A massive monkey wrench has been thrown into the field of real estate development with a 55 million dollar verdict against developers of a condo conversion project in South Carolina.
Developers are the people we homeowners all love to hate. They’re the bane of our existence. Their rotten reconstruction work has led to the financial ruin of hundreds of thousands, even millions of American homeowners. So we generally stand and cheer when a jury hands down a huge verdict against a developer.
Well, let’s stand back and give this one a little reflection.
There are about 200 residents of the East Bridge Town Lofts in Charleston, South Carolina. They all bought into the idea of buying an apartment that was converted to a condominium. Sloppy work. Unlicensed building inspector, all the usual jazz. But including all the legal costs, each of these property owners will theoretically get about 300 to 400 thousand dollars. So far, so good.
…when the bankruptcy filings start filling the courts like an overflowing sugar bowl, where will those homeowners all be? When the delays and appeals to higher courts start piling up even higher costs, where will those homeowners be?
The American legal system was originally meant to provide justice for the injured. Sadly, that’s not the way things turned out. Oh, the lawyers on both sides will claim victory, of course. But the homeowners? The ones who’ve had to declare personal bankruptcy? The ones who’ve died or divorced or moved on to try to repair their lives elsewhere, what happens to them? Will they look back with great fondness on how the legal system treated them?