Things You Should Know
|From The Desk of Jon Cherry||
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Dear Sun City Hilton Head Community:
As you may know, a Charleston law firm recently issued a press release regarding the award of damages to a Sun City resident who claimed defective stucco application on their home. This arbitration was originally initiated as a class action relating to what plaintiffs’ attorneys’ claimed to be a widespread stucco issue in the community, but the class action was denied (order attached below) because the arbitrators found that the plaintiffs’ and/or plaintiffs’ lawyers’ interests were adverse to the interests of the other homeowners in Sun City Hilton Head. With regard to the single remaining home in that arbitration, Del Webb determined over a year ago that there was an isolated problem with regard to the mix of stucco on that home, and Del Webb offered to replace all of the stucco on the home (offer letter attached below.) The homeowner, through the plaintiffs’ attorneys, rejected that offer; and more than a year later the arbitrator found exactly what Del Webb offered -- that the stucco on the home needed to be replaced.
The same firm representing the plaintiff in the arbitration is continuing to encourage litigation by other residents at Sun City Hilton Head for what they claim is widespread defective stucco applications in the community. While Pulte/Del Webb recognizes everyone’s right to utilize the legal system, we see this action as both unfortunate and unnecessary. We work hard to deliver quality homes and intend to stand behind the homes we build. In fact, we attempted to repair the stucco on the plaintiff/homeowner’s home more than a year ago. The plaintiff/homeowner refused our offer, however, and has substantially delayed the repairs to his home.
After an initial claim was filed by the law firm, Pulte Homes/Del Webb hired a third-party firm to survey more than 2,500 homes in the community to determine if there was any frequency to cracking in the stucco cladding. The survey determined that there are no widespread deficiencies in the stucco applications of Sun City Hilton Head homes, yet the Plaintiff’s attorneys continue to encourage residents to get involved with what we feel is a fruitless lawsuit. Meanwhile, as many of you know, for some time now, the company has been diligently pursuing any repairs necessary on homes throughout the community—whether they are related to stucco or not.
We’d like to thank the many homeowners who have expressed their satisfaction with Pulte/Del Webb and disappointment at the actions taken by law firms encouraging unnecessary lawsuits that jeopardize this community’s reputation. We would also like to thank the residents who copied us on their letter to the plaintiffs’ lawyers telling them that they hired their own expert who determined that nothing was wrong with their stucco (and requested that they be removed from the plaintiffs’ lawyers list.) Unfortunately, we have found that in many cases, justice seems too seldom the goal, greed too often the motive and unhappy homeowners are too often the result of such unnecessary lawsuits.
If a homeowner is concerned about an issue related to the construction of their home, we will gladly evaluate the situation and address all warrantable items. If your home is out of warranty, or, the item identified is a maintenance issue, we are more than happy to provide recommendations for Sun City Hilton Head homeowners to conduct any necessary maintenance. Please contact Customer Relations at 843-705-8728 for assistance.
Pulte Homes/Del Webb takes pride in our reputation in the building industry and our track record of building high quality homes. Frankly, this is probably one of the reasons you purchased your home here at Sun City Hilton Head. According to the J.D. Power and Associates New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study, Pulte Homes has received more first place awards than any other builder. We are proud of the communities we have built and stand behind the construction of the homes.
In the near future, you may hear more about these attorneys and their tactics as they try to create an atmosphere that encourages lawsuits. They may attempt to sway you with stories of their many and substantial victories. They may even try to frighten you by having their usual band of paid experts pontificate about the so-called defects in your home’s construction.
But what you won’t hear about is:
The negative impact of such a suit on your home and community; potentially impacting resale property values in Sun City Hilton Head.
How such an action takes many years to reach resolution and how Pulte/Del Webb will aggressively defend its reputation against any unfair claims.
The disruption and inconvenience homeowners may face as a result of inspections and destructive testing of their homes.
How any monetary result first is applied against lawyers’ fees and their “expert” service fees.
How the plaintiff attorneys take steps to eliminate communication between Pulte/Del Webb and homeowners; essentially not allowing us to perform any routine warranty work on a home engaged in such an action.
How homeowners may be required to disclose the lawsuit and the dubious “defects” alleged by the plaintiffs’ attorneys at the time they sell their home.
Having built more than 6,700 homes in this community and having recently opened a new Del Webb community nearby, we plan to stick around Bluffton for many years to come. Our reputation is our proudest asset, and our goal has never changed: to build quality communities. We continue to be committed to that goal and your satisfaction.
As we work to provide you with the most up-to-date information on issues that may arise in the community, we would like to share with you the arbitration orders related to this issue. If you are interested, you can read the full order denying the class action here, the full arbitration order on the single house here, and our offer to correct the stucco on the plaintiff’s house here. You can see for yourself our commitment to customer satisfaction.
Thank you for continuing to let us serve you at Sun City Hilton Head. If you have any questions, please let us know.
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Delivered via email, WWW editor - Steve Koehl. Revised: December 03, 2008.