Rockery Wall Litigation Status

By now all Somersett owners have received a mail packet from the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) providing information on the proposed lawsuit against Somersett Development Company, et. al. regarding SOA Common Area rockery wall defects.

In the SOA’s Attorney letter contained therein, the stated benefit for filing the case “is the recovery of funds to correct construction deficiencies in the Walls at the Association”. However, the Attorney letter does not detail the specific allegations against the defendants. A summary of these allegations is contained in SU’s previous post of February 5th entitled “Rockery Wall Defect Litigation”, or for the more legal minded, copies of the entire “Complaint for Damages” by the SOA and the “Notice of Claims” against the Defendants, as filed with the 2nd Judicial Court of Nevada, may be accessed via the following links:

Case No. CV17-02427 Complaint for Damages

NRS Chapter 40 Notice of Claims

Both the Attorney letter and the Court filing documents reference a rockery wall inspection report performed under contract to the SOA by American Geotechnical, Inc. as one of the bases for filing of the lawsuit. American Geotechnical states that “Our preliminary evaluation indicates that each of the rockery walls observed has pervasive construction related defects”. This report may be viewed in its entirety on the SOA website (www.soa.net) under the SOA/SOA Documents/Rockery Wall Evaluation links (requires login), or on this website via the following:

American Geotechnical Report

The American Geotechnical report outlines deficiencies observed in each of the SOA’s Common Area rockery walls. A series of maps contained in Appendix A to the report shows the location of each Common Area rockery wall along with size parameters and any observed deficiencies with the following descriptors:

A = Height of Wall
B = Face Batter (receding slope of wall face)
C = Inadequacy of chinking rock and/or excessive voids (voids in excess of 6 inches without filler rocks)
D = Drain rock and/or retained soil spilling through voids
E = Horizontal distance between tiers (distance between multi-tiered rockery walls)
F = Poor rock placement or shape of individual rocks
L = Lineal footage of wall

Owners interested in the data for rockery walls adjacent to their properties may do so by accessing the appropriate report map.

The Attorney letter estimates that legal fees and associated expert costs will be between $200K and $550K over a 2 to 4-year period. At $550K this would equate to approximately $176/owner. A small price to pay if successful. This given the $2.5M currently being spent by the SOA and potential high costs for future rockery wall replacement, repair or maintenance. Statute of limitations and what constitutes a construction defect under NRS Chapter 40 are likely to be argued.

To explain the above, an Owner Informational Meeting has been scheduled for Saturday March 10th at The Club at Town Center. If possible, owners are encouraged to attend this meeting to obtain clarifications on the lawsuit and answer any questions they may have prior to submitting their ballots to either RATIFY or NOT TO RATIFY filing of the lawsuit

Opinions welcomed!

Note that the above referenced documents were obtained as public records within the Washoe County District Court System under Case No. CV17-02427.