Who did what, when, and where? These are among the fundamental building blocks of any narrative, and lawsuits are no exception. But what happens where none of that is known? A Plaintiff still may have a basis to sue, because each of the Defendants did something, but it certainly tends to stretch a Plaintiff’s usual burden of proof. The case of Riverside Grove v. AEI v. CRED Construction presents these and other challenges.
In this case, attorneys Deborah Eckland and Matthew Nelson are defending a construction company against allegations of defective roofing and water intrusion involving 29 townhome and condominium buildings housing some 180 separate units. There are two other roofing companies in the case that also allegedly caused water intrusion by failing to meet workmanship standards, but the principals of all of these companies are, to date, unreachable. The general contractor has no written subcontracts with any of them. A principal of the general contractor gave Plaintiff a written “lifetime workmanship warranty” on the roofing work, and shortly thereafter split from general contractor to form a new company. That new company responded to warranty claims made by Plaintiff in the months following the project, but without notifying the general contractor or any subcontractors. However, when the calls kept coming, the new company decided the general contractor and subcontractors should have been taking the calls all along.
Currently, this case is progressing through discovery. Goetz & Eckland is providing a vigorous defense by working to both (1) limit the scope of operations attributable to the insured at the project and (2) limit the insured’s exposure to liability on legal grounds. The former involves reconstructing the “who did what, when and where” narrative through precise analysis of discovery materials. The latter involves marshalling legal arguments as to waiver, estoppel, successor liability, and joint and several liability. Check back for an update as this case proceeds.