RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Eligible individuals and families who owned property in the Mariposa master-planned community have settled their class-action lawsuit against its former developer, High Desert Investment, and Albuquerque Academy for $5 million.
Negotiated by lawyers on both sides of the case, the settlement was approved by District Court Judge James L. Sanchez following a hearing Wednesday in Valencia County. The settlement covers from 225 to 235 owners who purchased their property on or before June 20, 2012.
The court heard one objection to the settlement by a property owner who wanted to be part of the lawsuit but was originally barred due to a technical reason.
A key element of the settlement is that the property owners, as a class, give up their right to sue High Desert and Albuquerque Academy on their own.
“Prior to the final fairness hearing, we were contacted by over a third of the property owners,” said Christopher Bauman of the Bauman, Dow & Leon, one of two law firms representing the plaintiff.
“Some people who contacted us thought it wasn’t enough money — we’d settled too low — but the vast majority of the class seems to be happy with the settlement,” he said.