Settlement reached in $7 million class action

A group of north Douglas County residents involved in a class action lawsuit will receive more than $7 million after settling with Syncon Homes and its subcontractors over drainage and other construction problems.

Another $385,000 beyond that settlement was paid to the homeowners by roofers for repairs.

Attorneys, who have been litigating the issues for three years, enumerated the details of the agreement before District Judge Michael Gibbons, who accepted the settlement Wednesday.

Syncon will contribute over $2 million and more than 20 subcontractors will provide the balance, to be distributed between the 181 homeowners involved in the suit based on individual claims.

Wayne and Leah Carlson were the lead plaintiffs, filing in 2003 after finding water in their crawlspace and mold in their Silverado Drive home.

Their 7-year-old son, Adam, developed severe allergies and a nagging cough he didn't have before moving into the home, they stated in the court files.

A motion was filed to include other parties in May of 2004, when others joined the suit.

Valley Vista Drive resident Charles Lambert filed complaints concerning drainage problems and ponding in his yard, according to legal records.

Christine and Erick Newell of Amador Circle found water under their house. Silverado Drive resident Jeaninne Weathers had ponding in both sideyards. Shirley Dieper of Valley Vista Drive had a deteriorating stem wall in her garage, water in her crawlspace and mold in her walls, according the records.

"The settlement amount to each homeowner will be sufficient to repair construction defects as determined by experts in the case," said Robert Maddox, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Las Vegas attorneys Griffith Hayes and Susan Bush represented Syncon.

The proceeds, minus $850,000 for out-of-pocket costs, will be distributed among the homeowners for damages. If homeowners don't sign a statement releasing the defendants from any further responsibility, the money will be returned to the defendants, officials said Wednesday.

The conditions of the settlement will be mailed to those involved by June 2 and a hearing is set before Judge Mike Fondi at 2 p.m. June 26, to hammer out any remaining questions.

A second hearing is scheduled in District Court at 10 a.m. June 27 for a final determination as to the equity of the settlement. The money must be paid by July 15 and homeowners will have until July 31 to claim their settlements.

n Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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