Heron's Landing community wins court appeal, still waiting on millions from D.R. Horton

Article Courtesy of Action News Jax Channel 47

By Kevin Clark

Published January 16, 2019

A condominium community off Beach Boulevard is still waiting for millions of dollars in settlement money, more than 2 and 1/2 years after a jury ruled homebuilder D.R. Horton negligent in building it.

The Heron’s Landing community has been fighting D.R. Horton since 2009. Homeowners have claimed that construction defects led to cracked stucco, along with leaking roofs and windows.

“We’ve got a lot of leaks,” said George Svadeba, one of the original homeowners.

In 2016, a jury found D.R. Horton negligent in building the 240-unit community.

Just a couple of weeks ago, an appellate court upheld the jury’s decision.

Court documents say, the builder’s “own project supervisor acknowledged several defects and testified that had he seen or known about them, he would have had them remedied prior to the completion of the project.”

But D.R. Horton has now filed a motion for rehearing, essentially asking the appellate court to change its mind.

Heron’s Landing won’t see any payout just yet. The initial settlement was $9.6 million, but attorneys tell Action News Jax it has ballooned to more than $13 million, due to interest and fees.

“Once the funds are released and this nightmare of a lawsuit is over, we’ll be able to put everything back together again,” said Svadeba.

Action News Jax tried to contact D.R. Horton, and will provide an update when we hear back.

More than 18 months later, a condominium community off Beach Boulevard still hasn’t received settlement money from the nation’s largest home builder.

Last year, a jury found that D.R. Horton was negligent when building the Heron’s Landing community.


The 240-unit community was built between 2005 and 2009. Since that time, homeowners have claimed construction defects have led to cracked stucco, along with leaking roofs and windows.

“The leaks come down. They get in the wall. They cause mold, which causes a lot of remission we have to do,” said John Sampson, president of the Heron’s Landing Condominium Association Board.

The company was ordered to pay $9.6 million in damages, with interest accruing by the day.

But Heron’s Landing will have to wait, as D.R. Horton is appealing the verdict.

“Until we can actually recover on the lawsuit, we can’t do a lot of the repairs that need to be done,” said Sampson.

In court documents, attorneys for the home builder argue that the trial wasn’t fair because evidence of damage wasn’t “scientifically valid.”

In the last two months, Action News Jax has been investigating allegations of shoddy construction by the company.