Couple seeks $350k fix for failure to disclose flooding problems

Steve Gonzalez Jan. 18, 2005, 8:45am

Flooding at their Pontoon Beach home prompted Donald and Carrie Roberts to file a seven-count, $350,000 lawsuit against the former owners, the real estate agent who sold the home and the real estate company, Jan. 14 in Madison County Circuit Court.

The average house price in Pontoon Beach is $70,000, according to a mortgage broker located there.

The Roberts, whose property is located at 47 Georgetown, claim they signed a real estate contract with Lynn and Beth Jones in Dec. of 2003, but were not informed about the property's propensity for flooding.

In fact, Roberts claims that during the course of negotiations Lynn and Beth Jones expressly denied there were problems at the property.

According to the complaint filed by attorney Thomas Maag of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, the Roberts alleged Lynn and Beth Jones violated the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act by not disclosing that flooding or recurring leakage problems existed in the crawl space or basement, and that the property is located in a flood plain.

“In truth and in fact, Lynn and Beth had lived in the property since about 1980, and had actual knowledge that the property had previously flooded at least twice, in 1993, and 1995, as well as probably on other occasions, resulting in the flooding of the basement, crawl space, and other portions of the house, and the property is located in a flood plain,” the complaint states.

The Roberts claim they would not have purchased the property from Lynn and Beth had the defects been disclosed.

Flooding conditions in the basement and crawl space has damaged carpet, furniture, and walls, according to the Roberts' complaint. The couple also was unable to park in their driveway during flooding periods, which forced them to spend large sums of money and effort to repair the damage and to clean up the mess.

The Roberts are seeking at least $50,000 in actual damages plus court costs and attorney fees and other relief that is appropriate under the circumstances.

In other counts, the Roberts seek $50,000 each from the listing real estate agent, Jim Ridings and his employer, Century 21 Royce Realty of Granite City. The suit alleges that Ridings knew or should have known that the area or the property in general had a history of flooding and was located in a flood plain.

In addition, the Roberts are also seeking at least $50,000 each from their agent, Tammie Fleming, and her employer Prudential One Realty, alleging Fleming should have known about the area's history with flooding.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dam Stack.

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