Willowbrook homeowner speaks out about slander lawsuit

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BRADENTON, Fla. – A Manatee County homeowner says the victim is now being sued. He owns a home in the Willowbrook townhome community, where people there put legal pressure on the builder, KB Home, to fix defects in their homes. But now he says a contractor is suing him.

“I've got water intrusion in the front of my house. I can actually see water spots in my kitchen cabinets and above my refrigerator, and I have a little bit of mold and water intrusion in the back corner of my garage as well,” says homeowner Andrew Smith.

He has lived in Willowbrook since 2006 and he says the problems he describes are affecting the entire community. “The majority have issues like that with their home.”

So in response, he created a website as a place to share information, keeping residents informed of the on-going dealings with KB Home, and a place for local government officials to keep track, too.

And he says just when KB Home finally agreed to hire a 3rd party contractor -- DueAll Construction -- to fix the structural problems, he once again lost faith in the builder. “One of the owners (of DueAll) that we weren't made aware of, was convicted for felony drug trafficking…we found that KB Home and DueAll are doing work in other communities. The question is, how are they 3rd party when they're doing work in other communities for KB Home? How can we trust that there's a separate business connection?”

Smith posted that information on his site, and on Friday, received a letter from an attorney informing him he was being sued for slander. “It was basically a slap suit trying to intimidate me. The information I have up on the site is factual…I just really feel like I have done nothing defamatory, liable or slanderous, and I feel like they're victimizing a victim, and I just had questions; I want answers.”

Now, he says he has even more unanswered questions, but says he's not backing down and plans on leaving the information on his site.