Basura v. U.S. Home Corp – Case Brief Summary (California)

Basura v. U.S. Home Corp. (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 1205, involved a dispute arising out of a large scale residential development project in Palmdale.

More than 60 homeowners brought an action for design and construction defects. (Basura, supra, 98 Cal.App.4th at p. 1208.)

The court, following Allied-Bruce, held the contracts involved interstate commerce. (Id. at p. 1214.)

The evidence indicating interstate commerce was involved included declarations by U.S. Home executives stating:

(1) the construction of the development project involved the receipt and use of building materials and equipment which were manufactured and/or produced outside California;

(2) U.S. Home contracted with out-of-state design professionals, trade contractors, subcontractors and others;

(3) U.S. Home communicated by interstate mail and telephone with out-of-state manufacturers, design professionals, trade contractors, subcontractors and their employees;

(4) U.S. Home engaged in marketing and advertising activities throughout the country using interstate media. (Ibid.)

After reviewing the declarations in the record, the court concluded:

"The indicia of interstate commerce are far greater than in Allied-Bruce Terminix Cos. v. Dobson (1995) 513 U.S. 265. . . . The construction of the subject development project in Palmdale involved the receipt and use of building materials and equipment such as GE Appliances, Merrilet Cabinets, Majestic Fireplaces, Alanco Windows, Carrier Heat Air equipment, Progress Lighting, Delta plumbing, World Carpet, and Armstrong flooring, which were manufactured and/or produced in states outside California, including Nevada, Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee and Georgia, and which were shipped to the jobsite in Palmdale. Further, in connection with the instant development: U.S. Home contracted with out-of-state design professionals, trade contractors, subcontractors and others; U.S. Home communicated by interstate mail and telephone with out-of-state manufacturers, design professionals, trade contractors, subcontractors and their employees; and U.S. Home engaged in marketing and advertising activities throughout the country using interstate media. These uncontroverted facts in the record compelled the conclusion that the . . . agreements between U.S.Home and plaintiffs involved interstate commerce." (Basura, supra, 98 Cal.App.4th at p. 1214.)