Archive: February 13, 2008

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Kitchen Contractor Potentially Liable Under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act
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General Contractor Cannot Bring Direct Action Against Subcontractor’s Insurer Regardless of General Contractor’s Status as Additional Insured Under Subcontractor’s Policy

Kitchen Contractor Potentially Liable Under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act

CZAR, Inc. v. Heath, 939 A.2d 837 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2008)

In this case, a homeowner brought claims against a custom kitchen contractor under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.  During the construction of a new home, the homeowner had contracted directly with a custom kitchen contractor for the installation of custom kitchen cabinets, interior doors, a front door, and certain moldings.  The trial concluded that the home improvement practice regulations found in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.1 to 16.2 were not applicable to plaintiff and, therefore, dismissed the CFA claims.  The trial court reasoned that the kitchen contractor’s work was not a “home improvement” within the meaning of the regulation because the construction and installation of the doors, cabinets, and moldings were part of the construction of a new residence and, therefore, excluded from the definition of “home improvement.”

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General Contractor Cannot Bring Direct Action Against Subcontractor’s Insurer Regardless of General Contractor’s Status as Additional Insured Under Subcontractor’s Policy

Ohio Cas. Ins. Co. v. Time Warner Entm’t Co., L.P., 244 S.W.3d 885 (Tex. App. Feb. 6, 2008)

In this case, a general contractor brought a declaratory judgment action against its subcontractor’s primary and umbrella insurers to recover the cost of removing and replacing fiber optic cable that the subcontractor installed improperly.  Although the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the general contractor, the Dallas Court of Appeals reversed.
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