MSJ Granted in Construction Defect Case Involving $10M+ Custom Built Home
Partner Elaine Fresch won a motion for summary judgment in a large construction defect case concerning a $10m plus custom built home. Our client was sued by the General Contractor (GC) who is partially owned by Plaintiff. The GC had a pending Crawford MSA against our client and other subcontractors claiming the subs had an immediate duty to defend. Elaine brought a MSJ after serving requests for admissions on both the GC and the Plaintiff homeowner. Originally, Plaintiff admitted they had no information of any claims against our client, but after the MSJ was filed, they supplemented the RFA responses out of the blue to claim the work was not performed correctly or our client omitted work. The GC, from whom Elaine had obtained monetary sanctions for having to file a Motion to Deem the RFA's admitted, had responded they had no firsthand knowledge of our client's work. The Judge granted the MSJ partly on the basis of sustaining the evidentiary objections as to the GC's expert declaration pursuant to Sargon Enterprises, Inc. v. University of Southern Cal. and ruled that there were no triable issues of fact raised by the GC as to causation because the GC did not establish the defects were within our client's scope of work and the indemnity provision did not include a separate defense obligation. Because Elaine served a CCP Section 998 Offer of Judgment early on, they will be seeking expert fees and costs from the GC.
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