October 3rd, 2016

One of the common complaints at annual meetings of homeowners associations is that assessments are being increased the following year. How much can the association directors increase future assessments without the owners’ approval? Inquiring homeowners should first direct their attention to the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions that governs their community. Most of the… Read More

September 20th, 2016

Land is developed. The developer creates the lots and, either directly or through other builders, builds houses on them. Soon, homeowners purchase their dream house. They keep their yard beautifully landscaped and clean. They keep their home in an impeccable condition. After some time, the rain comes. Out of a sudden, stormwater pours over their… Read More

September 20th, 2016

If you are involved in enough construction defect litigation, you will likely come across cases involving multi-family residential developments, including condominium units. Last week, the South Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion dealing with such a development and looking at the issue of whether the unit owners were bound by certain waivers in the… Read More

July 12th, 2016

Contractors often insert provisions into their contracts that seemingly would benefit them if a dispute were to arise down the road. However, the question often arises whether such provisions are always enforceable. Unfortunately, the answer is usually a resounding “maybe.” This past week, on July 6, 2016, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion… Read More

June 3rd, 2016

I am just returning from the 2016 DRI Construction Law Seminar in New Orleans. Besides the fantastic food (beignets, anyone?) and spending time with my fellow construction lawyers, I was treated to some great CLE sessions. One such session featured Walter K. McDonough of ELK Consulting Services LLC who spoke about construction contracts from the… Read More

April 27th, 2016

In recent years, there has been an ever increasing number of property damage lawsuits filed against those industries who use explosives (Ludwiczak, n.d.). These claims for blasting damages are mainly against the mining, construction, and quarry operations throughout the United States (Ludwiczak, n.d.). Blasting claims usually arise in a similar manner. When owners become aware… Read More

February 29th, 2016

  HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTOR COMPANY v. SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa: Supreme Court, Middle Dist. 2015 – Google Scholar. While preparing for a presentation on “stigma” damages based on environmental contamination, I came across a tax assessment case (linked above) from Pennsylvania where the Supreme Court accepted a “standard” 5% reduction in property value for environmental contamination. A… Read More

February 9th, 2016

An emerging source of claims focuses on blasting as part of construction projects. Earlier this week in Las Vegas, the International Society of Explosive Engineers held its 42nd Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique, the world’s largest conference on explosives engineering. I was delighted to present my paper entitled “Blasting Claims 101: An Introduction… Read More

February 9th, 2016

SEAHAWK LIQUIDATING TRUST v. CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYDS LONDON | FindLaw. It was a dark and stormy night… Two of them, actually. South Carolina has its share of roller-coaster law on the definition of “occurrence” for purposes of insurance coverage (mainly in construction defect cases), but the recent Fifth Circuit case regarding damages to an… Read More

January 14th, 2016

Unlike North Carolina, where daily fines for violations of the covenants are capped at $100, South Carolina does not have a similar statutory limitation. It does not have a Planned Community Act. What it does have—the Horizontal Property Act—is silent on fines. While in North Carolina homeowners’ associations may impose fines (upon notice and opportunity… Read More

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