Smithton man files dam suit against neighbor

Steve Gonzalez Aug. 29, 2006, 9:39am

Art Engelage filed a breach of contract and consumer fraud suit against his Smithton neighbor in St. Clair County Circuit Court Aug. 24, seeking damages in excess of $100,000.

Engelage claims he hired Norman Arras to construct a 10-acre lake on his property at 4676 Heartland Oaks on Aug. 26, 1996.

"Norman Arras constructed a lake on the property owned by Art Engelage in violation of Illinois Department of Natural Resources Rules and Regulations in that he failed to obtain a permit and failed to do engineering studies," the complaint alleges.

Engelage claims Arras represented that he complied with all applicable laws and that Arras knew or had reason to know that an engineering report had to be on file with the state of Illinois.

He claims he was recently notified that the dam on his property is not in compliance with the law and had to hire an engineer and suffered damages to make the lake comply with Illinois law.

"Norman Arras' concealment of said material fact in the construction of said dam constitutes a violation of Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act," the complaint states.

Engelage is represented by P. Michael Read of Belleville.

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