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Dream home had major defects, with mold around doors and windows, plaintiffs claimed - VERDICT $285,000


Dream home had major defects, mold, plaintiffs claimed

VERDICT $285,000

CASE Kenneth A. Zehe and Janeen M. Zehe, Individually and Representing Their Minor Children v. Stephen P. Byrne and Greenway Constructors, Inc., No. GN3OO341

COURT Travis County District Court, ZOlst, TX

JUDGE Suzanne Covington

DATE 12-16-2OO4


ATTORNEY(S) Andrew E. Toscano, Gene Toscano, Inc., San Antonio, TX


In late 2OOO or early 2OO1, plaintiffs Kenneth A. Zehe, 36, an airline pilot, and Janeen M. Zehe, 37, hired Greenway Constructors to build a custom home on a 9-acre lot in the Angel Bay subdivision in Austin on Lake Travis. In late 2001, shortly after moving in, the Zehes began to notice water leaks along the rear patio doors and windows. Initial repair efforts by Greenway did not satisfy the Zehes, who then hired an engineer, Norman L. Cooper, to perform an inspection of the entire residence. Cooper reported finding numerous defects. In addition to foundation and structural framing deficiencies, the Zehes claimed defects in almost every aspect of construction, including stone masonry, stucco, decking and electrical work. Untreated wood was in direct contact with the topsoil, said the plaintiffs' artorneys. Greenway asserted counterclaims, which were dismissed on summary judgment. The Zehes claimed that the house was their "dream" home. The Zehes moved out and claimed that the house would have to be demolished and completely rebuilt. They further claimed that, because of the stigma associated with the alleged defects, the house had no market value and could not be sold.

The jury found negligence and violation of the DTPA by Greenway. This project was the last one that Greenway intended to accept, and after completing it, Greenway closed.



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