Laura Paton and Clinton Magill Obtain Dismissal of Six Claims Filed Against Their Stucco Subcontractor Client in Federal Court
Laura Paton and Clinton Magill recently obtained a dismissal of six (6) third-party claims filed against their stucco subcontractor client in the Beaufort Division of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. In this construction defect and product liability action, the owner of three amenity-facilities filed various claims against its general contractor and architect in 2017. Later, in 2018, the general contractor filed several third-party claims against its alleged subcontractors—including Laura and Clinton’s stucco subcontractor client—for negligence, gross negligence, breach of warranty, breach of contract, strict liability, apportionment, and indemnification. In response, Laura and Clinton filed a partial motion to dismiss which sought a dismissal of all of the claims asserted against their client except for the indemnification claim. In their motion, Laura and Clinton argued that (1) the general contractor’s claims for negligence, gross negligence, breach of warranty, breach of contract, and strict liability were not independently viable claims pursuant to the Stoneledge doctrine and its progeny; and (2) South Carolina law does not recognize a claim for “apportionment.” After briefing from both parties, the Court issued an opinion granting Laura and Clinton’s motion on the briefs and dismissing, with prejudice, the six other claims filed against their client.