On February 1, 2016, the New Jersey Appellate Division overruled the Trial Judge’s granting of a summary judgment motion pursuant to the six-year statute of limitations afforded under breach of contract property damage claims. In Palisades at Fort Lee Condo Ass’n v. 100 Old Palisade, LLC, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 193, the Appellate Court was faced with an appeal from a Condominium Association which lost its cause of action against various contractors who created the building prior to the Condominium Association’s formation.
By way of history, this 11-story parking structure and 30-story residential tower was purchased in 1998. Defendant contractors then began work improving the residential tower. Afterwards, the property operated as a rental property for approximately two years. On June 28, 2004, the property was sold to 100 Old Palisade, LLC, which began the process of converting the property into a condominium form of ownership pursuant to the New Jersey Condominium Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8B-1, et. seq.
In January 2005, Old Palisade issued a Public Offering which included an engineering report prepared by Ray Engineering, Inc. A Master Deed was created, in accordance with the condominium rules, providing that the Association, through its board members, was responsible for the maintenance and repair of the common areas of the property as defined by the Master Deed. Old Palisade retained control of the Board until members were chosen by unit owners. Upon the sale of 75% of the units, full control of the Board was transferred to the unit owners.
In July 2006, following the sale of the required number of units, the unit owners gained full control of the Association’s Board. The Association then retained Falcon Engineering Group to undertake an engineering evaluation of the property. In May 2007, Falcon produced a report which identified various construction defects in the property, including defects in the exterior wall, parking garage, roof, and plaza terraces. Falcon provided the report to the Association Board on June 13, 2007.
Plaintiff filed its first of eight Amended Complaints on March 12, 2009, asserting claims against various parties, including the persons and entities involved in the conversion of the property to condominium ownership. Plaintiff also asserted construction defect claims against various contractors who performed work on the property before its conversion.
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