ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Waterfront Community Association filed an appeal with the 4th District Court of Appeals, Orange County, from a superior court judge's decision stopping the Owners Association from pursuing claims against well known developer Christopher Homes for construction defects and building standard violations.
The Waterfront is a beautiful residential community located in Huntington Beach that, like many Associations, faced the difficult but necessary decision to present construction defect claims to their builders under the Right to Repair Law found in SB 800 (California Civil Code Section 896). Located at the intersection of Pacific View Avenue and Twin Dolphin Drive, the community is a combination of 184 townhomes built by the large national builder Christopher Homes, and condominiums built by William Lyon. Numerous Limited Liability Companies ("LLCs") were formed as the sellers and declarants of the CC&Rs and sales thrived between 2003 and 2006.
The Association's defects were identified in 2015 by independent forensic experts in both the townhomes and the condominiums, and an SB 800 Notice was presented by the Association to both Builders. At the time of serving the Builders, some of the units were past the 10-year statute of limitations.
California law requires that Associations present defect claims within 10 years from the date of substantial completion (California Civil Code Section 941) or until the builder "…relinquishes control over the Association's ability to decide whether to initiate a claim" (California Civil Code Section 895 (c)).
A full audit of the Association's minutes and records determined that the Builders held 3 seats on the 5-member Board of Directors between June of 2003 through August of 2005. The Court did not disagree that the Association was under Builder control, which would have stopped the statute from running, but one of the Builders filed a motion to stop the Association's claims for exceeding the 10-year time limit and the local Superior Court judge agreed with the Builder. Based on this ruling, The Waterfront Community Association filed the appeal.
According to Thomas E. Miller, Founding Partner of The Miller Law Firm and a 43-year legal veteran of construction defect claims, "When a builder controls a Board of Directors for several years, it allows them to rig the system in a manner that negatively impacts the Board of Directors' ability to make the important decision to pursue claims timely against the very builders whose representative sits on the same Board. The building and insurance industry that fight these claims are very large and well-oiled machines. Despite how they present themselves when selling their products to the unsuspecting public, they will fight all the way to the courthouse so they will not have to pay out money to fix their mistakes, mistakes that cost the Homeowners Associations millions of dollars to fix."
According to Rachel M. Miller, Senior Partner of The Miller Law Firm and author of several publications on construction defect claims, "It is always a steep climb to help Associations with difficult claims and we do not turn away Associations with claims that present challenges. We do have very specific resources for Associations to evaluate their claims, their defects and their time limits and we welcome the challenge to do so."
Thomas E. Miller, Rachel M. Miller & Matthew T. Miller (www.ConstructionDefects.com) are the co-authors of, "Home and Condo Defects: A Consumer Guide to Faulty Construction," (Seven Locks Press, 2012), available online at www.amazon.com. Celebrating 40 years, The Miller Law Firm was awarded the National Litigator Award by the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents for the second consecutive year. This award honors only the top 1% of attorneys in the nation and based strictly on tangible verdict & settlement dollar achievement.
Media Contact: Rachel Miller
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SOURCE The Miller Law Firm