Judge tosses out lawsuit on South County copper pipe leaks

Bridgford Gleason & Artinian founding partner Richard Bridgford was quoted in an article that ran in the Orange County Register on August 1, 2015 about pinhole leaks in copper pipes that have caused a four year legal battle between homeowners, a developer and three water districts in the county.

On July 27th, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thierry P. Colaw threw out a class-action lawsuit against the local water districts over claims that the chemicals used were causing corrosion in copper pipes. Judge Colaw ruled that the districts can’t be sued because the EPA and the state of California set the standards for disinfectants in drinking water.

Some homeowners are now looking to take the developers to court.

Bridgford is representing homeowners in about a dozen class-action lawsuits against developers in Ladera Ranch and one in Yorba Linda.

“The lawsuits claim the problem lies in the copper piping used by builders. Developers by now should be aware of area water chemistry when deciding what building materials to use,” Bridgford said.

Two of Bridgford’s class-action cases have reached tentative settlements. A case against MBK Builders Inc. reached a settlement for roughly $1.3 million, while a settlement with William Lyon Homes for about $6 million was approved on Friday. The settlements are preliminary pending court approval.

“The copper piping in south Orange County leaks in a great number of homes and it’s created a ticking time bomb,” he said. “There will definitely be more litigation in the future.”

Orange County Register