FLORIDA – Drug Court judge testifies in condo defect lawsuit
Article Courtesy of First Coast News
By Anne Schindler
Published May 9, 2016
Sampson, who also serves as President of the Heron’s Landing Condo Association Board, said the community was forced to reach out to an independent structural engineer for help, because DR Horton downplayed the severity of the problems. “The more we discovered the more there was,” Sampson told the jury. “It just kept growing and growing. So we really needed his expertise to get a handle on this cancer that was spreading through the complex.”
Sampson joins a parade of witnesses who have attested to a range of construction defects at the 240-unit development. Residents have testified about poor soundproofing, inadequate drainage, air conditioning failures, broken plumbing, even garage doors falling off.
The company notes the buildings passed inspection and were certified by the city of Jacksonville.
The lawsuit, filed in 2013, is unusual because construction defect claims are typically handled in secret arbitration proceedings. Virtually every new home contract prohibits owners from suing in open court, and instead forces them into a closed hearing with the builder. Because this case was filed not by individual condo owners, but by the condo association, the claim is freed from those limitations. Read more: