The nation’s largest homebuilder may finally be forced to pay one of the largest construction-defect payouts in local history.
Homebuilder DR Horton had appealed a landmark 2016 jury verdict, which awarded residents of the Beach Boulevard condo community of Heron’s Landing $9 million, or nearly $38,000 per condo.
Residents and experts testified at the 6-week trial that the condos violated building code and were riddled with defects, including cracked stucco and leaky roofs.
DR Horton appealed the jury verdict, but the First District Court of Appeals recently upheld the award.
Heron’s Landing Board Vice President Barbara Tullius says the community is ready to move on.
“It has been a long time coming. It has been years and we have fought valiantly and the people of this community have been wronged," Tullius said. "And it’s time 'America’s Homebuilder' does the right thing and gives us our funds to fix our places.”
George Svadeba agrees. He said, “Just let us have the money that that courts awarded. Let us get on with our lives, and quit drawing this out in court.”
He adds, “The legal battle’s getting old.”
First Coast News could not reach the company for comment. Throughout the trial, the company refused to discuss the case or the claims. However, DR Horton’s Chief Operating Officer defended the company’s construction at trial, saying he hoped to one day sell the plaintiffs another DR Horton home.
Despite the appellate court ruling, the case may not be over yet. Friday, the company filed a motion for a rehearing.