Top Homebuilder Dinged With $9.6M Verdict

     JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CN) — Concluding a 38-day trial, a Florida jury awarded a condominium community $9.6 million in a construction-defect case against the nation’s largest homebuilder.
     Heron’s Landing Condominium Association of Jacksonville Inc. sued D.R. Horton Inc. – Jacksonville in June 2013, accusing the company of not properly building the community. D.R. Horton is the largest home construction company in the United States, according to various reports.
     In the original complaint, filed by attorney James Birr of Jimerson & Cobb, Heron’s Landing claimed there were multiple defects in the construction of 20 residentail building, including improper stucco application and improper window installations, among other defects.
     “Each of the defects were either known to exist by defendant during the course of construction or should have been known to exist by defendant through the exercise of reasonable care and after reasonable inspection during the course of construction,” the complaint states.
     A 38-day trial ended last Thursday after the jury found D.R. Horton negligent in building the condominium buildings, according to a First Coast News report.
     Heron’s Landing was awarded $9.6 million in damages. The award is only for building defects and does not include punitive damages.
     Barry Ansbacher, attorney for Heron’s Landing, told Courthouse News that the case had to go to trial because the issues could not be resolved in arbitration and “the parties just saw the case differently.”
     “When mediation failed, it was set to go to trial,” he said.
     Attorneys for D.R. Horton did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment sent Friday.
     Two other companies — Windsor Falls Condominium Association and Autumn Glen Townhome Owners Association — also sued D.R. Horton in 2014. The Windsor Falls case is expected to go to trial in September.

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