One of the most important and interesting construction defect cases in Minnesota history is Buscher v. Montag Development, Inc., 770 N.W.2d 199 (Minn. Ct. App. 2009). Deborah Eckland and Dan Singel represented the alleged on-site general contractor, who Buscher claimed caused $3.5 million in damages as the result of a failed remodel construction project.
Investigation revealed that, in fact, the home had sustained extensive damage as a result of errors committed during the construction project. Given the situation, the only possible successful outcome was if we were able to develop a defense based on the two-year statute of limitations. Through an extraordinary series of events, we uncovered evidence that proved Buscher was aware of elevated mold levels in his home more than two years before he sued. More shocking: It was apparent that Buscher’s attorneys had gone to great lengths to bury this evidence and present false information to the court.
Once the truth was unveiled, the court granted our motion, sanctioned Buscher and his attorneys, and dismissed all of Buscher’s claims. Buscher appealed, but the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision. The Buscher decision is the farthest any appellate court in Minnesota has gone in protecting builders from untimely claims and holding homeowners accountable for bringing claims in a timely fashion. Because the Supreme Court denied Buscher’s petition for review, the Buscher decision will be controlling precedent for many years to come.
If you would like to learn more about the Buscher decision, you can read the Court of Appeals decision or a case synopsis at Martindale.