Bradenton, Florida -- Upset residents at Willowbrook began protesting more than a year ago about shoddy construction. Now the people who started the protest are being named in a federal lawsuit filed by KB Home.
One of the names include former Willowbrook resident Armando Oyola-Delgado who thinks the suit aims to quiet critical voices.
"Think about it; it's a Fortune 500 company going up against Joe Homeowner. We don't have the funds to spend on lawyers and fight," said Oyola-Delgado.
The suit alleges Oyola-Delgado and other defendants were involved in computer hacking and intercepted emails sent from computers in a construction trailer at Willowbrook to KB Home. He calls the charges outlandish.
The lawsuit also aims to have the website "thekbhome.com" pulled down. The site began with homeowner complaints about construction at Willowbrook and went on to document complaints about the homebuilder from around the nation.
KB Home objects to the site's domain name-citing trademark violations. The company also says the site's content damages KB's reputation.
Smith says he started the website in order to educate consumers and prompt KB Home to do right by Willowbrook homeowners. "I just feel like KB Home is trying to bully the little man and shut us down and prevent us from exercising our First Amendment rights to let people know and educate consumers and get the truth out," said Smith.
KB Home is now spending millions of dollars to repair homes at Willowbrook.
KB home declined any on camera or phone interviews with 10 News, but issued this statement about the lawsuit:
"KB Home has brought this suit to defend itself against computer hacking and improper infringement of its trademark. We have been working diligently and at great expense to address warranty requests of our homeowners in the Bradenton Area. In this process we have accepted fair criticism and we will continue to do so. The hacking and other conduct described in this suit is illegal and we intend to hold the responsible individuals accountable for their behavior to the fullest extent of the law."
Some of the defendants fear the lawsuit will crush them financial. Smith is looking for an attorney who will handle this case for free.