Spy Glass Condos
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Judge awards condo owners $2.5M for damage from defective exterior siding

Circuit Court Judge Joseph Leafe Tuesday ruled that the exterior product Dryvit was defective and awarded luxury condominium homeowners on the Chesapeake Bay $2.5 million damages.

The original suit sought $13.6M from the builder RML Corporation and the Tidewater Builder Association's Mid-Atlantic Insurance Corp. by 61 residents of Spy Glass Condominiums, part of Bay Point in Norfolk's East Ocean View area at Little Creek on the Chesapeake Bay. 

The two original defendants were dropped and RML assigned its claim against the manufacturer, Dryvit Systems Inc., to the homeowners.

The siding material allowed windblown water to pass into the homes, causing subsurface wood framing, windows, floors, and doors to rot.  Extensive damage often occurred before there was any visible evidence.

Overlooking Little Creek with scenic vistas of the Chesapeake Bay, the condos were built  in the mid'90s and were attractive to buyers due to attractive floor plans and the nearby marine environment.  They were marketed, according to one plaintiff, P. Lee Starkey, by RML as "maintenance free brick and Dryvit."

It wasn't long after completion that damage began showing up.  Starkey said it is estimated it will cost an average of $50,000 per unit to repair the damages which includes removing the Dryvit, rotted wood, roofs, windows, and doors.

Starkey said he was very pleased with Tuesday's judgment, but that the plaintiff had noted an appeal, which could take up to a year to be finally decided.