One Houston Center, a 46-story skyscraper in downtown Houston, was completed in April 1978 and originally owned by Houston Center Corporation (HCC). The exterior included more than 12,000 Twindows, a dual-pane glass window unit manufactured and installed by PPG. By July of 1982, a large number of the Twindows showed fogging and discoloration. At HCC's request, PPG manufactured and installed replacements for one-fourth of the building's windows pursuant to a contractual warranty. The replacement project took more than two years. Several years later, HCC entered negotiations to sell One Houston Center to JMB. During its due diligence, JMB learned of the earlier window problems and that to a limited extent they continued. When JMB inquired whether any warranties still applied, PPG replied that all had expired. JMB bought the building "as is" in December 1989 as part of a $375 million purchase. HCC assigned to JMB all warranties relating to the building, and JMB waived all Deceptive Trade Practices Act (a state statute that provides remedies for certain unfair trade practices) claims against HCC. The Deceptive Trade Practices Act was designed to protect consumers by encouraging them to bring consumer protection actions. When extensive Twindows problems appeared in 1991, JMB sued PPG for violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and breaching warranties issued to HCC. Should a claim under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act be assignable?

  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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