Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth dismissed a lawsuit Friday against the former owners of a house in Alton who allegedly sold a home with mold and sewer problems without telling the buyers.
Lynn Bockmohle, Sharon Bockmohle, Allison Strozewski, Amanda Woodward and Ariana James filed the suit in 2006 against Mathew Rathgeb, Jamie Czerny, Paul Eastwood and Wooff Ltd.
Rathgeb and Czerny filed documents in August stating the lawsuit should be dismissed since they had not received a summons.
“That until Aug. 2, neither Defendants Czerny nor Rathgeb had knowledge of the pendency of the lawsuit, nor had they been aware of any attempt to serve process,” court documents say.
The plaintiffs stated in the lawsuit that when the house was listed for sale in 2003 and 2004, they were not told the home had a non-functional sewer, had previously flooded or had a mold inside.
Ruth told the court at a hearing on Friday he inherited the case from retired Judge Nicholas Byron.
Defense attorney Samuel Mormino Jr. asked the case be dismissed.
“There was no return of service in this file,” Ruth said.
Back in May, Ruth had granted the defense motion to compel plaintiffs Lynn and Sharon Bockmohle’s discovery deposition within 60 days.
Before then, defendants Eastwood and Woof, doing business as Wooff Ltd. GMAC Real Estate filed a motion to compel in April requesting the judge to compel Lynn and Sharon Bockmohle to appear for discovery depositions in Madison County within 60 days.
Lynn Bockmohle and Sharon Bockmohle live in Sun Falls, Idaho. Their children Bockmohle, Amanda Woodward and Amanda James are residents of Alton.
Allison Bockmohle is the natural parent of Amanda Woodward and Ariana James.
Background information in the case shows that Lynn and Sharon Bockmohle paid $95,900 to Czerny and Rathgeb Jan. 30, 2004 for the sale of the home, and Allison Bockmohle and her children,
Ariana James and Amanda Woodward moved into the residence as tenants of Lynn and Sharon Bockmohle.
The home was not worth the price, the lawsuit says. The sewer backed up Feb. 24, 2004, releasing gray water in the basement. The basement was later flooded by rain.
After buying the home, the plaintiffs also started seeing mold appear throughout the house, and began experiencing respiratory problems, blood clots and sinus ailments. Their belongings were also damaged by the mold, the suit claims.
The plaintiffs repaired the sewer, waterproofed the home and remediated the mold in 2004, according to the lawsuit. They stated in the lawsuit that Rathgeb and Czerny violated the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act by not informing them about a dysfunctional sewer.
Tori Walls of Reed, Armstrong, Mudge & Morrissey represents Eastwood.
Amanda Bradley Verett of Edwardsville and Patricia Dennis of Edwardsville represents the plaintiff.
Madison County case number 06-L-92.