g The Truth About Toll Brothers

The Truth About Toll Brothers

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I contracted with Toll Brothers and paid $70,500 over and above the contract price of my home for a premium, private lot. This is evidenced in writing (Master Deed, Recorded Final Site Plan to name a few). Four years later and after the last lot backing up to the private area was sold, Toll Brothers constructed 3 monstrous cluster condominiums behind our lots.

In doing so, Toll reneged on their contractual obligations and broke clearly defined and well established Michigan law.

I’m not the only party affected. Several neighbors were affected in my Community. A similar scam occurred a few miles away in a neighboring community years earlier.

We were unsuccessful in litigation as we were outspent in Court. Arbitration proved to be a flawed and tainted system. We have no where to turn, but, the Media and Internet to educate and warn others of Toll’s practices.

No one cares that I paid $70,500 for a private premium lot and Toll Brothers did not deliver. More sympathy would be evoked if someone came to my door, held a gun to my head and ran off with $70,500.

But, the result is the same.

I did not create this blog to obtain your sympathy. Rather, I created this blog to gather all the information available, so that you, prospective purchaser, have all the facts before you purchase your Toll Brothers Luxury home.

If you want to learn more, please read on...


I am one of many homeowners who paid a premium for a lot that in the end was far from premium. It appears that Toll makes a practice out of marketing lots as premier, collecting hefty premiums, obtaining signatures on contracts, and years after all is forgotten, removes the single most important characteristic of the lot. I paid an additional $70,500 for privacy only to be staring out four years later at three monstrous condominium clusters that Toll crammed amidst protected woodlands and wetlands. How did this happen? I performed my due diligence. I did not rely solely on the promises of Toll’s sales representatives. For over four years, all documents, including the Master Deed, final site plans filed and recorded at the City, and all marketing materials produced by Toll excluded these monstrous clusters and did not delineate that the land was reserved for future expansion. It is Michigan law for a Seller to disclose the truth about future expansion and development. By law, the Seller cannot mislead the purchaser or omit material facts. By law, the Seller is required to circulate truthful advertisements and publications. By law, the Seller is required to display all of the properties in their Master Plan on a site map in their Sales Models. Not only did Toll intentionally remove the units off of every document, they did not move forward with construction of the clusters until the last lot backing up to the area in question was sold.

If you think I am just one angry homeowner, please ask others residing in Island Lake of Novi. Better yet, head on over to Northville, Michigan and ask those who reside on Troon Court. Some paid $110,000 for a premier, private lot only to have 100 out of the 110 surrounding acres torn down for additional development. If that still does not have your attention, ask residents in Birkdale Pointe in Commerce, Michigan who paid premiums for premier lots backing up to a common area and park. The common area is now a 25 foot by 25 foot brick retention wall. These Toll communities are all within a 10 mile radius. What is happening all over the country?

So now most of you are wondering why not let the Courts handle it? I did. The result was tragic. David v. Goliath, but, the color of justice was green. Out of the chute I was forced into Arbitration. After a year of responding to unnecessary motions, the case was dismissed before it was even arbitrated. Apparently, Toll created a contract where their language protects them from any wrong doing of any magnitude. The contract supersedes the laws of the State of Michigan.

I live in a State where I am protected when purchasing a toaster, but I have no rights or protections available to me for the largest purchase one can make during a lifetime; my home. I live in a Country where Martha Stewart was convicted for a crime involving less than $50,000 and where a runaway bride was indicted for lying. All the while, America’s largest luxury home builder simply flies under the radar.


Note to all...This blog is referenced in a published article.

Excerpt from Independent Media Center of Philadelphia Toll Brothers and Urban Sprawl by Ellen Slack:

More commonly, a building lot is adjacent to open land, with the developers representatives giving various reasons why that open land will certainly remain as it is. Then, after the customer signs a contract, construction begins on the open land.

We were contacted by a Toll customer from Michigan whose miserable experience led to creating a blog, The Truth About Toll Brothers (http://tolltruth.blogspot.com/). This unhappy buyer believes that the developer has a conscious strategy of engaging in such misrepresentation, using it to sell what will later become undesirable sites for premium prices.

To truly enable the broadcasting of the Truth About Toll Brothers, we ALL need to be heard. So, I will continue to gather information from across the country to better inform you of Toll's dealings. If you have a story that needs to be written or a question or comment, please continue to e-mail me, visit my site and/or post your thoughts. Moreover, please e-mail me if you are considering a class action against Toll at Tolltruth@gmail.com.

Friday, June 01, 2007

What did I pay $70,500 for? This is the $20,000,000 question.

I have no other amenities (i.e. no walk-out, no walk-up, no side addition, not even one daylight window) that could be attributable to such a premium. I now do not have privacy. So why, Mr. Toll, did I pay $70,500 over and above the contract price of my home? Why did my neighbors pay premiums to also back up to these monstrous condominium clusters?

Yes. Toll owns the land and can do what they wish. I do not own the land and have no say in how it is developed. But, don't willfully and illegally misrepresent the purported usage of the neighboring property.

Toll's apt Sales Managers stated point blank that nothing would be built behind my home as the lot backed up to protected woodlands and wetlands. They went further to say that units were once proposed for that area, but were denied by the City because they infringed on protected woodlands and wetlands. The Sales Manager went the additional lengths of crossing out the three units depicted on the one and only Preliminary Site Plan and then giving it to me for my records. Thereafter, they would point to the FINAL Site Plan in the Sales Model, with their reassuring smiles and say, see the condos are gone. This was not merely a promise that nothing would be built behind my home. This was a well devised calculated tale that unmistakenly misled all prospective home buyers.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth requires representations to be truthful, not concocted.

559.107 Advertising, sales material, and other representations.
Rule 107. (1) Advertising, sales material, and oral representations shall be truthful and accurate and designed to fully inform the public about the project. Such materials shall not be presented in such a way as to create a false impression about the nature, status, quality, or cost of a proposed condominium project or its location. History: 1954 ACS 100, Eff. July 31, 1979; 1979 AC.

These representations were further substantiated by written data. Why would Toll place a FINAL site plan in their sales office for four years that specifically excluded these monstrous condominium clusters? To mislead prospective purchasers.

Why would Toll provide a Site Plan to the City that is stamped and recorded FINAL which excluded these clusters and included every other parcel, including those Toll decided not to improve on? So that a prospective purchaser would go to the City to confirm the representations made by Toll representatives and the marketing data displayed in the Sales Model? A prospective purchaser would believe at this point that yes, Toll is disclosing the truth.

But, that is not all. Toll went the additional lengths to record a Master Deed that clearly shows that the land in question is UNPLATTED. The Master Deed and all amendments to date reflect the land as UNPLATTED, and not reserved for future expansion.

All representations made by Toll exclude the units in question, including, but not limited to, the Final Site Plan and Master Deed; Exhibits which are wholly integrated into my contract (to be expanded on later).

Toll willfully and illegally omitted these units from every document before, during and after I entered my contract with Toll.

Why? To secure my signature on a contract and to collect my $70,500. To also create a false sense of demand. It was imperitive that I hurry in and select this premier lot before anyone else did. All the while, only Toll knew they were unloading their most undesireable lots first.

There was no way to uncover the truth about the condominium clusters and Toll's plan to construct them 4 years later given the erroneous data they alone put out there.

Typically, when you don't get what you pay for, you are given a refund. When you purchase a Porsche and are delivered a Toyota, you don't take delivery on the Toyota, you demand the Porsche or a full refund.

This is no different.

This is a pattern, not a mere coincidence. It happened again, just recently, in St. Augustine, Florida to the Haygoods Local News - Dream Home Nightmare. My experience with Toll is not isolated.

I also received the following posting without a forwarding e-mail:

Please contact me if you have had any problems with Toll Brothers, AZ., Specifically Aviano @Desert Ridge. I'm looking for consumers who were lied to about Deer Valley Road and Black Mountain Parkway. Toll knew about the residential roads begin expanded to six lane arterial roadways, and then had their CR lie to buyers about the the expansion, which they knew about and deny. (I have plans that were issued in 2001 showing the expansion and were made to Edmunds Toll) I'm also looking for buyers or consumers that have had construction problems, decided to cancel and want their earnest money back.

It also happened recently in New Jersey. The following case, Riehl v. Toll Brothers, surfaced and is proof that Toll is engaging in a PATTERN of land fraud. Toll has created and perfected a loophole to defraud the unsuspecting customer.

Once the initial complaint for a lawsuit is filed, Toll will immediately respond with a Motion to Compel Binding Arbitration. This keeps the Arbitration proceedings out of the public eye. Arbitration awards and proceedings are not published (Court opinions are public and may be precedent setting).

The following is an excerpt from the Boston Globe article, Home Buyers Cite Broken Promises:

Gary Jodha, was assured when he contracted to have Toll build his home that an adjacent area would remain open space, even though Toll officials knew the state planned to build a four-lane highway on the land. He won a consumer fraud case on that issue.

Toll's contracts evolved as a result of previous lawsuits. Toll continues to misrepresent the purported usage of nearby properties, but is careful to include carefully drafted clauses that now mandate arbitration and more importantly absolve them from any wrongdoing.

As an aside, I reviewed Toll's contract before they obtained my signature. Where in the contract does it state that the Buyer signs his or her rights away? Where in the contract does it stipulate that it is o.k. for the Seller to act in bad faith and that the Buyer must deal with the consequences? In fact, most contracts are entered into in good faith. Who would ever enter a contract with a corporation they distrusted?

The following case summary and opinion illustrate that it is irrelevant that the Seller commits fraud in the inducement, during and after the signing of the contract. The provisions and clauses contained in the contract are upheld even in instances where the Seller omits material facts, misrepresents material facts, falsifies data, etc.


Why isn't Toll held accountable for their unscrupulous actions? What can be done?

The following HADD petition strives for accountability in the Building Industry. It also requests a ban on mandatory arbitration provisions and demands code and law enforcement for residential builders in all states. Please take the time to review and sign the petition below.



Please post a comment here summarizing/highlighting your experience if Toll Brother's misrepresented material facts and/or omitted material facts, especially regarding your lot or the land surrounding your home. Please post a comment here if you were provided false and misleading advertising. Please also e-mail me with more specifics as I am gathering data to send along to the Attorney General, the FTC or anyone who will listen.

Remember to speak the truth only. At a minimum, please indicate the Toll Community along with the City and State in which you reside.

Please post comments and complaints related to Toll construction issues and defects on a separate post located at the end of this blog.


From the Toll Brothers homepage/website as of today

The luxurious homes we build are specifically designed to harmonize with the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape. We preserve as much open space as possible, incorporating the existing hills, trees, and ponds. As part of our award-winning efforts, we've saved and subsequently transplanted thousands of trees, preserved peaceful creeks, and restored sparkling ponds-and we've created community walking trails so residents can enjoy these tranquil settings.

Excerpt from New York Times Magazine, October 16, 2005

This business was made for us to a large extent by Nimby politics," Toll said, referring to Not in My Backyard objections. "I don't denigrate Nimby, by the way. I just deal with it. It is. It's human nature. You don't want to see anything built behind where you live."

Excerpt from Fortune, April 18, 2005
TOLL BROTHERSThe New King of the Real Estate BoomBy Shawn Tully

But the base price is seldom the full ticket. Toll also cleans up offering myriad options, not to mention what it calls "lot premiums," markups for special locations. While Toll himself says he can't understand the appeal of living next to a golf course, he knows that plenty of his customers are willing to pay for the privilege.
Meanwhile Toll continues to look for every angle that might give him a competitive advantage—or allow him to charge extra for the houses he sells. It turns out that the West Windsor project near Princeton is popular with a lot of Asian-American buyers who work in the area's high-tech corridor. And Toll Brothers has found that one of their main concerns is buying homes with façades that face east or south so that the house will have the best possible feng shui, or good luck brought by the spirits. Does that mean Toll Brothers will soon be charging special lot premiums for eastward facing homes? "Why not, if that's what tickles your bippy!" bellows Toll. "One man's feng shui is another man's golf course. I think feng shui is worth a lot more."

Stop, Thief!
Bill Lurz, Senior Editor -- 9/1/2004
Another GIANT, Toll Brothers chairman Robert Toll, says job site theft - often perpetrated by insiders to the builder's production process, such as trade contractor employees, suppliers and delivery people - is endemic to the building industry. "As long as there are immoral people out there, we'll face it," he says. "To them, it looks like this stuff is there for the taking because it appears unguarded. We have to decide, in the budgeting process, whether it pays to put security on the jobs. We budget $1,000 a unit for job-site theft.
"As for crime by Toll Brothers employees, we have almost none-because when we get it, we go ape. We call the police and take people to court. God forbid anybody ever calls here for a reference on a thief. I'm not afraid of libel or slander. Truth is an absolute defense."

Code of Ethics for Principal Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers

Each of the Senior Officers shall:
4. Comply in good faith with applicable laws, rules and regulations of
federal, state, provincial and local governments
, and other appropriate private and public regulatory agencies.
5. Act in good faith, responsibly, with due care, competence and diligence, without misrepresenting material facts or allowing his or her independent judgment to be subordinated.
8. Promote ethical behavior as a responsible partner among peers in his or her work environment.
Adopted: December 12, 2002

In marketing our products, we must, of course, follow all of the basic antitrust principals noted in Section IV above. There are, however, some additional legal and ethical principals that should govern our conduct.
Our advertising should always be truthful. If we mix specific claims about specific products or the performance of our products, we should have evidence to substantiate those claims. We should not label or market our products in any way that might cause confusion between our products and those of any of our competitors. Similarly, we should be alert to any situation where a competitor may be attempting to mislead potential customers as to the origin of products and inform appropriate management or the Company’s Legal Department of any such cases.

Here is the Lot that Toll Brothers sold...

Here is the Lot that Toll Brothers delivered...

Here you will see the site map prominently displayed in the Sales Model for over four years. This map displays ALL units in the entire development with the exception of the three Condominium Clusters. Funny, the City of Novi requires that the seller disclose ALL the properties in the development. How does Toll get away with this?

Sec. 18-38. Contents of disclosure statement.
The required disclosure statement shall, at a minimum include the following information:
(5) Whether the property is subject to any recorded covenants, conditions or restrictions, including those relating to the following matters, and the content of any such recorded covenants, conditions or restrictions:
(6) A map depicting;
a. All properties subject to the covenants, conditions and restrictions disclosed pursuant to subsection (5) of this section;
e. Whether the subdivisions in which the subject newly constructed single-family residence is located is part of an RUD, residential unit development, or PUD, planned unit development, all properties within the RUD or PUD.

Sec. 18-39. Posting of disclosure statement and zoning and master plan maps.
(a) Where sales of newly constructed single-family residences are made out of a model or sales office located within the city, the seller shall post in a conspicuous location in the model or sales office:
(1) A summary of the information required to be contained in the disclosure statement under section 18-38; and
(2) Copies of the zoning map and legends, master plan map and legends, woodlands map and legends and wetland and watercourse map and legends, for the city, depicting at least the area within a one-mile radius of the location of the subdivision, together with a notice that a prospective purchaser may examine at the offices of the city the most current versions of the zoning map, master plan map, woodlands map and wetlands and watercourses map. In addition, there shall be posted a map of the development depicting all areas regulated as woodlands and all areas regulated as wetlands or watercourses.
(b) Where the sales of newly constructed single-family residences are made out of a model or sales office located within the city, the seller shall make available for inspection by prospective purchasers copies of a disclosure statement as defined by section 18-38.
(d) The information required to be posted pursuant to this section shall be contained on a display no smaller than thirty inches by thirty-six inches (30" x 36"), and be entitled "CITY OF NOVI HOMEOWNER DISCLOSURE" in letters no less than three-quarters ( 3/4) inch high. The display shall include the telephone number of the City of Novi Department of Community Development.

The Michigan Consumer Protection Act applies. Toll maintains that because they are a licensed builder, they fall under the Occupational Code, not the MCPA. Agreed as long as they are hammering a nail into a 2 x 4, but, NOT when they are engaging in deceptive sales practices.

445.903 Unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive methods, acts, or practices in conduct of trade or commerce; rules; applicability of subsection (1)(hh).
Sec. 3.
(1) Unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive methods, acts, or practices in the conduct of trade or commerce are unlawful and are defined as follows:
(s) Failing to reveal a material fact, the omission of which tends to mislead or deceive the consumer, and which fact could not reasonably be known by the consumer.
(v) Taking or arranging for the consumer to sign an acknowledgment, certificate, or other writing affirming acceptance, delivery, compliance with a requirement of law, or other performance, if the merchant knows or has reason to know that the statement is not true.
(y) Gross discrepancies between the oral representations of the seller and the written agreement covering the same transaction or failure of the other party to the transaction to provide the promised benefits.
(z) Charging the consumer a price that is grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold.
(bb) Making a representation of fact or statement of fact material to the transaction such that a person reasonably believes the represented or suggested state of affairs to be other than it actually is.
(cc) Failing to reveal facts that are material to the transaction in light of representations of fact made in a positive manner.

The Michigan Condominium Act applies. Toll Brothers maintains that the MCA does not apply to them either even though they sold me a unit in a condominium project.

559.108 “Master deed” defined.
Sec. 8.
“Master deed” means the condominium document recording the condominium project to which are attached as exhibits and incorporated by reference the bylaws for the project and the condominium subdivision plan for the project. The master deed shall include all of the following:
(a) An accurate legal description of the land involved in the project.
(b) A statement designating the condominium units served by the limited common elements and clearly defining the rights in the limited common elements.

559.111 Offering residential condominium for sale; compliance with occupational code required.
Sec. 11.
A residential condominium in this state shall not be offered for sale unless in compliance with article 24 or article 25 of the occupational code, Act No. 299 of the Public Acts of 1980, being sections 339.2401 to 339.2412 and 339.2501 to 339.2516 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

559.132 Expandable condominium project; contents of master deed.

559.146 Restrictions and covenants.

559.149 Subdivision of condominium units.

559.166 Condominium subdivision plan; preparation; signature and seal; contents; recording; structures and improvements to be completed by developer.

559.181a Promotional material; labeling structure or improvement “need not be built.”
Sec. 81a.
If any structure or improvement proposed in a condominium project is labeled pursuant to section 66 “need not be built”, or is to be located within a portion of the condominium project with respect to which the developer has reserved a development right, promotional material may not be displayed or delivered to prospective purchasers which describes or portrays that structure or improvement unless the description or portrayal of the structure or improvement in the promotional material is conspicuously labeled “need not be built”.

559.184a Providing copies of listed documents to prospective purchaser of condominium unit; amendment to purchase agreement and condominium documents; signature on form as evidence; providing prospective purchaser of business condominium unit copy of recorded master deed; misleading statements; violation.
Sec. 84a.
(5) With regard to any documents required under this section, a developer shall not make an untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.

559.190 Amendment of condominium documents; consent; void provision superseded by subsection (2); reservation of right to amend; notice of proposed amendments; costs and expenses; master deed amendment; affirmative vote.

559.215 Action by person or association adversely affected by violation of or failure to comply with act, rules, agreement, or master deed; costs; violation of §§ 559.121 or 559.184a; liability.
Sec. 115.
(1) A person or association of co-owners adversely affected by a violation of or failure to comply with this act, rules promulgated under this act, or any provision of an agreement or a master deed may bring an action for relief in a court of competent jurisdiction. The court may award costs to the prevailing party.
(2) A developer who offers or sells a condominium unit in violation of section 21 or 84a is liable to the person purchasing the condominium unit for damages.

559.241 Law, ordinance, or regulation of local unit of government; limitations.
Sec. 141.
(1) A condominium project shall comply with applicable local law, ordinances, and regulations.


Q: Why am I in Arbitration?

A: You are in arbitration because your contract contains a binding arbitration provision. This applies even in instances where the seller misrepresents facts or commits fraud to induce the buyer into signing a contract. http://www.jnclaw.com/legal_developments.htm

Q: What is Arbitration?

A: A method of alternative dispute resolution in which the disputing parties agree to abide by the decision of an arbitrator(s). The submission of a dispute to an impartial third person or persons. The arbitrator or arbitrators are selected directly by the parties or are chosen in accordance with the terms of a contract in which the parties have agreed to use a court-ordered arbitrator or an arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association. When parties submit to arbitration, they agree to be bound by and comply with the arbitrators' decision. The arbitrators' decision is given after an informal proceeding where each side presents evidence and witnesses.

Q: Can my case be dismissed before it is even heard?

A: It happened to us. The Arbitrator granted Toll’s Motion to Dismiss our Demand For Arbitration before we were allowed to present our evidence.

Q: Isn’t a hearing required?

A: We thought so. Our claim well exceeded $10,000. Furthermore, we did not agree to arbitrate by submitting a series of documents.

From the ADR Construction rules:

Where no party's claim exceeds $10,000, exclusive of interest and arbitration costs, and other cases in which the parties agree, the dispute shall be resolved by submission of documents, unless any party requests an oral hearing or conference call, or the arbitrator determines that an oral hearing or conference call is necessary. The arbitrator shall establish a fair and equitable procedure for the submission of documents.

F-9. Date, Time, and Place of Hearing
In cases in which a hearing is to be held, the arbitrator shall set the date, time, and place of the hearing, to be scheduled to take place within 30 calendar days of confirmation of the arbitrator's appointment. The AAA will notify the parties in advance of the hearing date.

F-10. The Hearing
(a) Generally, the hearing shall not exceed one day. Each party shall have equal opportunity to submit its proofs and complete its case. The arbitrator shall determine the order of the hearing, and may require further submission of documents within two business days after the hearing. For good cause shown, the arbitrator may schedule one additional hearing day within seven business days after the initial day of hearing.

Q: Can my case be dismissed before the facts material to the case are presented?

A: Apparently so. Rule 31(a) of the AAA rules states otherwise, however, this rule and others do not apply to Toll Brothers:

The claimants shall present evidence to support its claim. The respondent shall then present evidence supporting its defense. Witnesses for each party shall also submit questions from the arbitrator to the adverse party. The arbitrator has the discretion to vary this procedure, provided that the parties are treated with equality and that each party has the right to be heard and is given a fair opportunity to present its case.

Q: Can the Arbitrator vary normal procedures, i.e not conducting a required hearing, without informing the parties of this variation?

A: Apparantly so. The Arbitrator can vary the AAA procedures in such a way that will ultimately deny Claimants fundamental fairness.

Q: Can the Arbitrator disregard all applicable state and local laws in rendering a decision?

A: Yes.

Q: Can my case be dismissed without explanation?

A: Yes, it’s true. The Arbitrator can dismiss a case without citing grounds. Thereby, leaving the Claimants bewildered, shocked, dismayed and confused.

Q: What can I do if the Arbitrator dismisses my case?

A: Nothing. You have no legal recourse.

Q: Can a conflict exist between the Arbitrator and Toll's attorneys?

A: Again, this happened to us. A conflict check was initially run when we were selecting the Arbitrator. But, when Toll’s attorney changed firms, a new conflict check was not run. After the Arbitrator delivered the Award to Grant Toll’s Motion to Dismiss, we uncovered the fact that a Partner of Toll’s attorney and the Arbitrator sat on the same Real Estate Advisory Board. This is a 17 member Board. Real Property Law Advisory Board

Q: I thought Arbitration as a forum was created to absorb the additional case load of the Courts and provide resolution to claims in cost effective manner. Is this true?

A: No. Arbitration is not cost effective. Arbitration does not provide resolution.

Q: Can I share my Arbitration experience?

A: Yes. Please post a comment.

Let's talk contracts. Can the Integration or Merger Clause bar all claims?

Most attorneys, arbitrators and Courts would answer “yes”. This is an unfortunate consequence because the Integration Clause cannot possibly bar all claims especially when the actions of the Seller are illegal or fraudulent in nature.

Here we will examine the Integration or Merger Clause at length. It appears that nearly all contracts contain them. But, does having one absolve the Seller from any wrongdoing of any magnitude?

Your Integration or Merger Clause may look something like this:

This Agreement and all Exhibits and Endorsements contain the entire agreement between the parties. Buyer acknowledges that no one has the authority to make any and no one has made statements or representations which have been relied upon by Buyer which modify or add to the terms and conditions set forth herein, including any statements relating to the existence, condition, use or development of nearby property, roads or open spaces, except as expressly set forth in an Exhibit or Endorsement hereto. No modification of this Agreement shall be binding unless it is in writing or signed by the parties.

At a first glance, one may think that we initialed a paragraph that clearly states that we did not rely on statements or representations regarding the development of nearby property. But, let’s examine this paragraph closer as the Arbitrator did not afford us the opportunity to present the following arguments on the Integration Clause:

1. We signed a paragraph that specifically states that we did not rely on representations that MODIFIED the terms or conditions set forth. The representation that our lots were private was not a modification or a change. The representation was consistent with all written data that Toll provided. The representation was consistent with the Exhibits and Endorsements INTEGRATED into our contracts.

2. Michigan Law defines the documents that are an integral part of our contracts. Per the Michigan Condominium Act and the City of Novi Ordinances, the Final Site Plan and the Master Deed are wholly INTEGRATED into our contracts.

3. In addition to well-defined and clearly applicable Michigan Law, Toll’s own Agreement of Sale Checklist (Toll’s internal document) denotes that the Final Site Plan is an INTEGRAL part of the Agreement.

4. If the Integration Clause provides that no other documents, outside of the four page Agreement of Sale, are a part of the contract, then the clause would not be a necessary part of the contract, in that there would be nothing for the clause to be INTEGRATING. The clause itself would become unreasonable and unconscionable in that it failed its essential purpose.

5. The Integration Clause does not supersede violations of the Michigan Condominium Act and the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. The Integration Clause is not a “get out of jail free” clause.

6. The Integration Clause cannot possibly bar all claims. The Integration Clause simply prohibits reliance on outside sources of information. In our case, no outside sources were used. Per the Michigan Condominium Act and City of Novi Ordinances, the Master Deed and Final Site Plan are NOT outside sources; they are wholly INTEGRATED into the contract.

Unfortunately, we were not able to make these arguments at our anticipated required hearing as our case was dismissed before the arguments were presented. Therefore, no determination was made on the Integration or Merger clause. If you are an attorney, law student, prospective purchaser or recovering victim, I welcome you to weigh in and post a comment.


1. The Lake Arrowhead Condominium Association is suing luxury home developer Toll Brothers Inc., alleging that the developer violated local, state and national building codes by building condos that have numerous cracks and many other defects. East Naples condominium group becomes latest to sue Toll Brothers

2. Until this past May, Toll Brothers and Beazer Homes did little to address the flooding problems, according to the Harmons.

Representatives from Toll Brothers and Soil Consultants Engineering - the firm conducting the geotechnical study - did not respond to several messages requesting comment. Times Community Newspapers - Flooded basements escalate to 'David and Goliath' situation

3. According to the engineer's report, Toll Brothers failed to substantially complete portions of the improvements for the Castle Point at Marlboro project. Complaints from residents regarding problems with stagnant or standing water and water runoff have also not been addressed by the developer, according to the report. Council nixes reduction in builder's bond

4. Supervisors hope to discuss what Middle Smithfield believes may be an illegal, separate private community within the larger Country Club common interest development. Pocono Record - Supers prepare questions for Toll Brothers sitdown

5. Toll Brothers calls it an honest mistake, but Chip Lamphere doesn't think it was a coincidence.
Lamphere accused Toll Brothers of intentionally trying to cut him out of the public process. President of his own home-building company, Custom Living, he said he was a project manager for Toll Brothers a few years ago. "I'm in the business," Lamphere said, explaining why he thought Toll Brothers division president Tom Anhut, his former boss, would cut him out of the loop. "Tom knew we would voice our opinion."

Oakley voiced frustration with the meeting Toll Brothers held with property owners in July.
Oakley wanted details on road improvements, but he said Toll Brothers refused to share that information.

"I don't believe there's been full disclosure," said Oakley. http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=1593&topicId=21355&docId=l:515746435

6. Now, due to errors and omissions in the EIR, the neighbors have sufficient ammunition to take the City and Toll to court and win. All because City officials cut corners to help Toll and get that purchase money into this year’s budget where it has already been spent. When will they ever learn?

Now, it seems there is a very good chance that Toll will simply walk away from the deal due to the bad housing market. The General Fund budget will go looking for a lost $8 million. Toll, the Redevelopment Agency and the City Council will blame those intractable neighbors, and maybe a couple of City Council members for making the deal go bad. E-Mail Forum

7. three City of Richmond Agencies and two independent consultants, perhaps in a misguided attempt to suck up to the Richmond City Council and Toll Brothers, appear to have conspired to circumvent state CEQA law. E-Mail Forum

8. Toll Brothers has a long history of being less than forthright, said former state Assemblyman John Knox, a Point Richmond resident. "If you're going to deal with them, always have a witness and get everything in writing," he said. ContraCostaTimes.com 08/01/2006 City says builders avoiding duties

9. At the end of the discussion, it was clear that Toll Brothers had misrepresented their reasons previously provided for not constructing the trail and had no credible excuses. E-Mail Forum

10. Toll Brothers, while immensely profitable and financially successful, also has a reputation for sleaze that may explain the way it has treated Richmond citizens. E-Mail Forum

11. Numerous calls to Toll Brothers for comment were not returned. ContraCostaTimes.com 07/04/2006 Condo plan draws opposition

12. An agreement forces Toll to provide necessary disclosures in Richmond, CA. The agreement calls for Toll Brothers to disclose to potential condominium buyers that they are moving near an industrial area. CC Times, May 4, 2006

13. The firm is a powerful enough force in the national economy that a Dec. 8 Toll Brother’s announcement of record profits triggered a decline in the stock market because it was tempered by a statement that said 2006 earnings could be affected by an increasingly soft housing market.

Toll Brothers wants to build an 85-foot-high project with 325 units. Current zoning would allow a maximum height of 35 feet and a maximum density of 289 units.

Calls to Toll Brothers were not returned. Berkeley Daily Planet

14. When it became clear that the protests of the residents were not going to be considered and that the outcome would be whatever the developer proposed, many of us stopped participating.

It was clear that no one had the stomach for a lawsuit or a ballot measure campaign. Why waste time quibbling about what time construction starts when it will have no impact on the ultimate project?

Even the developer, Toll Brothers, knows that nothing the neighbors say will influence the city to support a lower-density project. As you quote the arrogant Toll Brothers project manager Kelly Snider, "We expected a lot of concerns about traffic and about trees and that is what we got." I guess Snider doesn't think such concerns carry any consequences. In fact, all environmental impacts discussed in the draft Environmental Impact Report seem to be designated "less than significant." Mountain View Voice: Letters to the Editor (February 17, 2006)

15. "[Toll] has done this many, many times to us. I can name probably at least seven or eight times that he's done it,” Wydro said. “They just dangle these over our head. That's not right. To just simply have three [plans] running simultaneously is awfully hard on a municipality.”
Toll Brothers revives old fight (phillyBurbs.com) Courier Times

16. The person who is always absent from the table, he said, is Robert Toll, the CEO of Toll Brothers. “Mr. Toll is missing in action — MIA,” Ausura said. “Veterans are very upset with Mr. Toll.” The Courier Times was unsuccessful in reaching Toll Brothers for comment Toll plans under review (phillyBurbs.com) Courier Times

17. There has never been any give and take with Toll,” Kulig said. “We don't start with an ordinance. ... I think it's going backwards.” West said Toll has “made no submissions,” except for the sketch plan that was presented to the citizens roundtable group 10 minutes before last week's meeting. Cemetery, housing on zoning fast track (phillyBurbs.com) Courier Times

18. without toll brothers there can be no veterans cemetery...and because of toll brothers there may not be a cemetery. stay tuned...toll brothers: patriots or pariahs? Philly Future - Philadelphia Blogs - The News YOU Write

19. Timothy Vile, whose property abuts the Dolington parcel, believes the supervisors have worked out a "backroom deal" with Toll Brothers to get the cemetery and allow Toll to build more homes on the property than permitted by zoning laws. Backlash over Toll housing proposal (phillyBurbs.com) Courier Times

20. Truth Still Elusive Is it just an incredible coincidence that Fox used his committee position to financially benefit Toll and a group of large political contributors to the Fox campaign? Toll denied knowing about the Fox proposals until he read about it in the paper, yet the article reported that it was Toll’s people who set up the Fox event on the Toll property. PRESS RELEASE: NLPC Hits Fox Again and Again; LSC Champion Took Illegal Loans and Lied About It

NLPC Complaint filed with Ethics Committee (May 12, 1998)

21. It was the discovery in April of Cangiano’s plan to sell the property to Toll Brothers for a $5 million profit that led Rackham and Abramowitz to bring a halt to the sale, alleging fraud and breaches of contract, according to a court brief. The sale had been scheduled to go to settlement April 10. Developer Sues To Force Wheatland Farm Sale -- Leesburg2Day-- The Journal of Loudoun County

Among the claims in the court filings associated with the Wheatland Farms litigation is that the discovery in April that Cangiano sought to assign the purchase contract to Toll Brothers for a $5 million fee led Rackham and Abramowitz to bring a halt to the sale, according to a court brief.
Court Battle Over Wheatland Farms Purchase Spurs Fraud Allegation -- Leesburg2Day-- The Journal of Loudoun County

22. In a related matter, the supervisors delayed discussion of a "punch list" of Concord Chase residents' complaints about "poor workmanship" such as poor insulation, leaks and stormwater runoff. Many Concord Chase residents want Toll's license revoked until all the problems are fixed. More than 40 residents of Concord Chase, or about 40 percent, levied complaints against Toll Brothers for poor workmanship, according to an anonymous source. The source asserted that Toll removed trees and a vegetation buffer zone between Garnet Valley Woods and Newlin Mill Park on Cheyney Road. The removal of the buffer created excess water runoff on Cheyney Road, resulting in a dangerous patch of ice, the residents said. CountyPressOnline.com - Toll Brothers Take Flak


The following was posted by Michael Guffy, who along with other plaintiffs filed separate complaints against Toll Brothers alleging, among other causes of action, that they were fraudulently induced to enter into an Agreement of Sale with Toll Brothers for the construction and purchase of a residence. Opinion Flash; 10/28/2004 :

Toll Bros came into Tennesse and built homes in Williamson County. They cheated, lied, defrauded the home owners. They did not follow codes and built homes with structural problems, roof and chimney leaks. There are still legal suits against Toll including myself. They had to leave Tennesse, but for many of use the damage is done. I am in a legal battle with Toll, but, what can a person do. Toll is so big. They stall and keep you tied up in court hoping the cheated customer will give up. Please keep these stories alive, this company is no good. They could care less for the customers, its all about their bottom line. CountyPressOnline.com - Toll Brothers Take Flak


This following was posted by a former employee of Toll Brothers:

It appears the scam that Toll Brothers has been using to boost there perseved profits will finally strat to fall in aroud them. I have worked for Toll and it is clear what they are doing. They are a land bank. Toll purchases land, develops the land, and inflates the value of the land for the shareholders. The shareholders look at the assets as a total, never to know the inflated value of the developed lots is based on inhouse apprassials from Toll Brothers. In the Charlotte, NC market, Toll valued vacant lots for $100,000.00. Doesn't sound bad unless you look at the price point for the neighborhood being $300,000 to $400,000. I once talked to an estimator who pointed out, if everything goes right Toll would only loose $10,000.00 per house. To counter this loss, Toll increased their land holdings in Charlotte, inflate the cost of the land, and guess what.... the Charlotte office is profitable. When housing sales fall then Toll will have to scale back their land purchases, and their scam will be exposed. Will Toll be the next Zaring Homes? Toll Brothers


I received the following poignant e-mail. Thank you for disclosing the truth...

Date: Aug 9, 2006 2:32 PM
Subject: Toll Brothers in Cupertino, CA
To: tolltruth@gmail.com


We are fighting a proposed Toll Bros. development in Cupertino, CA. The Cupertino city council was coerced into rezoning a large tract of land, owned by Hewlett Packard, to allow a high density housing project by Toll Brothers. One of the city council members has a financial interest in the deal, as a consultant to Hewlett Packard, and as a former employee with an HP pension and with HP stock, but he voted in favor of the rezoning anyway (complaints to the FPPC regarding this council-member's actions have been filed).

Cupertino citizens collected about 5000 signatures, in thirty days, to put the rezoning ordinance on the ballot. Toll Bros. sent paid goons out to try to thwart the signature gathering process, including trying to get citizens to withdraw their signatures by lying about the size of the development. Once it was clear that we had collected far more signatures than necessary, Toll convinced the city council to call a special election, rather than have the referendum put on the ballot at the next municipal election (2007), which is the normal procedure. Toll also sued to have the referendum signature petitions thrown out, by lying about the methodology by which the signatures were collected, and lying about the requirements regarding the wording of the petitions. A judge threw out their lawsuit, and the referendums are going forward at a special election in November.

Interestingly enough, Apple Computer, which is Cupertino's largest employer, came out strongly against the rezoning of industrial land for residential, stating, "We want to stay in Cupertino; we just want to make sure there's space here for us to grow over time," and "Once it turns to housing that's the end of the road. I haven't seen an industrial to housing conversion in a long time."

One big problem we have is that the local newspapers receive a lot of advertising revenue from Toll Bros., and will never come out against a project no matter how awful it is.

Your site is very helpful. We also have found a lot of environmental violations by Toll Bros., which is interesting, since they always are able to get the local chapter of the Sierra Club to endorse their condo projects.

AND, for everyone who feels they are unable to take a stand against Toll Brothers, please read the following. Congratulations citizens of Cupertino!

Date: Nov 8, 2006 10:26 AM
Subject: Toll Brothers
To: tolltruth@gmail.com


Wow, we won big ("No" prevents the rezoning for the development). 63% no, 37 % yes. On a companion measure for another developer next to the Toll Bros. development, we won even bigger, 65% no, to 35% yes.

This is despite the facts that:

1. Both the major newspaper (San Jose Mercury News) and the weekly (Cupertino Courier) came out in favor of Toll Brothers because of the advertising revenue they get from real estate sales.

2. The developers outspent us about 50 to 1.

3. The developers hired people to disrupt the process from the very beginning, including goons to try to prevent citizens from signing the referendum petitions, stealing our campaign signs, and physically trying to hurt our volunteers.

4. The developers funded a spurious lawsuit to try to keep the measures off the ballot after it qualified with far more signatures than necesssary. They knew they would lose, but it forced us to spend money on lawyers, rather than on the campaign.

5. The developers got the mayor and two other council members to campaign against us.Now we're thinking of getting shirts made with some of the mames they called us, i.e. "Angry Mob," "Liars," etc.

AND, thanks for the compliment...

To: tolltruth@gmail.com
Date: Sep 22, 2006 5:23 PM
Subject: Thanks

I am so glad I found the blog regarding Toll Brothers. It saved us a lot of money and most likely a ton of disappointment. Thanks for the heads up!

Warning. Toll Brothers may be coming to a City near you, along with a lawsuit or two...

Lawsuit in Wake County, SC Toll Brothers sues town of Cary - Triangle Business Journal:

Lawsuit in Loudoun County, VA Toll Brothers Sues Over Westport Housing Proposal

Lawsuit in Newtown, CT The Newtown Bee

Lawsuit in Cupertino, CA Silicon Valley Community Newspapers - The Cupertino Courier - News

Excerpt from News & Culture in Silicon Valley Silicon Valley News Notes:

City Attorney received notice that a lawsuit had been filed to prevent the referendum that challenged their project from ever seeing the light of day...except that it was Toll Brothers' lawyers who filed the suit—apparently they needed an injured voter before they could allege voter injury.

Lawsuit in New Castle County, DE

Lawsuit in Scottsdale, AZ KVOA News 4, Tucson, Arizona - Battle over preserve land may be state's most costly

Lawsuit in Monroe Township, NJ maycol605

Lawsuit in Mount Laurel and Moorestown, NJ. Excerpt from Toll Brothers loses suit against Mt. Laurel (phillyBurbs.com) Burlington Times: Toll reaped the benefits of the developer's agreement until it was time to absorb the burdens of it," Sweeney wrote in a 22-page opinion released yesterday.

Lawsuit in Frederick County, VA The Winchester Star-Lawsuit Claims Zoning Process Unconstitutional

Lawsuit in Charlestown Township, PA The Phoenix - Charlestown hit with $1M suit

Toll drowns West Windsor Township, NJ in legal action from 1984 - 2002 Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione

Lawsuit imminent in Collier County, FL Wildlife officials angry over golf course project naplesnews.com Naples Daily News

What? More insightful and revealing information about Toll Brothers?

Interestingly and curiously, I am the first to put together a blog dedicated to exposing the truth about Toll Brothers and the Arbitration process. In my quest, I came across some interesting postings. The following is a listing of my personal favorites from The Bubble Blog With Attitude...

1. Housing Panic - The Bubble Blog with Attitude: Toll Brothers plummets (again). The epic housing bubble is over. Bob Toll sold.

2. Housing Panic - The Bubble Blog with Attitude: Housing bubble bust: the before and after photos

3. Housing Panic - The Housing Bubble Blog with Attitude: FLASH: Bob Toll: Sense that housing is a depreciating asset causing in.

4. Housing Panic - The Housing Bubble Blog with Attitude: FLASH: Bob Toll creatively lowering the prices of Toll Brothers homes .

5. Housing Panic - The Housing Bubble Blog with Attitude: Bob Toll expects a housing rebound (oops, I just spit up my coffee)

6. Housing Panic - The Bubble Blog with Attitude: Isn't it time for the homebuilders (hello Bob Toll) to restate the value of th.

7. Housing Panic - The Housing Bubble Blog with Attitude: Here's a chart for the long-departed The Banker - Toll Brothers

8. Housing Panic - The Bubble Blog with Attitude: Toll Brothers CEO Sees Real Estate Growth (and his huge bank balance)

If you are experiencing problems with your builder and wish to initiate a lawsuit and/or file a complaint, you may want to familiarize yourself first with the following topics:

1. Fraud
2. Misrepresentation
3. Breach of Contract
4. Arbitration Clause
5. Integration or Merger Clause

All of which will be expanded on in future postings. It is my hope to educate the consumer so that history does not repeat itself.

States that Toll Brothers operates in or once operated in and applicable complaint links:

Arizona - Arizona Attorney General, Terry Goddard
California - http://www.cslb.ca.gov/consumers/infocomplaint.asp
Colorado - Colorado Consumer Line
Delaware - Attorney General - Consumer Protection Page
Florida - Florida Attorney General - Consumer Complaint Form
Illinois - Illinois Attorney General - Filing a Consumers Complaint
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee – Not in good standing The City Paper - Smart, Fast, Free
West Virginia



Toll Brothers Corporate

Dear Sir or Madam:

We are writing to inform you of our extreme outrage and disappointment with our Toll Brothers home. We picked our Novi, Michigan, lot and home based on the fact that we would be spending the majority of our lives here; we dreamed of retiring in this home. We dreamed of raising our family in this home. Instead, we missed countless hours of our children growing up.

It wasn’t until we heard the comments coming from your company’s tradesmen, that we fully realized our dream had slowly become a nightmare. As a result, we cannot recommend the purchase of a Toll Brothers home to anyone.

Your web site and brochure boast, “No other builder is as committed to quality as Toll Brothers.” Yet, our experience thus far with Toll Brother’s quality has been:

-Eight walls in our home are out of plumb by an inch and a half or more over 60 inches (Exhibits 2,3, 4 and 4A – only a few walls are represented here).
-Four door jams are off one-half an inch or more over 30 inches.
-Two ceilings are out of plumb by one-half inch or more over 30 inches (Exhibit 5 – one shown).
-Two cabinets are out of plumb by one-half an inch over 30 inches (Exhibit 6 – one shown).
-Destruction to upgraded flooring (Exhibit 7, 7A).

To date, we have had to endure the following observations from your team of workers:

-“This house is a pile of shit.”
-“…aside from burning [this house] down and starting over, nothing would make it right.”
-“[this house] must’ve gone up on Friday at 4:00 p.m.”
-“Your house is a lemon.”
-“I can’t believe you spent so much on this home and this is what you got.”
-“105th time is a charm.”

Now that the sting of Toll Brother’s deception has been made apparent to us, heartbreak and embarrassment are the feelings we are forced to live with. Below is an account of the exhaustive hardships we have had to accept as owners of a Toll Brother’s “luxury” home. See Exhibit 1 for a detailed accounting.

-More than 92 tradesmen were in an out of our home over the course of almost 3 years.
-Great Lakes Drywall worked over 90 hours in our home at irregular hours over the course of 6 -months. This was over and above normal repair of nail pops and seams which were addressed -in months prior.
-The same shower wall was put up and torn down 5 times (Exhibit 8).
-We went 86 days without a working Master Bathroom.
-Walls were moved and floors were cut back (Exhibit 9).
-6 bags (120 lbs.) of drywall compound were applied to our foyer wall in an attempt to make it plumb (Exhibit 10).
-No one was held accountable as finger pointing and excuses were all that Toll employees could muster.
-We missed countless hours of work to address these issues.
-We spent over 100 hours of time cleaning and removing debris from our own home.
-Pediatricians noted concern for our children’s well being and safety.

Prior to the above documentation, we encountered:

-Weeks without a porch,
-Weeks without a walkway and front door because it was not finished properly,
-The inability to walk upstairs as the pad and subfloor were torn off our bridge upstairs because not one joist hanger was tightened,
-Being forced to go from a 32” door to a 30” door upstairs because the supporting stud was so far off plumb it could not be shimmed.
-Irreversible destruction of the conservation easement behind our home as Toll instructed their digging crew to take the soil from our basement and the basement of our neighbor and dump it behind our lots. After meetings and proving that water was collecting on our lot, Kevin xxxxxx from Toll admitted to “something being missed”.

Through this process we were informed that when Toll “back charges” trades, they charge back double. So, if Toll needed to charge back Bullen Construction for a $5,000 repair, they would, in fact, charge $10,000. It is disheartening to think that Toll Brothers will benefit financially from our pain and suffering. We cannot believe that Toll Brothers will profit from a home where our four year old and one year old could not play or walk alone without encountering stray nails, saw blades, chemicals, and power equipment.

We should be compensated, not Toll Brothers. We respectfully request a refund which includes, but is not limited to, the amount charged back to Bullen representing Toll’s financial gain, a refund of framing costs (materials and labor) and compensation for cleaning.

We hold Toll Brothers accountable for all of the experiences cited in this letter starting with the most obvious: Our wood sat out for six weeks in the spring prior to our basement being dug. Our repeated requests for a tarp were ignored. In addition, major structural items that could have been addressed earlier on in the framing stages would have resulted in a lot less physical destruction and far less mental duress. We trusted that basic carpentry practices were being followed. We trusted that the project manager would have checked or reviewed the work of others. We trusted that some level of quality was reflected in the price of our home. That is why we purchased a Toll Brothers home. Being duped is humiliating.

Please contact us to discuss the above.

May 5, 2003:

John xxxxxx and Dale xxxxxx walked through our home. Dale informed us that “everyone has a level of responsibility”. He stated that “the framers, drywallers, tilers, trim carpenters and even Toll Brothers share in the responsibility”. He stated that “the various trades put bad work over bad work.” John then contacted Bullen construction. Eric from Bullen walked through our home and could not believe his eyes. He informed us that “the framing job was horrible” and he made it a point to tell me that his “crew did not frame our house” but that he “knew who did”.

May 12, 2003:

Eric and Lonnie from Bullen worked at our home for the better part of the day. They moved the base of our dining room wall over an inch and a half. Eric left and Lonnie continued to work in our shower stall. He tore down one wall and sawed back some two by fours (Exhibit 8). Lonnie then proceeded to:

-Place a measuring devise and saw blade down on cardboard, puncturing through our hardwood floor.
-Wipe his perspiration-covered face all over our towels.
-Track mortar throughout our house.

All of which was communicated to John and Dale.

May 15, 2003:

Lonnie secured a piece of green board up that cracked, jutted and waved. We requested Toll’s best drywaller (Kennedy from Great Lakes Drywall) to come out and assess the situation. He had nothing to screw into. He said he “could not fix it.” Kennedy could not shim the studs because everything was cut on a 45 degree angle. I then met with John again and requested that he please send the best carpenter from Bullen to fix the situation. John assured me that Bullen would send their best framer.

May 20, 2003:

Our shower stall was still not fixed. Lonnie spent several hours working on the wall. I checked and called Dale. Dale had Chris from Master Building, LLC come out and assess the situation. This led to “Matt,” who got “Dave” to address the problem. Dave told me in two seconds what was wrong with our shower stall and walls. He shook his head in disbelief as he walked through our home. He attempted to fix our wall. After Kennedy installed the green board it became apparent that the wall was still out of plumb in the corner 3/8 of an inch over 20 inches. After three attempts my shower wall was still not right. We requested a meeting with Steve xxxxxx.

May 21, 2003:

We met with Steve and walked him through our house. We heard over and over about how “wood warps” and that “studs can be off” and “nothing will be perfect”. We expected that walls could be off. This is why the Toll standard is 1/4 inch over 30 inches for a horizontal surface and 3/8 inch over 30 inches for a vertical surface. All of the areas noted above well exceed the standards. We informed Steve that we would just like to get things fixed so that we could start to move on with our lives and enjoy our home and family. He even admitted that we had been through a lot. We then requested that Steve come back with Toll’s best framer to tell us what was wrong with our shower.

May 22, 2003:

Steve brought Chris from Master Building, LLC into our home. They both stood in our bathroom and informed me that they could not tell us what was wrong with our bathroom unless they “tear it all out down to the studs.” At no point did they take one measurement. They came into our home to assess the situation without bringing a level, square or a measuring devise. I met with them for 45 minutes. I was again informed that “wood warps” and “studs can be off”. Chris suggested that it was “the tile guy who was off.” Steve arranged for the tile guy to come out. I had to leave work early on the same day to meet with Steve and the tile guy. It took the tile guy a matter of seconds to see that our walls were neither “square” nor “plumb.”

May 28, 2003:

I placed a phone call to see how we were going to proceed with fixing the situation. John indicated to me that he needed to speak with Steve. Nothing was scheduled. I personally contacted the finish carpenter because we needed him to tear out the linen closet and shim the wall. The powder room door was torn out and moved. Flooring was sawed back, and tools were again set on our hardwood floor. The drywaller spent a full day mudding and floating out walls. The trim carpenter also informed John that he was “billing double” what he “normally would” because he had to “move a wall” (Exhibit 9). We spent 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm cleaning the chunks of drywall, nails, trim, sawdust, mud etc. We barely saw our children that day and night.

May 30, 2003:

Kennedy came to assess the bathroom wall again. We still needed more shims. John removed two walls of tile. All the while my Mother and children are left to deal with these trades while we had to go to work.

At the same time we had been trying to address our flooring issues. We paid a substantial amount of money to upgrade our hardwood to maple. We witnessed no one taking care of our floor as our house was going up. In fact, it was trashed and destroyed (Exhibits 7, 7A). After closing, we had trades in our house doing repairs and tools were dropped and ladders were dragged. In addition, we were told by the same trades that were dinging our floor that our floor “should not squeak as much as it does.” We started marking areas where there were significant squeaks. Larry from Kramer flooring drove a small nail in between the floor boards and covered each hole with filler. He was there for three days repairing squeaks. We believe that he drove over 500 nails in our floor in attempting to repair over 500 squeaks and loose floor boards. It became apparent that our floor was not installed properly.

We received a phone call from Connie at AR Kramer Floors. She informed us that in similar floors there was a problem with the nailing pattern because the tongue was manufactured to short. She was sending someone out to assess the situation and mentioned possible replacement of the entire floor.

June 2, 2003:

I called the trim carpenter. Each time he said he was sending a guy over. No one showed until 3:30 p.m. Kennedy spent the entire day mudding and sanding. He informed me that my foyer wall had six bags (120 lbs.) of drywall compound on it (Exhibit 10 – after the first bag was applied). Again, my children had no where to walk. We then determined the mortar on the shower walls needed to come down. John spent the remainder of the afternoon removing mortar and plaster. We cleaned the house from 5:00 to 10:00.

June 3, 2003:

I called Dale and expressed to him that no one was taking ownership of this shower. I told him that we were down to studs and the shower walls should be shimmed out. This way the green board could be installed and the walls would be plumb and square. I told him that we were not upset that we had no running shower. We were upset because our children’s lives were severely disrupted by the trades coming in and out, with very little progress. I left the measuring devise, square and level for them to use. I showed them that the back wall is out of square by ½ inch. We left he house at 9:20, late for work, again. We were uneasy that our house was left wide open and unattended. The drywaller spent a full day installing green board and floating out walls and ceilings. We cleaned for three more hours that night. After we vacuumed and mopped the bathroom floor, we looked at the shower stall. The original wall still bowed in two areas. The plumbing was not perpendicular to the wall. The shower faucet and control valve needed to be reset.

June 4, 2003:

I placed a phone call to Dale. I asked Dale if he had a few moments to assess our shower situation. He informed me that he will be in meetings for the morning. The drywaller and trim carpenters arrived. John also showed up. I showed John our shower and he agreed that the plumbing needed to be addressed and the wall needed to be reworked. He stated that he did “not know what Dale would say.” Kennedy called Dale and provided his assessment. He also believed there was a plumbing issue and the green board needed to come down again. Dale says John could handle it and gave him the authority to call the framers and the plumber. The plumber did not call back. In the afternoon, I had Dave and Matt from Master Building, LLC, John, and Kennedy, in my Master Bathroom. Tempers flared and Dave and Matt blamed Kennedy for taking a shim out. Shim or no shim the shower was still not square. Due to the yelling and screaming, I took my son upstairs and waited. 45 minutes later they were still blaming one another. Kennedy left.

I told Dave and Matt that we had been through a great deal up to this point. I asked if they could help. They recommended reframing the wall. John agreed that the green board needed to come down for the plumber anyway. Dave and Matt left and I left John to take the green board down again.

I took my son to the pediatrician for a well visit. The questionnaire at the Doctor’s office asked if there were any stressful situations in the household. I checked the box “yes”. When the Doctor asked me about it I broke down in tears. I told her that my home was not safe for my children and I couldn’t attend to their needs.

Later at home, Dale informed me that a plumber and a framer would be there Friday morning. He would also have a Bruce representative there to address our flooring issues. On the way out, I showed Dale and Steve my cabinet in the laundry room where the cabinet is set against the back wall and the sink is set against the right wall. The result: a cockeyed sink to the tune of ½ inch over 20 inches. Dale said he would take care of it. I do not show him that I can place my hand behind my Master Bathroom mirror.

I asked him if he remembered that our wood sat out in the spring for six weeks without a tarp before our basement was dug. We called on a daily basis to get a tarp for our wood. We never got the tarp. He nodded and said “yes”, he remembered.

June 6, 2003:

Dale and Steve instructed Dave from Master Building, LLC on how to correct the wall. They agreed that the top section of the wall jutted out ½ inch. Dale told me that the plumber would be there soon after Dave finished. The green board would then be hung. I left for work and my Mother was left with the children and trades. The lower right hand corner was still not square. The green board jutted out due to the three layers of vinyl underneath. They relied on the tile guy to fix.

June 9, 2003:

Brian from Kramer walked across the floor and confirmed significant movement of the floor boards.

I contacted John to inquire if any trades were scheduled for that day. I asked Dale on Friday if he could send the finish carpenters on Monday. John said that he would get back to me. At noon on the same day, I called John to see if the finish carpenters were on their way. He asked if I had been home all morning, which I had been. He informed me that the finish carpenters were at our house and they thought we were not home. I told him that the garage door was open, the car was in the garage, the tile guy’s boots were at our front door and his truck was in front of our driveway. We missed out on having our nook, kitchen, dining room, foyer and powder room areas trimmed out. Kennedy stopped by at 7:00 pm to assess the shower situation yet again. We did not know when he would be coming back.

June 11, 2003:

The trim carpenters showed up and they spent four hours trimming out doors, baseboards and cabinet trim. I showed Jim one base board that is 5 ¼ high on the left and 4 3/4 on the left. The entire piece spanned 24 inches. He replaced the baseboard without hesitation but then proceeded to show me that the floor was not level. I spoke with Kennedy over the phone and he told me that he might have some time on Friday to tape and mud our shower stall. I asked him if anyone from Toll has contacted him to let him know that the tile guy was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Friday and that the shower needed to be taped and mudded before Friday morning. He stated that no one had contacted him or scheduled him.

June 12, 2003:

We left Kennedy the code to my garage. He worked for 5 hours in our house only because he had a cancellation. He worked on the shower and sanded the various walls and ceilings in our home. We came home from work and cleaned for three more hours.

June 13, 2003:

The tile guys showed up. I told them that Toll did not schedule the drywaller to tape and mud the shower. Kennedy came through for us, however, and now they could begin tiling. They needed to break down the curb and the pan. I tell them that I requested cardboard for three days. They radioed Dale for cardboard. An hour later we still did not have cardboard. They continued working. I placed a phone call directly to Toll for cardboard. 30 minutes later Bronson was at my door to tell me that he put cardboard in the garage. I asked him to lay it down. He said “no, the tile guy will lay it down”. I told him “no, he is tearing out the curb and covered in filth”. I asked him if he was going to make me put it down. He said “the tile guy will put it down” and walked away. I told the tile guy that the cardboard is in the garage and tile guy said that “Bronson should be putting it down”. So I had to haul sheets of cardboard into our own home, cut pieces with a knife, and lay it down while our children called and cried for me upstairs. I was late to work again. When returning from work, we cleaned our floors for two more hours.

June 16, 2003:

We asked Bruce from the tile company why the corner is out of square by ½ inch after the cement/mortar was installed. He said that he would try to fix. We called Dale and Dale and Steve stopped by the house. Bruce assured us that he could fix it. Bruce finished the tile work, leaving all of his tools and buckets set directly on the floor. He assured us that this would not damage the tile. No cardboard. We had to get on our hands and knees and scrub mortar, cement and grout off of the tile for another two hours. Our grout lines are still filthy.

June 17, 2003:

Kennedy spent more time floating out walls and sanding areas. We cleaned for two more hours.

June 18, 2003:

We called both Dale and John to express our desires to spend some time this summer with our children. Dale scheduled the plumber and the drywaller for the same day. We decided not to clean. We were exhausted.

June 19, 2003:

We cleaned for 3 hours.

June 22, 2003:

We cleaned the tile in the shower for two hours.

June 23, 2003:

We called John to see if the trim carpenters were scheduled. Golich Glass showed up to hang the door. They made an adjustment or two because the door was not straight on their first attempt. Metal shavings were embedded in a sloppy caulk job and of course, there was a mess left behind. The trim carpenters spent four hours trimming. I learned that they were charged back for ½ hour or $100 for leaving a mess in my basement the last time they were there. I had difficulty swallowing this information because I had done nothing but clean after everyone for the last six weeks. Toll is financially compensated and we are not? We cleaned again from 5:00 to 7:00. Kennedy showed up at 7:30 p.m., in the middle of our family dinner. I followed him through the house and he decided to take his shoes off at my Master Bedroom. He tracked dirt through our entire house and didn’t finish his work until 9:00 p.m. We cleaned.

June 24, 2003:

Kennedy continued working. We cleaned when we got home from work.

June 25, 2003:

Kramer Flooring removed six or seven floor boards to determine why the floor squeaked. Golich Glass sent the same crew to re-hang the door. I had to turn them away. Another installer was sent out after several phone calls. He re-hung the door. Holes previously drilled into the tile were now visible. He filled with caulk. Kennedy worked on walls and sanded various areas from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. We spent all day cleaning sawdust and metal shavings. We spent all night cleaning drywall dust.

June 26, 2003:

Kennedy sanded again. We cleaned again. We called John to see if he could schedule the tile guy to come back and install the sanitary tile and a trim carpenter to finish installing base boards. We told him that someone will be at the house all day and first thing on June 27, 2003. We do not hear back.

June 27, 2003:

I left Dale a message asking if we can get the trades in to finish their work. We do not hear back.

July 2, 2003:

Kennedy stopped by at 9:00 am to assess the master shower area again. He said that we “may or may not see him later”. He arrived around 7:00 pm to put a coat of mud on the ceilings and walls.

July 3, 2003:

Kennedy arrived around 9:00 am to put another coat of mud on the ceilings and walls.

July 9, 2003:

Kennedy arrived around 4:00 pm to put another coat of mud on the ceilings and walls. We cleaned.

July 11, 2003:

We called Dale and asked again if he could please schedule the trades to finish their work.

July 14, 2003:

Brian from the tile company and the trimmers finished their work. At 7:40 pm Kennedy showed up to put another coat of mud on the ceilings and walls. He told us that he may come back tomorrow or the next day to finish. He did not.

On July 15, 16 and 17 we filled holes, sanded and caulked trim and baseboard.

July 18, 2003:

Kennedy sanded. We cleaned.

July 27 through August 6 we sanded, mudded, primed and painted the bathroom.

September 18, 2003:

Dale, Dan from Kramer, the flooring distributor and the crew of original installers walked through our house. They again confirmed significant movement in the floor. The installers believed the hardwood was defective because they had been installing hardwood for 20 years. I asked that they please offer a resolution as soon as possible because we could move forward with painting or other improvements until the flooring issue was resolved. They informed me that we “will have an answer by noon.” While Dan from Kramer was still in our home, I again showed him the defect in the carpet that runs the length of the upstairs hall. He informed me that if it was a defect we should see it run in every room. I asked “what are the chances that we have a defective hardwood floor and defective carpet?” We moved from room to room and Dale and Dan continued to point out the defect. It ran approximately eight feet from the wall in almost every room.

September 19, 2003:

We left a message for Connie at AR Kramer and received no response.

September 22, 2003:

We were informed that we would have an answer regarding the hardwood by September 25, 2003.

September 26, 2003:

We were informed that we would have an answer by October 1, 2003.

October 2, 2003:

Various trades continued to square up cabinets, float out walls, shim etc. Dale was describing his recommendation for repairing a floor squeak and used the word “typically”. Kennedy replied that “the word typical and this house should not be used in the same sentence”.

October 3, 2003:

Connie asked if she could come out to view the floor. She also informed me that the carpet in our home would be replaced. They concluded to replace the hardwood.

October 22, 2003:

We showed Dale an area where the drywall severely bulged.

October 23, 2003:

A different drywaller scraped our walls.

October 24 and 27, 2003:

The drywaller mudded.

October 28, 2003:

It is determined that the cove molding should come down and the corner bead should be replaced because the drywaller was having difficulty fixing the area. I was late for work again.

October 29, 2003:

More drywall work took place.

October 30, 2003:

The drywallers sand. We were informed that “the problem is in the framing”. We primed.

October 31, 2003:

Jason from London Staircase installed the cove molding. The repair was still not satisfactory. Nothing else could be done. Tears welled up. I was late for work again.

November 6, 2003:

I showed Dale the base board in the great room that dipped ¾ inch over 60 inches. We concluded to wait until the hardwood floor came out to fix. I also showed him the two story wall in the Great Room that is severely out of plumb and bowed. Nothing can be done to fix. Dale stated that “the good news is that only people like me and you will notice that”. The trimmers showed up to install a new cabinet, skin a cabinet, remove shoe in preparation of the new hardwood and re-trim an area. Upon removing a piece of shoe that was running vertically between two doorways it became apparent that the door frame was not plumb approximately 1 inch from top to bottom. They recommended re-casing the whole doorway. We replied that we were not happy because we just paid a professional painter $3,000. They will now destroy everything we just paid for. There is no other solution. They had to re-case the entry to hide the wall that is out of plumb. The new kitchen cabinet arrived damaged. No one checked it before it showed up to our house. We didn’t know when that will be fixed either. After the shoe was removed, I picked up nails and swept up splintered pieces of wood. After the trades left I asked Josh the new service technician “whose responsibility is it to clean?” He replied “I think the trades.” I cleaned.

November 8, 2003:

The carpet was replaced.

November 13, 2003:

I waited for the trim carpenters to show. They did not. I called and Josh told me the materials were not ready. I asked him to please have it ready for the next day. Tom from Mulligan removed 22 bends in the ductwork and stated that the initial job was done in haste.

November 14, 2003:

Tom the trim carpenter brought two guys in and explained to them what they needed to do. They spent several hours re-casing the entryway. They left. The door frame was not level. It was off a ¼ inch from left to right. I left a message for Dale.

November 18, 2003:

We left two more messages for Dale.

November 20, 2003:

The trim carpenters re-trimmed the doorway to the dining room, reset four baseboards and installed the cabinet. AR Kramer ripped out the hardwood floor, sanded the entire subfloor and used a mallet to hammer down imperfections and protruding nails. All of our personal items (i.e. artwork, etc.) were placed downstairs to protect from the dust and dirt from sanding the subfloor. No one warned us that the mallet and hammering would cause our basement ceiling to spray dirt and wood particles. Glass bulbs in the basement shattered. The debris not only covered all of our personal items but covered all of our children’s toys. Our son had to spend the night elsewhere because we could not take the chance that he would fall on the splintered subfloor. We spent the whole night cleaning the basement.

November 21, 22 and 23, 2003

AR Kramer installed hardwood through Sunday evening. We did not see our children for three more days as it was not safe for them in their own home, still.

November 24, 2003:

Various trades were in an out of our house installing the dishwasher, and sinks, re-caulking, installing shoe etc.

February 12, 2004:

We learned that Toll Brothers was in the process of constructing condominiums behind our home. We were again sickened as we were told through the entire sales process and after, verbally and in writing, that Toll Brothers did not receive approval from the City to build condominiums behind our lot and that no one would ever be able to build behind us. We selected our lot and paid a hefty $70,500 premium based on this information.