Delaware sues home builder Ryan Homes
Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden wants to make an example of one of the biggest home builders in Pennsylvania. Biden announced the details of the state's lawsuit against Ryan Homes Wednesday morning. The builder has built development in 10 states including Delaware. The state's suit claims that Ryan Homes promised amenities to home buyers in the Odessa National development in Townsend, Delaware, but never delivered those amenities.
Biden says the promised amenities included access to an 18-hole championship golf course, a clubhouse with a restaurant and fitness center, and other recreational areas. But, Biden says the promises never materialized, "Home owners received social memberships to this golf course with no clubhouse. Their memberships entitled them to four free rounds of golf, not including cart fees." In return for those limited amenities, home owners were required to pay $1,200 a year.
The state's lawsuit seeks penalties of up to $10,000 for each of the alleged 39 violations of the consumer fraud act, plus reimbursement of the fees for 39 home buyers, and possibly punitive damages. If the state wins its suit, Biden says the total cost for the builder could be more than$500,000.
Biden says this is not the first time Ryan Homes has been accused of not delivering. In 2008, the Ryan Homes agreed to settle similar complaints from buyers in other sections of the development. In that case, Ryan agreed to pay the $1,200 annual fee for 71 home buyers for the golf club membership. The builder did not admit any liability.
Biden says investigators had hoped to solve the new dispute in a similar out of court settlement. "Unfortunately at this point, that has not been the case, and we were forced into a position where we had to proceed in the courts to enforce the law."