Home Insurance in 95835>Question Details

Eflat, Home Owner in 95835

Will anyone honor a construction defect claim against John Laing Homes?

Asked by Eflat, 95835 Thu Jan 13, 2011

I have a 10 year old home built by John Laing Homes in Sacramento, CA. We have shifting or settling beyond what one would expect as normal. Our insurance company had an engineering firm assess the situation and they reported one of the grades alongside the house was not properly compacted. As an "original construction defect", this is not covered by insurance.

Our agent suggest that even though JLH is out of business, someone may have bought their assets and could possibly honor a claim being made. She had no idea where I'd start looking, so I'm asking for help(!) here on where to even begin.

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I just wanted to make it clear that John Laing's bankruptcy discharge does not extinguish the debt/liability itself. It just means that you can no longer go after the discharged debtor (i.e., John Laing). John Laing's insurance company is not relieved from it's liability as a result of John Laing's bankruptcy, nor would a co-owner who did not file for bankruptcy be able to escape liability. Time is not on your side because the house is 10 years old and you should contact an attorney immediately to check into this. Unless there are circumstances that tolled the statute of limitations, you may be out of luck. The sooner you find out the better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
MVP'08
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A Real Estate lawyer will be able to answer your questions with the most accuracy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 14, 2011
Eflat...

I am fascinated by this problem you are experiencing...

How much is it going to cost to remedy the problem...? or... is it something that can't be fixed... have you had more than one engineering firm look at it...

I'm just curious...

Let us know what happens...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
Oh, the link to Emaar story in Builder is broken... You can research stories on Emaar's disastrous acquisition of John Laing by googling Emaar John Laing.

Emaar lost at least $687 million because of John Laing (Probably $2 billion lost). However, they have many more billions to spare, so don't feel too sorry for Emaar.

Emaar is still in business building the worlds tallest tower in Dubai and many other projects.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
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Several years ago I had a friend that was in a similar situation in the Bay Area (not the same builder as yours). She hired an attorney who found the original insurer and they did pay the claim, it took several months. The key in her case was it was just slightly less than 10years when the suit was filed, so the defect was covered, if it had been over 10years she would have been out of luck. Find an attorney quick!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
"someone may have bought their assets and could possibly honor a claim"

Assets are not liabilities. They are exact opposites. You are hoping to find some company that assumed Laings liabities.

The new owner(s) of any of Laings old assets want nothing to do with your claim. If the bankruptcy had not already been discharged, you could conceivably put your claim into the bankruptcy court.

Speaking of insurance.. If John Laing bought a long term construction defect policy ten years ago that is in still in effect there is a remote chance it could be a remedy. Yeah, I know that is unlikely, but such policies did exist at one time. They were called 2-10 Home Warranties. But, just like your homeowners insurance policy, they probably have a clause that excludes your specific problem. That is the way of most insurance companies: collect premiums, deny claims.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
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John Laing originally filed a chapter 11 reorganization petition, but later decided to liquidate assets rather than reorganizing and they converted the chapter 11 to a chapter 7 according to this article http://www.builderonline.com/debt/john-laing-homes-to-liquid… which means that their liabilities were discharged except for those that are not dischargeable pursuant to the law. If there is any residual liability for construction defects, perhaps you would want to look to Emaar Properties that purchased the corporate parent company according to the referenced article. This would be an excellent question for your prepaid legal provider law firm, if you have a prepaid legal membership. If you don't, you may want to get one because it sounds like you may have lots of questions. For as little as $16/month you can consult with an attorney from a top rated law firm concerning an unlimited # of issues covering all areas of law nationwide http:// http://(www.16or25.com). Thus, for very little money, you can find out if you have a case. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
MVP'08
Contact
Although it may be possible to find out whom bought Laing's assets - you still have to PROVE liability.

The cost to litigate will probably not be worthwhile - even with a significant claim.

Check with a local law firm - and see if any of them will take the case without an up front fee. The call this taking the case on contingency.

If someone is willing to take the case - it may have merit. Otherwise - you are probably stuck,


Gerard Dunn
Associate Broker
Serving Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia
703-216-9100
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
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