Bayou Bend Towers Council of Co-Owners v. Manhattan Constr. Co

In Bayou Bend Towers Council of Co-Owners v. Manhattan Constr. Co., 866 S.W.2d 740, 744 (Tex. App.--Houston 14th Dist. 1993, writ denied), the Fourteenth Court affirmed a summary judgment granted on facts and claims strikingly similar to those in this case. 866 S.W.2d at 744. In that case, the co-owners of leaky condominiums sued the builder and subcontractors for negligence, breach of warranties, and violation of the DTPA in the construction of the condominiums. Id. at 741-42. The condos were substantially complete in 1981; leaks were apparent as early as 1982. Id. at 743. In 1983, the co-owners retained experts to detect the source of the leaks and also attempted repairs; when those repairs failed, they hired more experts to investigate and attempted more repairs, but the building continued to leak. Id. at 743-44. In March 1987, the co-owners decided against hiring an engineer as recommended by a consulting firm. Id. at 744. The court held that the co-owners' knowledge of the leaks and cracks in precast concrete panels beginning in 1982, and certainly no later than 1987, negated tolling based on either the discovery rule or any fraudulent concealment. Id. at 747. The court held that "knowledge of facts, conditions, or circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to make inquiry leading to the discovery of the concealed cause of action is in the law equivalent to knowledge of the cause of action for limitation purposes." Id. The court also held that the co-owners failed to show that the defendants had any duty to disclose wrongs or that they acted with a fixed purpose to conceal those wrongs. Id. The suit, filed in 1991, was time barred. Id.