A LAWSUIT AGAINST DEL WEBB FOR ALLEGED defects throughout its Sun City Summerlin community in Las Vegas is now up to more than 1,400 homes. The $70 million in damages sought by the homeowners is the largest construction defects case ever filed in Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The case centers around weep screeds, metal pieces placed at the base of a stucco wall that funnel water to the ground and away from the home. The lawsuit claims that the lack of weep screeds caused water to seep into the homes. This led to cracked stucco and mold and fungus growth and eroded the stability and strength of walls and framing in the homes.

Nine Sun City homeowners originally filed the lawsuit in July 2003, but this past winter's heavy rains allegedly caused more damage and convinced additional homeowners to join the lawsuit. Plans are in the works for the case to become a class-action lawsuit that would include all 7,800 Del Webb homes in Sun City Summerlin.

Pulte Homes, which now owns Del Webb, says that in the 15 years since the first homes were built the company has received fewer than 100 service requests for any stucco-related issues. The company says the stucco application systems it installed are reliable.

“The city of Las Vegas required water testing on the stucco application system we planned to use prior to granting Del Webb a variance for this screedless method,” said the company in a prepared statement. “The walls passed the test, and the city approved a variance in January 1990.”

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