Stark & Stark Obtains $1,200,000 Settlement in Condominium Construction Defect Case Including Mold, Window and Roof Defects
A condominium located in Bergen County, New Jersey has accepted a total settlement of $1.2 million for various transition-related construction defects. Mark M. Wiechnik, David J. Byrne and Thomas J. Pryor of Stark & Stark obtained the settlement on behalf of the third-party plaintiff condominium association, which experienced roof leaks, window problems and other construction related issues, shortly after the unit owners were elected to the Board of Directors of the Association.
The case began as a negligence and mold exposure personal injury action against the Association and the Developer by a unit owner in the building who experienced water intrusion into her unit. The unit owner sued the Association and the Developer for failing to repair the roof in a timely fashion both before and after transition of control of the Association. The plaintiff had argued that the Association failed to repair the roof in a timely fashion, which caused additional damage and permitted mold to grow. The Association's attorneys successfully defended the owner's personal injury claims, by obtaining medical records which showed that the alleged mold related respiratory issues had been experienced by the plaintiff before she moved into the allegedly mold infested unit. Further, the Association obtained expert reports from physicians who concluded that the skin and respiratory issues allegedly experienced by the plaintiff were a result of conditions other than mold exposure. Ultimately, the Association and the Developer and their respective insurance carriers settled the owner's property damage claim for a nominal amount, including a contribution by the Association of $13,500.
With regard to the construction defects, the Association was able to show through expert reports and deposition testimony, that the problems existed before transition of control took place, and that it was the fault of others to construct the roof properly. The Association joined the roofer, window installer, parking garage manufacturer, facade repair contractor, air conditioning unit contractor and others as defendants for failures related not only to the roof, but other transition related construction issues, including a windows, facade and the parking garage. The Association will be able to pay for a new roof and significant repairs to the building and the parking garage as a result of this settlement.
The names of the parties, Defendants' counsel as well as the identity of the Association are being withheld in accordance with confidential settlement agreements. Much of the settlement was obtained through the mediation efforts of Judge John E. Keefe, J.A.D. (ret.) of Keefe, Bartels & Clark, LLC. As always, Stark & Stark greatly appreciates Judge Keefe's time and efforts.