Subsequent Purchaser Can Assert Claims for Construction Defects

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This matter deals with the defective Chinese drywall that was installed in homes years ago.

October 17, 2022
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

Can a subsequent purchaser pursue construction defect claims relating to the original construction of the property? This was the threshold issue on a motion for summary judgment by a drywall manufacturer against a subsequent purchaser of a home in Karpel v. Knauf Gips KG, 2022 WL 4366946 (S.D. Fla. 2022). This matter deals with the defective Chinese drywall that was installed in homes years ago. The plaintiffs, which were subsequent purchasers of a home, sued the manufacturer of the defective drywall for various theories including negligence, negligence per se, strict liability, breach of express and/or implied warranty, private nuisance, unjust enrichment, and Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The trial court noted, from the onset, that Florida does NOT have a subsequent purchaser rule that prohibits subsequent purchasers from asserting construction defect claims. With this consideration in mind, the trial court went through the claims the plaintiff, as a subsequent purchaser, asserted against the manufacturer to determine whether they were viable claims as a matter of law.

Negligence Claim
The trial court found that a subsequent purchaser could sue in negligence. “Florida courts have long allowed subsequent purchasers to sue for negligence including in construction defect litigation.” Karpel, supra, at *2.

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at


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