Plaintiff amends class complaint instead of listing damage

Steve Korris Jun. 9, 2006, 3:49am

Judge Matoesian

Suspense keeps building as the Madison County justice system awaits a list of moldy stuff from a Venice apartment.

Fourteen months after Kesha Manning proposed a class action lawsuit over mold at Bissell Apartments, she has not identified anything the mold damaged.

Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian on April 7 ordered her to make a list of personal property that mold damaged, but through June 7 she had sent the court no list.

Manning in April 2005 sued BA-2003, the limited partnership that owned Bissell Apartments, and Independent Management Services, the property manager.

The owners had begun repairing water damage. Manning's attorney, Lanny Darr, moved for a court order to stop repairs, arguing they would spoil evidence.

Defense attorney Matthew Jacober of Clayton, Mo., responded that Darr's motion would slow down rehabilitation.

He wrote that:

In 1981, builders of the 92 apartments used plastic pipes that leaked over time. Leaks were within walls and not apparent.

Bissell Apartments received financing and rent assistance through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD inspected the property and the owners had to comply with HUD regulations.

After Manning claimed damages the owners sent letters to all residents. One resident reported a leak, he wrote, and no one reported damage.

Darr responded that, "Each time a resident is relocated, or a repair within the walls to plumbing is made, evidence is lost that Plaintiffs need to prove the full extent of their case."

Jacober replied that Darr sought an order not to protect evidence but to solicit other residents to become clients.

Defense attorney Jill Sundberg moved last August to dismiss, arguing that Manning failed to attach a lease to her complaint.

Darr moved to amend the complaint. In September, Matoesian gave Darr 30 days to amend it.

After the deadline passed, defense attorney Troy Bozarth moved Nov. 10 to dismiss for failure to prosecute.

Six days later Darr filed an amended complaint.

Bozarth moved to dismiss it, arguing that Manning failed to allege what property was damaged and how.

Matoesian in January denied Bozarth's motion to dismiss.

In February Darr filed another amended complaint.

Bozarth again responded that plaintiffs refused to disclose the property they claimed was damaged.

Matoesian then ordered a list of damaged property.

Instead of delivering a list, Darr moved to amend his complaint again so he could add a new party.

Matoesian granted the motion.

In Manning's third amended complaint she sued not only BA-2003 and Independent Management Services but also Bissell Apartments Limited.

Darr wrote that BA-2003 bought the property from Bissell Apartments Limited in 2004.

More News