KLANG: A developer was ordered to pay 15 home buyers in Bandar Puteri Klang a total of RM2.3 million in damages for negligence and breach of contract.
Sessions court judge Mursyida Abdul Halim said the plaintiffs had proven their claim on the balance of probabilities.
They will receive between RM144,775 and RM173,928 in rectification costs from the defendant, Malayapine Estates Sdn Bhd, based on the size of their respective properties.
The plaintiffs, represented by S N Fam and Freda Santhiago, were also awarded costs of between RM8,000 and RM9,000 each.
In the writ and statement of claim filed in 2018, the plaintiffs said they had entered into sale and purchase agreements with the defendant in 2012.
Vacant possession was given to the owners in 2014 with the defect liability period set for 24 months as provided in the agreements.
The plaintiffs said they discovered both external and internal defects in their houses, all of which were duly reported to the defendant.
External defects included cracks in brick walls, separation gaps in driveway slabs and cracks along the perimeter drain.
The plaintiffs said rectification works carried out by the defendant were merely a temporary remedy as the defects resurfaced.
They said the defendant refused to attend to further rectification work on grounds that the defect liability period had expired in 2016.
A geotechnical engineer appointed by the plaintiffs concluded that the development had been built on a 24-metre deep platform of “extremely soft to very soft compressible marine clays and earth fill”.
The expert also concluded that the site had not been properly engineered and treated prior to the commencement of construction.
The report said this caused the overall subsidence of the land to continue, causing damage to the external components of the property.
They said the defendant was negligent and had breached its contract to build the houses in a good and workmanlike manner.
In its defence, the defendant claimed that the damage to the plaintiffs’ homes was caused by renovation works carried out by the plaintiffs or their neighbours which resulted in soil settlement.
The developer, represented by Joseph Ting and Alan Tan, also denied the plaintiffs’ claim that no proper soil treatment had been carried out before construction commenced.
The defendant also said earthworks were carried out around 2003 and the land was left to rest for nine years before construction started.