Almost 4,000 homes in Fresno County have been involved in construction defect lawsuits during the past ten years. However, only a very small percentage of these houses are sold in transactions where the home's history is properly disclosed. This free website allows potential buyers and lenders to search by property address for any home in Fresno County to determine whether it has been involved in a construction defect lawsuit in the past 10 years.
Although many homes that are involved in construction defect litigation are part of a Complaint in which every major part of the home is claimed to be defective (see actual Complaints from court files), California law takes a more narrow view of defects for which damages may be awarded. Generally speaking, an alleged defect must allow damage to be caused to another part of the house before a valid claim can be stated. For example, a roof leak which causes staining or damage to interior drywall is an example of a recoverable defect. A cracked sidewalk which does not allow resulting damage is not a recoverable defect.
If your house was part of a construction defect lawsuit, you should seek more information about the case. One place to look is in the Clerk's office of the Fresno County Superior Court, which is located at 1130 "O" Street, Fresno, CA 93721. The Clerk's office is generally open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. If you provide them with the case name and number of the matter in which your house was involved, they can provide you with the file on the case for your review. The Complaint in the file will identify the Plaintiffs' counsel, who you can contact. You can also contact the seller of the home, who should be able to provide you with copies of a Defect List and Cost of Repair as well as a copy of the Settlement Agreement which resolved the case.
If you are thinking about buying a house which was involved in a construction defect lawsuit, you should be sure to understand the specific nature of the alleged defects, what repairs (if any) were actually performed on the defects, and determine for yourself whether the condition of the house is acceptable before agreeing to purchase it. If you determine that the house was involved in a construction defect litigation and that no repairs of alleged defects were performed, you should determine for yourself whether the price you are thinking of paying includes an appropriate discount for the allegedly defective nature of the home.