2nd round of mediation ordered in couple's dispute with Perry Homes
Bob and Jane Cull received a $58 million judgment from a Tarrant County jury in March in the case.
"The parties need to exhaust all efforts to finally settle this long-running dispute," Judge Tom Lowe said in a Nov. 24 letter to the lawyers.
Lowe said he wants mediation completed by Dec. 29. If it's not resolved by then, he said he will issue a ruling.
As of Tuesday, a date for that mediation had not yet been set. "I'm going to be surprised if it settles," said Van Shaw, who represents the Culls.
Perry Homes spokesman Anthony Holm declined to comment on Lowe's decision.
The Culls sued Perry Homes and a home warranty company in 2000 after they said the builder refused to fix foundation and other structural problems with their home, near Walnut Creek Country Club. The couple moved into the home in late 1996 and within months, the problems became apparent, according to court documents.
After filing their lawsuit, the couple in 2001 asked the judge to submit the case to arbitration. Perry Homes appealed the switch, but lost. In 2002, an arbitrator awarded the couple $800,255.
Perry Homes appealed that award to the Texas Supreme Court. In 2008, the court vacated that award, citing legal issues with the way the case was switched from the courts to arbitration, and sent it back to the trial court.
In March, a Tarrant County jury found in favor of the Culls and awarded the couple $58 million in damages. Immediately following the jury verdict, Lowe ordered mediation in an attempt to avoid appeals in the case. The two sides said they could not agree on a settlement in that mediation. Lowe has since heard additional arguments in the case regarding the jury judgment.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727