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

Property Rights Denied!
Protecting HOA Members' Rights is NOT The #1 Priority
of Managed Communities
The High Price of Managed Living, Books and Records Hidden
gives appearances of impropriety
Editorial Feature: Part One - Are Homeowners' Rights a Myth? 

Part Two: HOA Bureaucrats Overstep Their Authority

LATEST NEWS
Sandra Bullock Wins Estate Debate
Friday, 15 October 2004

Eonline
Sandra Bullock Wins Estate Debate
by Sarah Hall
…Bullock missed her winning verdict Thursday, having returned to Los Angeles the day before to work on a film. But she did issue a statement thanking the judge and jurors and dedicating her victory to the little guy...I felt firmly committed to see this process through to a just conclusion, no matter what the outcome, especially for all those homeowners who could never afford to come this far," Bullock said. "I want you to know I am in awe of, and humbled by, the great service and enormous sacrifice the members of the jury have made over these last eight weeks over something that was far less important than what is going on in the world today." Her father, John Bullock, who was on hand, told the Austin American-Statesman he was happy with the jury's decision. He said he did not know what would become of his daughter's property.  "She loves the land, it's a beautiful lot...it's her decision now," he said…

Read more...
 
Sandra Bullock awarded $7m in home dispute
Friday, 15 October 2004

REUTERS
Sandra Bullock awarded $7m in home dispute
The star of "Miss Congeniality" and "Speed" testified in the two-month long trial that she had paid $7 million for the 10,000-square-foot (930-sq-meter) house on Lake Austin, but had never lived in it because of construction flaws. Witnesses said the house, which was begun in 1998 and still is not completed, had water damage, a bad roof, wiring problems and holes in the masonry.

Read more...
 
Sandra Bullock Scores $7 Mil Legal Victory
Friday, 15 October 2004

PEOPLE magazine
PeopleNews
Sandra Bullock Scores $7 Mil Legal Victory
Thursday Oct 14, 2004 4:00pm EST
By Alicia Dennis
A jury has awarded actress Sandra Bullock nearly $7 million in a long-awaited verdict pitting Bullock against the former architect and builder of her lakefront Austin home.

Read more...
 
People Magazine - $7 Mil Victory
Thursday, 14 October 2004
Sandra Bullock Scores $7 Mil Legal Victory
A jury has awarded actress Sandra Bullock nearly $7 million in a long-awaited verdict pitting Bullock against the former architect and builder of her lakefront Austin home... The architect, M.B. "Benny" Daneshjou, 52, sued Bullock, 40, in June 2001, claiming that Bullock owed money to his company for designing and building her home. Bullock countersued, claiming Daneshjou's construction work was defective and that he had committed fraud through underhanded billing practices... "I felt firmly committed to see this process through to a just conclusion, especially for all those home owners who could never afford to come this far," Bullock said. "I am in awe of the great service and enormous sacrifice the members of the jury have made over these last eight weeks."

Read more...
 
Jurors begin deliberating in Bullock trial
Friday, 08 October 2004
Seven weeks of testimony to consider in case that pits Austin homebuilder against actress By Claire Osborn AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF After nearly seven weeks of testimony, jurors will begin deliberating today on who is to blame for the construction problems in a house overlooking Lake Austin that actress Sandra Bullock had built but never could occupy… "There was a conscious pattern of behavior established here to get the client in the door and just ratchet up the price mercilessly," Mizell said. Sandra Bullock paid about $6.5 million for the house, but an insurance company valued it at $3.1 million, he said. Mizell asked the jurors to award the Bullocks $3.3 million for demolition and reconstruction. Part of the roof framing is lying against the chimney, and there are substantial areas within the drywall where it can't be determined whether fireblocking was built, Mizell said. Daneshjou also owes Sandra Bullock $2.7 million for the bills that she paid but that Daneshjou's company could not substantiate, Mizell said.
Read more...
 
Jurors begin deliberating in Bullock trial
Friday, 08 October 2004

Seven weeks of testimony to consider in case that pits Austin homebuilder against actress
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
After nearly seven weeks of testimony, jurors will begin deliberating today on who is to blame for the construction problems in a house overlooking Lake Austin that actress Sandra Bullock had built but never could occupy… "There was a conscious pattern of behavior established here to get the client in the door and just ratchet up the price mercilessly," Mizell said.   Sandra Bullock paid about $6.5 million for the house, but an insurance company valued it at $3.1 million, he said. Mizell asked the jurors to award the Bullocks $3.3 million for demolition and reconstruction. Part of the roof framing is lying against the chimney, and there are substantial areas within the drywall where it can't be determined whether fireblocking was built, Mizell said. Daneshjou also owes Sandra Bullock $2.7 million for the bills that she paid but that Daneshjou's company could not substantiate, Mizell said.

Read more...
 
HOBB Press Release - Case goes to the Jury
Friday, 08 October 2004

Sandra Bullock case goes to the Jury
HomeOwners for Better Building attends trial
"Because of Binding Arbitration in new homebuilder contracts for the past ten years, literally tens of thousands of homeowners with defective homes have been denied their day in court.  For the first time in many years, one victim of a bad homebuilder is finally being heard.  Those who attend soon forget that this story is about Sandra Bullock, the star.  It’s about something much bigger than celebrity, it about basic consumer law and the constitutional right of a trial by jury,” said Janet Ahmad, national president of HomeOwners for Better Building.

Read more...
 
People Magazine - Case Goes to Jury
Friday, 08 October 2004
Sandra Bullock House Case Goes to Jury
After eight weeks of testimony, cross examinations, accusations and rebuttals, a jury now holds the key to the future of Sandra Bullock's Austin dream home-turned-nightmare. Twelve jurors begin deliberations on Friday morning in the Travis County civil case pitting the actress against her former architect and builder, M. B. "Benny" Daneshjou. Daneshjou, 52, sued Bullock, 40, in June 2001, claiming Bullock still owes his company money for designing and building her home. The Speed star countersued him, claiming that he executed shoddy and defective construction work and committed fraud through deceitful billing practices.
Read more...
 
Ryland Homes in the news
Monday, 04 October 2004
Ryland Home Complaints Could Lead To Building Code ChangeThere's a chance that home construction problems, brought forward by homeowner complaints, could lead to a change in building codes throughout the state of Florida... But any code change wouldn't help him. He figures he has $8,000 in damage. Ryland told him to file an insurance claim, which would leave him paying for half of the damage he says was caused by what he thought was stucco.
Read more...
 
The legal bane of homebuilders
Sunday, 26 September 2004
Lawyer Scott Sullan supports Amend. 34, which would lift limits on builders' liability 
Christine Tatum
Denver Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 26, 2004
"Greedy," "rabid" and "scum-sucker" are among the nicest words they use to describe Sullan, perhaps the lawyer most despised by the state's building industry. He is the man hundreds of Colorado home and business owners called last year alone when roofs collapsed, basements flooded or foundations cracked, and they couldn't get the companies responsible for the work to fix them… Sullan's legal brawls are spilling from the courtroom onto the Nov. 2 Colorado ballot. Voters will be asked to decide the fate of proposed Amendment 34. That measure would lift some limits on the money property owners can collect in lawsuits against builders. It would also prohibit state lawmakers from capping some damage awards - a power they wielded last year over Sullan's protests with the passage of the bitterly contested House Bill 1161.
 
Lawmakers say builders are stacking dispute panel
Thursday, 23 September 2004
Lawmakers say builders are stacking dispute panel
08/27/2004
Adolfo Pesquera
Express-News Business Writer
AUSTIN — A state Senate committee looking into arbitration reform had sharp criticism for the heads of the Texas Residential Construction Commission and demanded the director take steps to provide consumer and minority representation on its arbitration task force. See Senate Subcommittee on Binding Arbitration Video - August 25, 2004 - Jurisprudence Committee Go to: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/AVarch.htm - Advance forward the time of hearing on Binding Arbitration to: 4:01
 
Star Community Newspapers/Frisco Enterprise
Thursday, 23 September 2004
Star Community Newspapers/Frisco Enterprise Editorial
Homebuyers' protections should be strengthened
In a move that could set a state precedent, Dr. David Becka and his wife, Carol, are calling for changes in the Frisco city charter to strengthen protections for people who buy new houses… They want to ensure that homebuyers are as much informed about their purchases as is possible and that new-home builders should be required to file surety bonds with the city to help protect homebuyers when problems develop. http://takebackyourrights.com/
Read more...
 
Texans Still at Odds Over Bush's Legal Reforms
Wednesday, 22 September 2004
Texans Still at Odds Over Bush's Legal Reforms
By David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
On his first day as governor of Texas , George W. Bush declared that limiting lawsuits was an ""emergency issue"" for his state…"" Texas has gone from one of the most friendly states for consumer protection to one of the most anti-consumer states,"" said University of Houston law professor Richard M. Alderman, an expert on consumer rights. ""It all began in 1995. Bush oversaw a significant retreat for consumer protection, and it was all done under the guise of attacking 'frivolous' lawsuits.""… The impact has been felt by home buyers such as Mary and Keith Cohn, whose elegant new residence in this well-off Houston suburb came with a leaky roof that led to rotting and moldy wallboard throughout the structure. After their daughters became ill, the Cohns moved out. The repairs ultimately cost more than $300,000….
Read more...
 
Actress shows comic flair at Austin trial
Tuesday, 21 September 2004
Actress shows comic flair at Austin trial
Sandra Bullock testifies during fifth week of trial about dispute with home builder
Actress Sandra Bullock tried to remain serious but couldn't help cracking jokes about her legal fees while testifying Monday as the trial over her dispute with an Austin home builder entered its fifth week… ""You guys are pricey,"" she said, looking at her lawyers. ""It's going to be a good Christmas, isn't it?"" The courtroom dissolved into laughter, providing brief relief in the middle of a trial that District Judge Paul Davis expects to conclude by the end of this month… Currently half of the ceiling in one of the rooms is falling down and a sliding gate that she requested from Daneshjou is broken, Bullock said.
Read more...
 
People Magazine - Sandra Bullock Takes the Stand
Monday, 20 September 2004
Sandra Bullock Takes the Stand
Actress Sandra Bullock's second call to the witness stand Monday in her ongoing civil trial against architect and builder M.B. "Benny" Daneshjou played out like a dramatic movie, with the actress at first laughing and then eventually dissolving into tears.
Read more...
 
Homebuilders may have constructed a fortress
Sunday, 19 September 2004
Homebuilders may have constructed a fortress
Some say their political donations have cost consumers the right to file suit 
 San Antonio Express-News
When Delores Rollins bought her dream home in the Hart Ranch subdivision off De Zavala Road seven years ago, she had no idea the purchase would draw her into the state and national political fray…   Rollins believes she has wound up on the short end of a long-term effort by Texas homebuilders to protect themselves from paying for their mistakes...  Hoagland said the broad reforms pushed through in Bush's first term — caps on punitive damages, restrictions on venue-shopping and limits on shared liability, among others — may have benefited the homebuilding industry…   ""How many times do they have to win?"" said James of the Consumers Union. ""I think the deal is that it's not about logic, it's not about justice, it's about muscle. And the business community has a ton of muscle, and they don't want to be liable for anything.""
Read more...
 
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