A proposed class action lawsuit filed by members of an Indian Land, South Carolina residential community claims that Pulte Home Company, LLC was negligent in handling the construction of thousands of homes that were built with defective foundations on poorly constructed soils and ill-designed grading.
According to the complaint, Pulte failed to properly direct and oversee subcontractors who built the approximately 3,000 residences in the Sun City Carolina Lakes development and neglected to disclose to buyers the alleged defects in the houses’ foundations. The case claims the defendant’s negligence has caused, or will cause, damage to many of Sun City Carolina Lakes’ homes.
Defects in the foundation slabs on which the homes rest were “recently discovered,” according to the suit, along with problems in the design and construction of the soils and grading on which the foundations were built. These alleged defects have caused the foundation slabs to crack and separate, while the poorly prepared foundations have led to “excessive movement of individual residences.”
The suit claims the alleged defects in the houses’ foundations were present when the homes were placed up for sale, yet were either ignored or covered up by Pulte and were not disclosed to the buyers. From the case:
“Pulte further participated in the negligent, deficient and improper design and workmanship, ignored and/or covered up design and construction defects then in existence, and thereafter placed the homes into the stream of commerce for sale, which Pulte did sell to the general public.”
According to the lawsuit, the defendant’s new home limited warranty promises that Pulte will repair damage to the foundations of its houses. As stated in the warranty:
“Appropriate measures will be taken to correct serious cracks and/or deterioration in the foundation footings or foundation walls that cause the home to be unsafe or uninhabitable. [Pulte] will make the necessary repairs and/or provide replacement to the structural elements and related damage, except for areas not constructed by the Builder, for up to ten years.”
Despite its express promise to fix any damage or defects in the homes’ foundations, Pulte, the case claims, failed to take proper action to repair the structural issues noted above, resulting in “substantial deterioration and/or failure of structures.”
Although the construction was carried out by contractors, the case argues that Pulte bears ultimate responsibility since the homebuilder directed and oversaw the allegedly negligent workmanship.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendant’s practices amount to negligence and violate South Carolina’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.
The suit, originally filed in the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Lancaster, South Carolina, has been removed to South Carolina District Court.