Hundreds of people who unwittingly bought homes in Orlando, Fla., near a World War II-era bombing range are suing after learning they could lose their insurance.
Attorneys for the residents said Lennar Homes and other builders committed fraud by concealing that the homes were built on the bombing range.
Public records show that fill dirt from the range was used throughout the development and the Army is testing the soil for possible toxic chemicals.
Since July, live bombs and bomb debris have been found at a nearby school, under the yards of some homes and on land behind the school.
Citizens Property Insurance Corp., created by the Legislature as the insurer of last resort, said it would not consider writing a policy if there are unexploded bombs.
Real estate broker John Jennings said it’s almost impossible to sell houses near the former bombing range. “There’s not a lot of ways to sugarcoat a bombing range or contaminated area,” he said.
Wayne Broedel, division president for Lennar in Orlando, said the company has hired its own munitions experts and removed bombs and debris from some properties.
“Lennar believes the issues at the Pinecastle Jeep Range are ultimately the government’s responsibility,” Broedel told the Orlando Sentinel.
Cristina Quintana, division president for Mercedes Homes, which built 218 homes in the area, said the company was not told about the potential bombs.
“How could we have told our customers when nobody told us?” she asked. “We’re victims in this too.”
Information from: Orlando Sentinel,
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