Bucks Jury Awards $151,325.00 against The Cutler Group, Inc. for defective stucco and other defects

Filed under: Stucco Home Litigation by Steven F. Fairlie @ April 17, 2013

Today a Bucks County jury awarded homeowners $151,325.00 against The Cutler Group, Inc. d/b/a The David Cutler Group for the defective construction of their stucco home in Jamison, Pennsylvania. The homeowners alleged that their home was so poorly built that it violated the implied warranty of habitability, due to defective and missing flashing details and other defects which permitted water to leak into the home and rot the wood substrate behind the stucco exterior. David Cutler himself testified during the three day trial. As in other cases we have handled, Cutler again argued that the homeowners, who did not buy their home as new construction but instead bought from the intial purchasers of the home, had no right to sue. The homeowners were forced to fix the house at their own expense and then sue Cutler for their damages. If you are living in a stucco house that suffers from construction defects like leaking windows, missing or improperly installed flashing, or water infiltration and mold behind your stucco walls, please call us for a consultation.

17 comments:

  1. Hsia Huang says:

    What are the chances of the first owner of the house winning against Cutler Group? We’ve owned our house since 2000. It was newly built and had the stucco remediation estimate for the water damages to be around $70,000.00 from May 16th, 2013.

    thanks.

  2. In many cases the chances are good, but in your case we would not advise bringing suit. Your home was built 13 years ago and the Pennsylvania Statute of Repose precludes suing the builder / vendor of a home for construction problems more than 12 years past the date of sale. Thus, you would spend a lot of money in lawyer’s fees and then you would be unlikely to recover your damages.

  3. Molly Jansen says:

    Builders have been getting away with shoddy work for way to long. I was a 2nd owner and paid $200M,to right the problems.

    Has your client collected?

  4. Unfortunately I can’t give that information out as it is not public record. I can tell you that the Court awarded an additional $21,000.00 or so in delay damages against the builder.

  5. Lori says:

    What are our chances as second owners on a David Cutler house that is 10 years old. We just had a stucco inspection on our home which we are trying to sell and now we find out we have over $80,000 in repairs.

  6. There are lots of issues involved in these cases but I see nothing in what you’ve written to suggest that your case is not worth pursuing. Please call us at 215 997 1000 to discuss your claim further.

  7. Liz says:

    Interesting. We live in a Cutler development, and closed on our home in May 2004. Several of our neighbors have already had remediation done on the exterior of their home.

    We have not had our stucco inspected, mostly because my husband is convinced he purchased the ONE home that doesn’t have this problem. My question is, given this 12-year limitation on lawsuit, do you think it advisable to have the inspection ASAP to see the extent of damage (if there is any) and get estimates for remediation? I mean, up until now we have not done the inspection, because we don’t have any obvious signs of damage…but if there is a chance to make Cutler pay in any way for his shoddy workmanship and propensity for cutting corners, I would be interested.

    Though I do wonder, what the chances of winning such a lawsuit would be, I mean is it even worth trying? I’ve heard Cutler tries to drag out the litigation, knowing full well the average homeowner can’t afford astronomical attorney fees. Final question, given this result, do you think it will be easier to win these sort of lawsuits against Cutler (we’re in Montgomery County)?

  8. Whether you are likely to succeed in your case is something we can only answer after a comprehensive consultation. There are so many potential issues in these cases that any off the cuff could very well be wrong. I can tell you, however, that I think the consultation would be well worth the $300 consultation fee we are currently charging. I strongly believe you should test your home and find out whether there is a problem or not, but there are many other issues that are likely to arise as a result of that. Finally, any delay on your part could also cause you to miss the four year statute of limitations for breach of implied warranty of habitability, so be careful not to miss that. Thanks, Steve

  9. Wendy says:

    If we have damages in the $20,000 range can we still sue? In some case I understand the legal fees will eat up the $20,000, but it seems so unfair that I have to pay out of pocket for David Cutler Groups shoddy construction.

  10. While you can still sue over damages in the $20,000.00 range I’m not sure it would normally be worth it if you have to hire an attorney and experts. As you guessed, legal fees could eat up much of any award that you might get. Good luck with your situation.

  11. erin papsun says:

    Looking to purchase a home in cutler development that was built in 2006 warrington ridge, many home have had the stucco moisture issue, the seller said they have been tested and a few areas came up high moisture so they are changing out all stucco this week to siding, is this the proper remediation, do you think there could be mold underneath and how would i find out? Just not sure if we should be considering this home or not?

  12. I will respond to you offline as I cannot represent you in the event that I already represent the sellers. Once you give me their names we can discuss this further, assuming I don’t represent the sellers.

  13. David Lutteroty says:

    If your house is built before 2003 your less likely to win,then a house July after. Most the new codes that call for the flashing, weep screed,double weather barrier,caulk,ect didn’t come into effect till 2003. I’m not saying this do defend the builder. The problem with these development homes are builders find the cheapest guys so they can make money. I’m not the most expensive stucco guy. But I’m priced to do it right and make a living. These builders under cut the stucco guys so bad it’s shotty work. A custom builder will always give you a better job as well as the subs on the job.

  14. Owners of homes built before 2003 can’t sue anyhow as the 12 year statute of repose has expired.

  15. David says:

    I have done a ton of stucco remediation. That’s where a lot of my work comes from. It’s not cheap but we try to be fair with pricing while doing it. A lot of it also has to do with the fact they just didn’t wrap the Windows right. Even before the Windows were set. Or what I do I use a 4″ window rubber sticky tape around them for extra precaution. Even though it’s not needed. There’s a lot to do to make it a great stucco job. If anyone has questions about stucco I can answer them.

  16. Robert G Varkonyi says:

    Why is it that homeowners in Pennsylvania cannot include their out-of-pocket expenses regarding lawyers fees in their litigation against The David Cutler Group?

  17. You can ask for anything you want, although Judges have been reluctant to award attorneys fees even in Consumer Protection Claims where they are provided for in the statute.

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