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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration

Organizing your community to bring public attention to builder’s bad deeds and seeking assistance from local, state and federal elected officials has proven to be more effective and much quicker for thousands of families. You do have choices and alternatives.  Janet Ahmad

David Weekley Homes
Attorney Exposes Dick & David Weekley's Joke of Tort Reform
Tuesday, 07 October 2008

Comment on Article by Dick Weekley on Tort Reform - Homebuilders worse 
I have never seen a piece of garbage in print as bad as "The cost of crooked lawyers" Outlook article. I used to be a defense attorney and worked at the most prominent homebuilder defense firm in Texas, and homebuilders rip off consumers more than any trial lawyer in history. There were times when builders built a horrible house with a bad foundation and then they'd claim "Texas soils shift," when it was actually a badly poured foundation. As the walls of the house would crack and fall, the homeowners' lives in ruin because their dream home was destroyed, the attorneys I worked with and the builders would laugh, knowing that Texas law allows a homeowner no real recourse. Since 1989, when a plaintiff's attorney went on 60 Minutes and bragged he had the Texas Supreme Court bought and paid for, there has been nearly 20 years of "tort reform" lobbyists in Texas. While the targets are trial attorneys over and over again, when has the Chronicle ever really done serious front-page journalism on the real people harmed, the people who are injured?  Aaron A. Herbert, attorney Dallas

Molly Ivins in 1995 Discribed the Weekley Boys Special-Interest
Sunday, 20 January 2008

Redefining reform
Big business proponents contrive some of the worst bills of the 74th session. "Reform" (actually deform) of the Consumer Protection Act/Deceptive Trade Practices Act gives additional license to the worst kinds of businesses that operate in Texas. It's back to "buyer beware." If you get ripped off or even severely damaged by some sleazy business, don't bother trying to get your money back--much less any other compensation...Consider the case of Richard Weekley, a big-time real estate developer who owns shopping malls and--along with his brother--a big housing company. Weekley appeared in Austin as president of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, the folks who were going to "reform" our tort system, Governor George Dubya's pet project. Imagine my surprise when The Wall Street Journal listed Weekley as one of this session's biggest "winners." I'd have listed him as the session's biggest "over-reacher." When you behave so badly that one of the three top officeholders in Texas describes you as an "ass" and points out that tort reform would have been even more pro-bidness without your able assistance, I'd say "winner" was a little strong.

David Weekly Homes has something to sell
Friday, 28 December 2007

David Weekly's illusion and the Truth of Binding Mandatory Arbitration
David Weekly has something to sell and it not just houses.  He and his lobbying team spin a fictitious tale of builder woes and the fabricated promotion that “more construction defect lawsuits are being filed than ever before.”  The fact is that builder contracts include a Binding Mandatory Arbitration (BMA) clause that slams the doors of  America ’s judicial system and denies new home buyers their constitutional right to ever sue their builder for shoddy construction. Bob Perry and David Weekly are the kingpins, of untold wealth and brains behind the deceitful builders 'Right or Opportunity to Repairr' and the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) that forces families to BMA, with the intent to limit all builder responsibility and cheat buyers. The following article by David Weekly is the great self-serving homebuilding industry illusion. See related article: Homebuilder's Right-To-Repair Illusion and Arbitration Fairness Act 2007

Orlando Sentinel uncovers building defects
Thursday, 16 February 2006

Orlando Sentinel -
Reports on construction defects found in new David Weekley Homes

Texas Watch on Binding Arbitration
Thursday, 24 April 2003

A Report by the Texas Watch Foundation
Most people would think twice before they signed away their right to free speech. Many would hesitate before they agreed to waive the right to vote, and more than a few would pause before they passed on the right to freely worship the god of their choosing. The same can be said of the fundamental right to a jury trial. However, it is now simply commonplace for Texans to unknowingly sign away this cornerstone of democracy. Read more...

Dawn Richardson Family Story of a Toxic Home
Friday, 13 December 2002

David Weekley Homes' Hypocritical Donations Incite Families Hurt by Homebuilder
David Weekley Homes has hurt many families making them homeless, hurting them financially, and sometimes even injuring them physically. In the meantime, they have just given $50,000 to a national charity that provides homes to the temporarily homeless. This is beyond hypocritical - it is cruel and egregious that they would take hardworking families' money and build them houses so full of construction defects and contamination that they are unsafe to live in and then turn the other way refusing to take FULL responsibility for the economic damages, injuries, and pain and suffering they have caused.

Richardson vs. Weekley, Mold and More
Friday, 13 September 2002

New Weapons In The War On Toxic Mold
In March, the Richardsons sued the builder, David Weekley Homes, claiming that their negligence during the construction process created the optimal environment for the growth of toxic molds and compounds, many of which produce poisonous chemicals that cause chronic and acute health problems, including cancer.

Fine Print of Arbitration
Tuesday, 20 August 2002

Read the Fine Print
"We had no idea that by signing a contract we were giving up the right to ever have our story heard by a jury," says homeowner Dawn Richardson. "You never imagine that the people building your home are trying to hurt you." In March 2001, Dawn and her husband Scott filed suit against David Weekley Homes, claiming their new $300,000 Austin house was contaminated with toxic mold resulting from a water leak that began the previous year, just days after they moved in. Though the family spent only five weeks living in their new home, Dawn Richardson says both she and her young daughter suffered neurological damage that physicians diagnosed as environmental toxic exposure, which may be irreversible...Reggie James, director of Consumers Union's Southwest Regional Office, compared binding arbitration to a bullet: It does the same amount of harm to consumers whether they see it coming or not.

Dawn Richardson on the hight cost of builder defects
Tuesday, 13 August 2002

Deficient building practices cited in high home insurance rates
In May, Richardson, who has filed a lawsuit against the builder, testified in front of the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Business and Industry and has also testified for the Civil Services Committee. "I've talked to so many home owners and it's simply a really pervasive problem," she said. "We had pieces of wood in the homes that were put in moldy during the construction process." An uneducated work force, a premium placed on affordability, and a lack of statewide regulation are some of the factors officials cite in home problems that lead to increased insurance claims. "We need to build affordable housing, but the ramifications of affordability are costing us tons of money as a society in terms of insurance premiums, maintenance costs, water penetration costs, and lawsuits," said the national program manager of a Collin County building supplies company who spoke under the condition of anonymity. "Water penetration is caused by a dysfunctional process that uses poor quality materials and often has design flaws."

Richardson Family Weekly Home Featured in Washington Post
Sunday, 14 July 2002

Washington Post: No Suits Allowed - Increasingly, Arbitration Is the Only Recourse
Five weeks after Dawn and Scott Richardson and their family moved into their new $300,000 house in Austin, they moved out. Dawn Richardson says the house had become so contaminated with toxic mold and volatile chemicals -- benzene and formaldehyde and more -- that she and her then-16-month-old daughter suffered bloody noses, rashes, dizziness, shortness of breath and neurological disorders... Richardson is convinced she won't get a fair hearing. "We have not found a single example of a single homeowner who's ever won against a builder in binding arbitration," she said. "Why would an AAA [American Arbitration Association] arbitrator find in favor of the consumer when AAA is Weekley's exclusive arbitration firm? If the arbitrator finds against Weekley Homes, AAA will no longer be on the contract, and the arbitrator may be blackballed from future work."

Texas Lawyer on Binding Arbitration
Sunday, 02 June 2002

Mandatory Arbitration Hits Home
Texas and federal courts provide little protection to consumers trapped in arbitration agreements. The recent housing surge in the Lone Star State gave rise to a number of disputes between homeowners and homebuilders. Many homeowners learned, to their chagrin, that during the excitement of signing the contracts for their dream homes, they may have inadvertently signed away the constitutional right to have juries settle complaints against the homebuilders...In April 2002, Texas Lawyer reported an ongoing case of Dawn Richardson, an Austin homeowner, who filed a suit against David Weekley Homes after she learned that her family's new home allegedly was contaminated with dangerous levels of toxic mold and volatile organic compounds such as benzene, benzaldehyde, decane, heptane,formaldehyde, methylbenzene, octane, styrene and xylene.

Home Buyers Object to Clause in Sales Contracts
Thursday, 16 May 2002

Texas House panel hears complaints about binding arbitration requirement
Home buyers with horrifying tales of creeping mold, collapsing walls and heaving foundations converged on a Texas House subcommittee Wednesday to complain about how they unwittingly signed sales contracts preventing them from suing the builders they claim are responsible for their woes. "We're stuck with a house on our land that we don't want," Dawn Richardson of Austin told the House Subcommittee on Binding Arbitration. "We did not know that signing a construction contract . . . meant that we forever gave up our constitutional right to a trial by jury for any and all future disputes with our builder."

Leaky Weekleys: Privatize the 'Justice' System
Wednesday, 15 May 2002

Moldy 'Lemon' Homes Denied Day In Court
A Texas House panel today will explore if consumers are being hurt by businesses? increasing reliance on ?binding arbitration.? Consumers will decry the privatized ?justice? system that binding arbitration has created, while business interests that give millions of dollars to Texas politicians will rush to the defense of this plaintiff-hostile system.

Public Citizen: Arbitration too Expensive
Wednesday, 15 May 2002

Private arbitration criticized Report says court often cheaper; supporters say study is misleading
Private arbitration is not as cost effective and time efficient as its proponents have stated, according to a new report conducted by Public Citizen, a consumer organization.The study will be introduced this week to a Texas legislative panel starting a review of the role of arbitration in resolving legal and contractual disputes, according to officials at Public Citizen, which is based in Washington, D.C.The report found that for most low-income individuals, going to court remains cheaper and faster than private arbitration. It also found that many companies use the high cost of filing and pursuing arbitration to keep people from filing claims against them.

David Weekley Forces Arbitration
Friday, 26 April 2002

Builder Attempts to Compel All Claims to Arbitration
Travis Count Court conducted a hearing to rule on David Weekley Homes' motion to compel arbitration for all claims against them from Richardson. The Richardson's attorney, Mark Smith of Williams Bailey Law Firm responded that the costs to the Richardsons would be unreasonably excessive - well over $24,000 - while court costs in Travis County were only $150. The judge agreed that these excessive fees for arbitration would effectively deny the Richardsons a forum to seek justice.

David Weekley: Dreams were built on shifting sands
Thursday, 27 June 1996

Slab o' Trouble
Some David Weekley homebuyers discovered their dreams were built on shifting sands. What's worse, they say, is that Weekley knew...the foundation was splitting apart, in effect twisting the whole structure like a pretzel. When the kitchen wallpaper was peeled back, the Sheetrock looked like a spider web. "I came home and saw all the cracks," says Claudia, "and I started crying."...one of the windows suddenly groaned and bowed outward like a giant bubble, then cracked...A foundation repair company jacked up the house and put in piers to stabilize the slab -- three times.

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