Home remodeler again seeks dismissal from Peach suit

Steve Korris Nov. 16, 2005, 10:08am

Home remodeler Kevin Link of Granite City has moved to dismiss himself from a lawsuit that Armettia Peach filed over an alleged leaky roof at a home each of them once owned.

Peach sued Link in Madison County Circuit Court last year, claiming that water leaked through the roof at 9 Briarcliff Drive in Granite City and ruined the house.

Her complaint, filed by Thomas Maag of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, implied that she bought the house from Link. She did not buy it from Link.

Link’s attorney, Lawrence Taliana of Edwardsville, wrote in a Nov. 4 motion that contrary to the complaint, Peach obtained title from Chad Carpenter of Fairview Heights.

Taliana’s motion to dismiss Link relied on points other than the deed to the house.

Taliana wrote that Peach alleged “numerous defects” but only mentioned the roof. He wrote that she should allege other defects or Matoesian should strike the complaint.

Peach failed to allege that Link knew of defects, and if Peach pleaded constructive fraud, she failed to plead a sufficient basis for it, Taliana wrote.

Peach originally sued Link and his home repair contractor, David Lambert. She also sued Granite City for approving an occupancy permit for the property.

Link and Lambert answered the complaint. Granite City did not. Peach dismissed Lambert, conditionally dismissed Link and moved for default judgment against the city.

Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian granted default judgment last year. He ordered Granite City to pay $104,259.17 – three fourths of it for Peach and a fourth for Maag.

Maag sent a bill to the city. Rather than pay, the city hired attorney Jane Unsell of Alton to overturn Matoesian’s order.

In March, the Record reported that Peach did not buy the property from Link. County records showed that Link sold it in 2002 to Chad Carpenter, who signed the title over to Peach in 2003 on a quit claim deed.

Link said in March that Peach offered to buy the house and gave him $20,000, in $20 bills, as a down payment.

Link said he took the cash home, spread it on a table and photographed it. He gave the photo to the Record, which printed it on the front page in March.

Link said that at the closing of the home sale, Peach introduced Carpenter and said he would buy the property.

Granite City paid a title company to confirm the Record’s research. Unsell filed the title company’s report as evidence in the case.

In August, at a hearing, Matoesian ordered a fresh start for the case. Picking his own word, he did not vacate his default judgment. He voided it.

Maag appealed the decision to the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon.

Maag moved to reinstate Link as a defendant and Matoesian granted the motion.

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