A Legal Victory

The following story, published Tuesday, March 2, is more about perseverance than mold. A Texas couple encountered structural defects soon after they moved into their brand new home in 1996. They took legal action when it became obvious the house wasn't "settling," as the builder assured them. Their action led to verdicts, appeals, more verdicts, and finally this week, an astounding award.

Jury awards $58 million to Mansfield couple in home builder lawsuit
by Sandra Baker, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A Mansfield couple's nearly decadelong legal battle with their home builder, Perry Homes, and a home warranty company took another step toward closure Monday when a Tarrant County jury awarded them $58 million in damages.

But on Tuesday, Bob and Jane Cull say, they woke up like it was any other day.

Jane Cull went to her job at a hospital company, and Bob Cull, who is retired, said he started tending to some personal business that had been put off for several months as their case came to trial. They also realize that their lawsuit, which has been arbitrated, been appealed and twice gone to the Texas Supreme Court, still has some hurdles to clear before they see any money.

"Who knows?" Bob Cull said. "You certainly can't plan on it. We're hopeful."

Anthony Holm, a Perry Homes spokesman, in a statement called the verdict "jackpot justice" and an abuse of the legal system. Perry Homes offered to buy the home back at full price, he said.

The verdict, Holm said, "is equivalent to every single resident in Texas depositing $2 into the lawyer's bank account."

Perry Homes may appeal the decision, he said.

Van Shaw, the couple's attorney, said justice was served.

"I thought it was a fair verdict," he said.

Bob Cull describes the couple's legal fight as an "odyssey."


For the details of their journey see the full article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.