel at trial for multiple complex cases including Renaissance Condominium Association, Inc. v. Renaissance Estates, L.P. et. al, which was nearly a six-month jury trial against 24 active defendants ending in a verdict and settlements totaling nearly $20,000,000. Camelot Condominium Association, Inc. v. Dryvit Systems, et. al, a nearly two-month jury trial which resulted in a jury verdict in March 2008 finding that Dryvit, the largest EIFS Manufacturer in the United States, violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. This verdict was the first of its kind in New Jersey, with a total recovery of $5 million.
Mr. Brenner has been lead counsel or co-counsel in many condominium construction litigation cases which have settled at or shortly before trial. The terms of the settlements are confidential but a representative sample includes:
- $7,250,000 settlement at trial of a complex construction deficiency case against over 30 defendants involving claims relating to roofs, EIFS, stone and decks in a 125 unit condominium;
- $6,000,000 settlement before trial of a complex design and construction defect case Stark & Stark took over from another law firm involving a 460 unit condominium with severe water infiltration and structural deficiencies;
- $4,250,000 settlement achieved during transition negotiations in a complex condominium construction defect case involving EIFS, decks, dormers and other common elements.
- $3,000,000 settlement before trial of a complex construction deficiency case against over 20 defendants involving claims relating to EIFS, windows, doors, the sea wall, roofs, and structural damages to concrete decks constructed from concrete filigree slabs in a 50 unit condominium;
- $1,650,000 settlement at trial of claims against 6 defendants relating to EIFS, framing, the fire suppression system and structural issues in a 48 unit condominium;
- $1,600,000 settlement before trial of claims against 8 defendants relating to structural issues, decks, roofs and EIFS in a 2 story, 7 unit condominium;
- $1,390,000 settlement before trial of claims relating to deficient installation of stucco and stone on 69 single family homes;
- $1,300,000 settlement before trial of claims relating to deficient installation of a brick exterior cladding system on a 6 story mid-rise building;
- $1,000,000 settlement at trial of claims against multiple defendants relating to structural issues caused by severe site drainage deficiencies.
Mr. Brenner is presently lead counsel on numerous complex construction cases including:
- A construction design and deficiency case against 20 defendants involving claims totaling over $15,000,000 relating to severe water infiltration through stucco, roofs, and balconies of a 300 unit condominium in northern New Jersey;
- A construction deficiency case for a large condominium against 40 defendants involving claims totaling roughly $20,000,000 relating to exterior stone, EIFS, brick, roofs and framing issues;
- A construction design and deficiency case for an eight-story condominium involving approximately $15,000,000 in damages for claims relating to brick, roofs, EIFS, balconies, a large curtain wall window system and structural failures;
- A six-story condominium in northern New Jersey where severe water infiltration is causing massive damage. The builder chose to install ceramic floor tile on the exterior walls of the building by adhering it to (what remains of) gypsum sheathing.
Mr. Brenner was also lead counsel or co-counsel in the trial of the condemnation of the Long Branch Pier in Long Branch, New Jersey. After trying the first set of liability issues to a favorable verdict, the damages portion of the case was settled at trial for $2,650,000.
Mr. Brenner speaks regularly at seminars on construction defect issues for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He was also a contributing author to the book “Construction Law Client Strategies” (Aspatore Books, 2007) and has published several articles on construction and insurance issues. Mr. Brenner received intensive training in exterior insulation and finish systems at the Exterior Design Institute. He has been interviewed on television about EIFS and construction litigation issues and has been quoted on construction defect issues in the New York Times.
Mr. Brenner is a member of the Forum on Construction Law of the American Bar Association and the Construction Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Mr. Brenner is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the United States Supreme Court.