John Randy Sawyer is a Shareholder and Chair of the ﬁrm’s Construction Litigation Group. Mr. Sawyer has been practicing for over twenty years and has developed extensive experience litigating in state and federal courts in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Sawyer concentrates his practice in construction litigation, including defective workmanship claims, design errors and omissions, product liability, breach of contract. Mr. Sawyer also focuses on insurance coverage litigation and appellate practice. Mr. Sawyer has represented community associations and homeowners, developers, general contractors, and subcontractors in construction defect cases involving a wide variety of structures, ranging from single family homes to forty-plus story high rises. He has extensive experience litigating against insurance carriers to obtain coverage of construction defect claims under contractors’ commercial general liability policies. Mr. Sawyer has also represented policy holders in direct coverage actions against their insurance carriers, including pursuing coverage for third party claims under liability policies, first party property damage claims and business interruption claims.
Mr. Sawyer is the co-founder of www.ConstructionLitigationLawBlog.com. Mr. Sawyer’s construction litigation experience is bolstered by his studies in construction related ﬁelds. Mr. Sawyer studied architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture in Newark, New Jersey for two years. Mr. Sawyer also received extensive training in building envelope inspections at the Exterior Design Institute in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Mr. Sawyer has been involved in construction litigation matters involving a wide variety of construction products and improvements to real property, including:
- Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) products
- Rooﬁng materials including clay tile, concrete tile, asphalt shingles and EPDM low-slope rooﬁng
- CPVC ﬁre suppression systems
- Sea walls, bulkheads and revetments
- Concrete plazas, garages, and foundations
- High rise curtain wall systems
- Building envelope construction, including window systems and wood, vinyl, stucco, hardwood, and stone siding
- Structural systems, including pile supported foundations
- Electrical systems
- Brick cladding systems, including thin-brick products
- Fire separation assemblies
- Pre-fabricated roof and ﬂoor truss systems
- Plumbing systems
- Underground storm/sewer drainage systems
- Deck and balcony construction
- Environmental contamination
*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances*
Mr. Sawyer has extensive trial and appellate practice experience in the areas of construction defect litigation and insurance coverage that includes the following:
- Served as lead trial counsel in Camelot Condominium Association v. Dryvit Systems, Inc. et al, a product liability trial which resulted in a jury verdict ﬁnding that Dryvit, a construction product manufacturer, violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
- Served as lead trial counsel in Renaissance Condominium Association v. Wickes Direct et al, a ﬁve month trial that resulted in a multi-million dollar jury verdict against a truss manufacturer.
- Served as lead trial counsel for a high-rise condominium against the manufacturer and installer of the building’s elevator system. The case settled during trial for a confidential amount.
- Served as lead trial counsel for a large condominium in Jersey City, New Jersey against the structural engineer who designed the pile foundation system for several mid-rise buildings. The case settled during trial for a confidential amount.
- Served as counsel to Amicus Curiae Community Associations Institute in the matter of Port Liberte Homeowners Association Inc. et. al. v. Sordoni Construction Company, which resulted in an Appellate Division decision expanding condominium owner’s rights under consumer protection laws.
- Served as counsel to Amicus Curiae Homeowners Against Deﬁcient Dwellings, Inc. in the matter of Dean v. Barrett Homes, involving the application of the economic loss doctrine to construction defect cases.
- Served as lead appellate counsel in Marrone v. Greer & Polman Const., Inc., involving the interplay of the product liability act and the economic loss doctrine in residential construction.
- Served as lead appellate counsel in Port Liberte II Condo. Ass’n v. New Liberty Residential Urban Renewal Co., LLC, which resulted in an Appellate Division decision of ﬁrst impression holding that developers, contractors and other defendants cannot enforce condominium by-laws against owners of units in the condominium.
- Served as lead appellate counsel in Fairview Heights Condo. Ass’n v. R.L. Investors, which resulted in a decision by the Appellate Division holding for the ﬁrst time that New Jersey’s Statute of Repose can be equitably tolled upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances.
- Served as lead appellate counsel in Rialto-Capitol Condominium Association, Inc. v. Baldwin Assets Associates Urban Renewal Company, LLC, resulting in a decision expanding standing for condominium association’s facing construction defects.
- Argued before the Supreme Court as counsel to Amicus Curiae Community Associations Institute in the matter of Cypress Point Condominium Association v. Adria Towers, LLC, resulting in a precedential decision holding that damage caused by faulty workmanship was an occurrence under the plain language of the commercial general liability policies and therefore covered
- Argued before the Supreme Court as lead counsel for the Plaintiff in Crystal Point Condominium Association v. Kinsale Insurance Company, on the question of enforceability of an arbitration clause in an insurance policy against a judgement creditor of the insured.
- Served as lead appellate counsel to Amicus Curiae Community Associations Institute in the matter of The Palisades at Ft. Lee Condominium Association, Inc. v. 100 Old Palisade, LLC, which resulted in a decision from the Supreme Court addressing the application of the statute of limitations to construction claims by an association.
Mr. Sawyer also has an extensive history of achieving favorable outcomes for the ﬁrm’s clients through his involvement as either co-counsel or lead counsel in construction litigation cases that have settled at or shortly before trial. A representative sample includes:
- $27,000,000* settlement at trial of claims against multiple defendants relating to a double twenty-plus story high-rise condominium with severe façade water intrusion;
- $20,000,000* recovery from settlements and trial in a construction defect case for an 80 unit condominium at the jersey shore involving deficient roofs, EIFS, decks, structural framing, plumbing and other defects;
- $18,000,000* settlement recovery for a condominium and townhouse community in Jersey City, New Jersey, for claims relating to EIFS, structural failures, brick cladding defects, etc.;
- $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;
- $5,000,000* settlement for forty-plus story high-rise in Jersey City, New Jersey arising from HVAC system failures and balcony defects;
- $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 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.
- Successfully defended large developer of a 125 unit townhome development in Park Ridge, New Jersey, against claims of deficient EIFS, brick and shingle roofing, including prosecuting declaratory judgment action on behalf of developer against its insurance company.
- Successfully defended general contractor and developer of a 61 unit condominium development in Eatontown, New Jersey, against claims of deficient brick and vinyl cladding, storm sewer system defects, and fraudulent concealment of environmental conditions.
*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances*
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