Parties disagree on allowing arbitration in D.R. Horton lawsuit

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:32 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - There are thousands of D.R. Horton homes across the state including Southwest Louisiana, and many people who bought those homes have a litany of complaints dealing with moisture inside.

There’s a lawsuit filed from a number of D.R. Horton homeowners who said their homes are defective.

Attorney Lance Unglesby said the homes are not designed for this climate.

“The D.R. Horton homes in South Louisiana are defective in the way they are designed to accommodate the humidity of South Louisiana,” Unglesby said.

Unglesby said they hired an expert to inspect homes across the state to verify that.

“We went from these neighborhoods in Lake Charles, we went east to Lafayette, we stopped in Jennings, we came up to Baton Rouge and then we ended in Slidell,” Unglesby said.

He said the testing verified the improper design. However, the attorney for Horton, James Brown, said the health and safety of homeowners is a top priority and that they are committed to building quality homes and neighborhoods.

The homeowners would like to see a class action lawsuit. However, Horton wants to resolve individual complaints through the process of arbitration.

Plaintiff attorneys said Horton wants to hide behind secret arbitration to conceal the truth.

“D.R. Horton hasn’t been transparent. but D.R. Horton has too many homes in Louisiana to continue to get away with this,” Unglesby said.

However, Brown said arbitration is favored because it’s usually faster and cheaper than court which can go on for years. Brown said arbitration is also far more likely to deliver just and prompt results for all involved.

Both sides come back to the 19th Judicial District Court August 1, when they try to resolve their disagreement about arbitration.

Below is a written statement from D.R. Horton.

The health and safety of our homeowners is a top priority, and D.R. Horton is committed to superior customer service and building quality homes and neighborhoods throughout Louisiana and across the United States.

  • D.R. Horton home foundations and structures are designed by professional engineers based on site specific conditions.
  • Building materials are selected based on performance and sustainability.
  • Air conditioning systems are designed for each home in accordance with ASHRAE standards and local building codes.
  • In addition to local municipal inspections, we employ third-party inspectors throughout the building process to supplement quality control.
  • Every D.R. Horton home comes with a robust warranty that exceeds the duration required by the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act.

Although D.R. Horton denies the allegations in these lawsuits, we do take them seriously. We take pride in the homes we sell and are not trying to “hide behind” an arbitration clause as alleged. The arbitration clause is prominently featured in our contracts and is common in home purchase contracts. Arbitration is strongly favored in the law because it is typically faster and cheaper than court litigation that often can go on for years, and arbitration is far more likely to deliver just and prompt results for all involved.

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