Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post
March 17, 2015
A Palm Beach Gardens condominium marketed as luxury living during the housing boom is seeking tens of millions of dollars from developer Kolter Signature Homes for cracked concrete slabs, leaking windows and multiple other alleged construction defects.
Attorneys representing the San Matera Condominium Association in its five-year-old lawsuit were hoping to get a trial date Thursday during a status conference hearing. But Palm Beach County Senior Judge William Slaughter said he didn’t want to set a trial until a permanent judge was appointed.
An estimated 30 attorneys attended Thursday’s hearing as the case has picked up numerous defendants in its five-year history, including subcontractors, materials providers and architects.
Some of the original companies are now out of business, said David Haber, a Miami attorney representing the condominium association.
“Their defense is blame it on someone else. We say Kolter was the developer and contractor,” Haber said. “They say it’s a different Kolter company, we say Kolter is Kolter.”
Attorney David Haber, of Haber Slade, addresses Palm Beach County Senior Judge William Slaughter at a status conference Thursday. An estimated 30 attorneys packed the Palm Beach County courtroom in the case of San Matera Condominium Association vs. Kolter Signature Homes. Haber represents the association.
San Matera has 676 units. Many owners bought during the height of the market, including condo association president Jackie Durham, who paid $375,000 for her two bedroom unit. The property appraiser listed its 2014 value at $159,500.
“There is no major system that is without problems,” Durham said.
Haber said problems at the condominium, including balconies that slope the wrong way or have no slope, didn’t culminate until 2009 when the developer handed over governance to the association. The association then paid for a “turnover report” that found roof leaks, stucco issues, and even problems with light poles that have inferior foundations.
“The existence or causes of some of these defects in the reports were not readily recognizable by persons who lack special knowledge and or training,” the lawsuit says.