In Reynoldsburg, it's known as the $3 million house.
But it has nothing to do with the home's value or amenities.
In fact, the house has been empty for more than two years. A blue tarp covers a hole where the builders tore off part of the stucco exterior but never repaired it. Inside, mold thrives.
Roman and Jennifer Cosner paid $219,000 for the new home in the Slate Ridge subdivision in March 2005. They had high hopes.
"We were looking forward to a new house with no issues where we didn't have to do anything," said Mr. Cosner. He had his hands full running his dog day-care business.
The Cosners were swayed by a one-year warranty and promises in Maronda Homes' sales literature, which extolled quality materials and skilled workmanship.
What they got was a house riddled with deficiencies and mold that sickened Mrs. Cosner and the Cosners' son, Roman Jr., forcing them to leave.
"It's one of those stories that you'd never believe if you haven't lived it," Mr. Cosner said.
In February, a Franklin County Common Pleas Court jury agreed that Maronda Homes had turned the American dream into the Cosners' nightmare.
The judge awarded the Cosners $2.2 million in compensatory damages -- triple the original jury award -- because jurors found that Maronda Homes had violated Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act by acting in an "unfair, deceptive or unconscionable" manner. Jurors tacked on an additional $1 million in punitive damages.
Maronda Homes, in a prepared statement, calls the verdict "a complete miscarriage of justice." The Cosners prevented Maronda from making repairs, the statement says. During the trial, the company says, it was denied the right to have a critical witness testify and the judge tripled the award, which is inconsistent with the jury's findings.
"Maronda is disappointed with the outcome of this case and it is continuing to explore all of its legal options," the statement said.
If the company appeals, it might be years before the Cosners see any money.
On Friday, visiting Judge Dale A. Crawford ordered that Maronda pay almost $700,000 more in attorney fees if the judgment stands.
Roman Cosner said the family didn't want to go to court.
"This is not what we asked for," he said. "We just wanted the house fixed."
Maronda Homes has staked its reputation on providing the largest home at the lowest possible price, according to the Homebuyer's Advocate, a Web site run by Mike Marshall, who represents real-estate buyers. The quality of the company's developments varies from site to site, Marshall said.
J.D. Power & Associates, in a report released in September 2007, found that Maronda rated third out of nine major developers in central Ohio for new-home quality. Maronda ranked ninth for customer service and design. The Ohio attorney general's office has fielded 12 complaints about Maronda since January 2007. During the same period, larger developers such as Dominion Homes had 12 complaints and M/I Homes 13.
The Reynoldsburg Building Department signed off on the Cosners' home when it was finished in 2004, according to Chet Hopper, department chief.
But the south side of the house was not attached to the foundation and was inadequately attached on three sides. The wrong windows were used, which caused leaks, and the exterior waterproofing and drainage around the house were done improperly, court records show.
As a result, water seeped in and mold grew on the basement walls, in the heating and air-conditioning system and on the floors. Testing showed extremely high levels of a toxic mold in the basement, said attorney Daniel Mordarski.
The first sign of trouble came soon after a rainstorm, when the Cosners noticed water cascading down the inside of their garage wall. Then there were puddles on the basement floor.
As the problems piled up, Maronda Homes refused to fix the problems and treated the Cosners with "hatred and ill will," the family contends.
The Cosners at one point put a sign in their yard that said: "Moldy Maronda Home." The company sued them for defamation.
A Maronda official told Mrs. Cosner that she had toxic mold in her house, instructed them to move out and said the company would pay their expenses. That's when the crew tore off the stucco on the house's south side.
But Maronda never paid the lodging bills, nor did the company fix the problems.
In fact, Mrs. Cosner testified that during a meeting in her basement, a company official asked how the problems could be fixed. A worker nodded toward her and said: "We just need to get rid of that problem."
Mrs. Cosner was hoarse, and Roman Jr., who is now 8, was missing school because he was ill. When they moved out of the house and into a motel, they recovered, they say.
The Cosners have moved to another house in Gahanna. They have a "For Sale" sign in front of their problem house, on which they haven't made a payment in months. Mr. Cosner said he has learned from the experience to be wary.
"I know a lot more now. When I bought the new house, I relied on them."