NJ PA & National Construction Defect Attorneys Our Community Associations and Construction Litigation Group, with it’s experienced construction defect lawyers, has unmatched skill and depth. Featuring an unparalleled record of success in recovering for associations the money needed to repair damage to common elements caused by design and construction deficiencies. Our Group has seven construction defects attorneys working on transition and construction defect cases, backed up by a full complement of paralegals and numerous support staff. State of the art facilities, including our own mock trial courtroom, allow our construction defect lawyers to develop and prepare cases at the highest level. Our construction defects law firm has broad experience representing community associations in transition related construction litigation, including construction defect lawsuits involving just about every kind of design and construction deficiency likely to be faced by a condominium complex. The Group also has extensive experience handling transition claims such as reserve deficiencies, breach of fiduciary duty by builder-sponsors and developer-appointed board members, 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. Our construction litigation attorneys have extensive trial experience in construction construction defects lawsuits. Whether through settlement or trial, we have recovered in excess of $165 million for condominium and homeowner associations to repair design and construction deficiencies. A list of some of the types of defects our construction defect attorneys have handled includes the following: Water infiltration in all types of structures Curtain walls Window walls Panelized framing systems Structural steel deficiencies Concrete and steel balconies, terraces, sun decks, and other high rise structures Railing assemblies on balconies, terraces, roofs, and other structures Poured concrete and rebar installation on high rise buildings Concrete and steel foundations Elevators in high rise buildings Windows, doors, and other fenestrations HVAC design and installation Plumbing design and installation Electrical system design and installation Fire suppression systems in all types of buildings Parking garages and parking decks Stucco Cultured stone Manufactured stone veneer Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS) Other kinds of masonry exterior cladding materials Brick cavity wall systems Thin brick wall systems Panelized exterior cladding systems Cement-board siding and panelized systems Wood and vinyl siding systems Structural failures in low-, mid-, and high-rise buildings Design and construction deficiencies unique to buildings with historic preservation or landmark status All kinds of roof systems, including flat, rubberized, shingle, and standing seam metal roof systems Wood framing issues Filigree slab systems Decks Sliding glass doors Porticos LEED-certified rooftop gardens and landscapes Sanitary and storm sewers Sea walls and revetments Resolution of these construction defect lawsuits is almost always driven by the availability of insurance coverage for these claims. We have a team of construction defect lawyers who have extensive experience in insurance law, including analysis of the complexities and nuances of insurance policies and how to structure and support a construction defect lawsuit to maximize the recovery for the Association. We will not recommend litigation if we do not believe you will be able to collect a judgment. Our primary concern from day one is how to get our clients paid. This is why our insurance coverage experience is fundamental to our success and history of recovering millions for our clients. Contingent Fees Stark & Stark has always been sensitive to the reality that condominium and homeowner associations cannot always afford to pay fees on an hourly basis for an experienced construction litigation lawyer to handle complex and time-consuming construction litigation that may take years to complete. Many associations simply ignore construction and design defects thinking that what they do not know will not hurt them. Other associations settle for whatever they can get in order to avoid the cost of legal fees necessary to properly pursue the case, even if the amount obtained is a small fraction of the cost to remediate the deficiencies. Still others give up when they cannot find a construction litigation attorney who will represent them on a contingency fee basis. Unfortunately, this results in many associations losing perfectly valid claims. We frequently get calls from associations many years after their transition who are confronted with multiple millions of dollars in damages from construction deficiencies with no ability to sue anyone to recover those damages because the 6-year statute of limitations and/or the 10-year statute of repose have lapsed. Other associations start litigation with an agreement to pay counsel at hourly rates and then run out of money in the middle of the case. The result is that the unit owners get stuck with an enormous bill for legal fees that they cannot pay and have to abandon the construction defects lawsuit before obtaining any recovery at all. We relieve our association clients of this burden by handling appropriate cases on a contingent fee basis. Stark & Stark has been in business almost 90 years. We are financially strong and have tremendous confidence in the ability of our construction litigation attorneys to prevail in litigation—even in larger, more complex construction defects lawsuits where there are fifty, sixty, or more defense attorneys fighting back. We understand that the financial burden that protracted construction litigation places on community associations. We also understand that sponsors and insurance companies often try to exploit that reality by refusing to pay to repair construction defects in the community during transition negotiations. In order to make it possible for associations to overcome this stacked financial deck, Stark & Stark offers its association clients a variety of contingent fee formulations and works with our clients to arrive at the type of contingent fee agreement that makes the most sense under the circumstances. Representative Cases* Obtained a settlement of $28 million in cash and $48 million in consent judgments in a case involving catastrophic damages from water infiltration and severe structural damage in a high-rise condominium. 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 EIFS, balconies, fire suppression systems, structural issues, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, sea wall and framing issues. Obtained just under $15 million in settlements at trial in a case involving a 225-unit condominium with mid- and low-rise buildings damaged by water infiltration. 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 verdict was $11.4 million. The building was a 22 story high rise with EIFS panels. Recovered $7.5 million in damages less than one year after we took over the case, on a contingent fee basis, that had cost the association $2 million in legal fees –nearly bankrupting the community. The case involved a 700-unit condominium with damages from water infiltration through brick, PVC panels, roofs, various fenestration and leaks in underground garages from deficient design and construction of plazas above the garages. Obtained $7.8 million in settlements at trial for 225-unit condominium with multiple mid-rise buildings and townhouse clusters. Claims involved water infiltration damage from balconies, stucco, brick and fiber cement panels and roofs plus damage to fire suppression systems, structural issues. Settled a complex, condominium construction defect at trial for $7,250,000 in a case involving significant damage from water infiltration from EIFS, manufactured stone veneer, roofs and balconies. Recovered $7 million in settlements at trial for a 750 unit condominium consisting of 6 mid-rise buildings that were damaged by water infiltration. Recovered $7 million in settlements on the eve of trial for a client which owned a 100 year old building used for a pre-school that had to be demolished due to catastrophic structural damages caused by pile driving activity at a construction site next door that included driving steel piles over 220 feet deep within 6 feet of the “colonial” foundation of the pre-school building. $5,900,000 settlement of 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. $5,000,000 settlement of a case for a condominium association that owns 100 units in 27 buildings that are experiencing severe mold and related damages from water penetration. Over $4 million settlement at trial of claims involving elevator, HVAC and balcony/rebar/railing issues in a 40+ story high rise luxury condominium building Over $4 million in settlements for a 19 story high rise building damaged by water infiltration through exterior panels covered in brick and stucco. Over $4 million in settlements for a 225 unit condominium with 6 mid-rise buildings damaged by water infiltration through manufactured stone veneer, stucco, PTAC units and roofs. Just under $4 million in settlements for a 500+ unit condominium with damage from water infiltration through EIFS, balcony ledger boards and windows. $3,000,000 settlement of 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 EIFS on all sides. The units were three to five years old and none were showing visible signs of trouble. Nevertheless, moisture probe readings and test cuts revealed significant water penetration behind the EIFS. Recovered over $4 million for an association with 78 units that had catastrophic damages from water infiltration caused by improper installation of stucco and EIFS and severe damage to wood framed decks. Obtained $4 million through settlement and a trial verdict for an association that owns an 8-story, 70-unit, high-rise condominium building damaged by water infiltration from deficient design and installation of a combination of brick and a barrier EIFS system. Obtained just under $3 million in settlement of a complex transition/construction litigation case for a 50-unit condominium complex at the Jersey Shore. The buildings suffered substantial damage from water penetration, including mold. Won a trial verdict for $2,500,000 for a condominium association that owns a 5-story building with 40 units suffering from severe water infiltration damages caused by the sponsor’s installation of inferior grade ceramic floor tile on the exterior walls of the building. In a declaratory judgment action for insurance coverage following trial, we won a first of its kind victory on key insurance issues that will affect virtually every construction defect case in New Jersey. $2 million settlement of a complex, construction defect case for an association that owns a 6-story high-rise building clad damaged by water infiltration through “thin brick” that was improperly installed. Obtained almost $2 million in settlement for a condominium association that has two small 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 had massive water penetration that caused enormous damage to the sheathing and structural framing and mold growth throughout the building. One exterior wall panel was so badly damaged it fell off the building and was lying on the ground. Settled at trial for $1,850,000 a case for a condominium association with an 85 year old historic building that had been converted to a condominium which suffered damages from water infiltration caused by windows that had been deficiently installed and brick that had been deficiently re-pointed. $1,650,000 settlement of a case for a condominium association with a 6-story mid-rise brick building suffering significant framing damage and mold caused by water penetration due to faulty design and construction. $1,600,000 settlement for 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 re-clad. $1,100,000 settlement of a case for a condominium association plagued by townhouse foundations built of unreinforced CMU at the bottom of a steep grade that would partially collapse in heavy rain. $1 million settlement of a case for a condominium association with townhouses suffering damage from water infiltration caused by deficiently installed cedar siding. Sampling of Construction Defect Lawsuits Representing a condominium association with multiple mid-rise buildings suffering severe damages from water infiltration, structural issues, fire-suppression system deficiencies, roof issues and related deficiencies. The claims total over $35 million. Representing a 40+ story high rise with what is anticipated to be millions of dollars in damages from water infiltration, plus HVAC issues and elevator issues. Representing a mid-rise condominium with 80+ units and what is expected to be millions of dollars in damages caused by water infiltration, environmental contamination, HVAC and elevator issues. Representing a 200+-unit condominium/townhouse complex in litigation over façade defects, green roof problems, HVAC malfunction issues and other claims. Representing 200+ unit condominium with two story- wood framed townhouse-style condominium buildings suffering with damages caused by water infiltration. Representing 100+ unit condominium with wood framed condominium buildings being damaged by water infiltration and structural framing deficiencies in attic fire walls. Insurance Coverage Our construction defect lawyers have decades of experience in advising our community association clients on a broad array of construction and storm-damage related insurance issues. A representative list of the many services we have provided over the last 25 years includes: Insurance policy interpretation and analysis of general liability, excess and professional liability policies to determine the scope of coverage in highly sophisticated “transition” and construction defect litigation cases involving claims by or against sponsor/developers, contractors, design professionals, material suppliers and other parties. A wide variety of insurance coverage litigation including: First-party property and casualty claims for losses sustained by Associations; Directors & Officers claims directed against association board members; First-party fire and other large scale casualty loss claims emanating from the partial or complete destruction of individual units and entire buildings; Defense of claims asserted by unit owners against associations, both as personal counsel to associations and as insurance carrier retained counsel; Prosecution and defense of breach of fiduciary duty claims involving association board members; Claims impacting Errors & Omissions and Excess liability policies; Pursuit of recovery for associations under the Municipal Services Act against various municipalities; Mediation of association and unit owner disputes, serving as mediators and as advocates. Notable Experience Served as counsel to amicus curiae Community Association Institute in the matter of Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, L.L.C., et al., which lead to an important insurance coverage decision by the Supreme Court holding that Sponsor’s insurance policies provide coverage for damages caused by the Sponsor’s subcontractors’ faulty workmanship. Litigation and negotiation of favorable settlements on behalf of Association clients in numerous “transition” litigation matters, resulting in total payments to Associations of tens of millions of dollars. Served as Liaison Counsel to subcontractor defendants in New Jersey state-wide Flame Retardant Treated Plywood litigation. Retained to advise a former U.S. cabinet member regarding the relative merits of a class action insurance settlement. Settlement achieved, acting as personal counsel under a CGL policy in favor of a builder defendant, by overcoming insurance carrier’s reservation of rights claim denial, resulting in payment of a significant portion of the underlying damages. Jury verdict in favor of first party insured, against a property casualty insurance carrier, arising from a devastating, total fire loss. Availability of Other Experts The Construction Litigation Group has relationships with an extensive array of leading construction defects experts including renowned forensic architects and engineers, structural and soil compaction experts, certified industrial hygienists, mold remediation experts, fire suppression system experts, HVAC experts, professional cost estimation experts, Building Code Officials, repair contractors, construction managers, elevator experts, wood and other material science experts, among many others. These relationships enable Stark & Stark to quickly assemble the right team to manage our litigation matters and effectively present our client’s strongest case. Industry Leadership Stark & Stark, which just celebrated its 80th year in practice, is a recognized leader in the community association industry. Each construction defects attorney understand and are very responsive to the needs of boards and property managers as they address the challenges arising from the day-to-day management of our community association clients. Our construction defects lawyers work tirelessly to make sure that your legal needs are addressed promptly and efficiently. We understand the issues, have the solutions and are here to help. Construction Litigation Lawsuit Services Our Construction Litigation attorneys represent condominium and homeowner associations and other property owners in both New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationally, handled on a modified or full contingent fee basis. Our experience includes 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. Chinese Dry Wall Building Envelope Brick/Thin Brick Stone High Rise/Panelized Construction Roofs Decks Fire Suppression Systems Mold Vinyl Client-Driven Approach The Construction Litigation Group of Stark & Stark is known throughout the United States for representing commercial and residential property owners, community and homeowner associations, developers and other plaintiffs in complex construction defect lawsuits. Our group’s understanding of the many technical complexities of construction defect cases, familiarity with insurance coverage claims, and the ability to take on certain cases on a contingency are just a few of the many aspects that set our group apart from other construction defects law firms with construction defect practices. Construction Litigation Resources & Information Do I Have Stucco or EIFS? What is EIFS? Can EIFS Be Repaired? What Are the Problems with EIFS? Who Is Responsible? Legal Briefs on Construction Litigation *Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. Because every case is different, the descriptions of awards and cases previously handled are not meant to be a guarantee of success.