A couple in South Philly has filed suit against a residential contractor, Can Impex USA of Broomall, Pennsylvania, accusing the company of selling them a stucco-clad home with serious structural defects, the Penn Record reports.
“Structural & Material Defects” In South Philadelphia Stucco Home, Couple Claims
The couple contracted with Can Impex in 2015, purchasing a property on Mifflin Street, but immediately after moving in, they began to experience major problems, their new lawsuit claims. “Inherent” construction defects, the couple says, led to widespread water infiltration.
In constructing the home, Can Impex made numerous mistakes, improperly-installing the house’s stucco exterior and failing to provide the structure with an appropriate drainage management system. “The various defects,” the couple writes, “constitute structural error and material failures.” Due to the water damage at their home, the couple has been forced to move out on multiple occasions, they claim, allowing mold remediation specialists and home improvement contractors to work on the problems.
But none of these repairs, the couple continues, have been handled by Can Impex, despite the contractor agreeing to a five-year residential warranty at the time of settlement. The couple claims to have notified Can Impex of the issues in a “timely” manner, but so far, the company has “refused and / or failed to remedy the structural errors and material failures,” they allege.
Family Displaced By Remediation Efforts
That’s left the couple alone to pay for the repairs on their own, the lawsuit goes on to say. “The plaintiffs have spent considerable sums to repair the property, and will continue to spend considerable sums in order to finish the necessary repairs,” the complaint states.
As we’ve noted elsewhere, stucco remediation projects often cost in excess of $100,000. Faced by an improperly-installed stucco exterior, especially one leading to severe water damage, many contractors are forced to tear through a home’s entire facade. Some buildings need to be stripped to the studs when structural beams have been rotted due to moisture infiltration. Sheathing, framing and insulation may all be compromised. Stucco remediation is a long-term investment, but it’s often one that can’t be avoided.
“Crisis” Of Stucco Failure Grips Northeast
Needless to say, families are put at risk when their home is unable to withstand even the mild rain and snow fall seen in South Philadelphia. Of course, these projects also require the work of skilled contractors to complete properly; it’s far harder to rebuild a damaged home from the inside out than repair cosmetic faults confined to the exterior. But as we’ve seen in the last few years, hundreds of homes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York may be marred by structural defects similar to the ones alleged in the Philadelphia couple’s recent lawsuit.
In fact, a number of construction experts believe that homes in the Northeast are currently facing a “crisis” of stucco failure. Two major developers in particular have come under fire: Toll Brothers and The David Cutler Group. Both companies are billed as the region’s leading luxury home builders, but dozens of homeowners have begun to speak out.
In residential developments throughout Pennsylvania, a series of stunning reports from 6ABC show that communities across the Commonwealth may be crumbling from the inside out due to faulty stucco installation.
Toll Brothers, David Cutler Spark Controversy
Our own experienced attorneys have already filed lawsuits on behalf of over 10 families against the David Cutler Group, accusing the developer of building serious construction defects into their homes. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth’s Attorney General has also filed suit against the company, accusing the David Cutler Group of violating industry standards, manufacturer specifications and Pennsylvania’s consumer protection laws.
Toll Brothers, an even bigger company, has, in its own 2016 financial report, estimated that $324.4 million would have to be set aside to repair failing stucco properties.
Developers Refuse To Repair Damage, Families Say
Even so, many families say Toll Brothers and the David Cutler Group haven’t been willing to repair their stucco issues. In many cases, the companies appear to deny repairs to any people who own a home that’s more than 12 years old. The statute for limitations on construction defect lawsuits in Pennsylvania is 12 years, beginning when the construction project is completed.
The implications are clear, at least in the minds of these homeowners. Toll Brothers and the David Cutler Group don’t feel like they need to repair these homes, the families argue, because the owners have already lost their right to sue. It’s no surprise that homeowners who still have their legal right to recourse are choosing to act on it, filing construction defect lawsuits and demanding financial compensation.