Preg O’Donnell & Gillett Member Lori O’Tool and Associate David Chawes recently prevailed in a motion for summary judgment dismissing all claims brought against its subcontractor client by a group of former members of a limited liability company (“LLC”). The case was rather complex, because in an earlier underlying lawsuit, the condominium homeowners association (HOA) had brought construction defect claims against the original LLC and its members where the Washington Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the LLC could not sue or be sued, as it had dissolved itself several months before the underlying lawsuit was filed. However, the Supreme Court also ruled that the former LLC members could themselves sue and be sued. After the former LLC members settled the claims brought by HOA, the members sought recovery of the settlement amount from the subcontractors who had worked at the project, including Preg O’Donnell’s client, a plumbing and heating subcontractor. Preg O’Donnell moved for summary judgment arguing that the statute of limitations had long since expired on the claims brought by the former LLC members, and that in any event, their claims did not “relate back” to a set of earlier construction defect claims brought years before solely by the LLC (and not the LLC members) against the subcontractors. The King County Superior Court agreed and dismissed all claims against the plumbing and heating subcontractor. It was a significant victory demonstrating that an LLC’s members who dissolve the LLC’s corporate existence cannot, many years later, bring suit against the project subcontractors for those very same defects.
January 13th, 2012|News|