Couple claims home nearly demolished without permission, in refiled suit

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 3, 2007, 12:00pm

Dennis and Patsy Hagopian have re-filed a lawsuit against Jerry Wilson, John Apperson, Joe Perigan, and Triple J Restorations Inc. alleging their home was nearly demolished without being notified.

Represented by Patrick Foley of Belleville, the Hagopians claim personal property was damaged when the wrecking crew entered their premises at 2504 Sheridan Ave. in Granite City on May 29, 2004.

According to their original suit filed in March 2005, the couple was seeking more than $1 million from the same defendants, plus the city of Granite City, which is not named in the new suit.

The suit, filed March 29 in Madison County Circuit Court, asks for actual and punitive damages for allegations of negligence, conversion, trespassing, civil conspiracy and fraud.

The complaint states that Wilson, Apperson, and Perigan were joint owners of Triple J, a company that specializes in the acquisition and rehabilitation of condemned or run-down homes. Wilson is Granite City's supervisor of Engineering, Planning and Zoning Department, and Apperson and Perigan are city housing inspectors.

As a result of the alleged negligence, the Hagopians claim they were denied the full use and enjoyment of their home, suffered a loss of sound mind and well being, and claim they sustained economic damages in the lost value of their property.

The Hagopians allege the defendants are guilty of failing to inspect their property to ensure the property was not in an uninhabitable condition. They also claim the defendants failed to ensure that personal property was properly handled and stored.

According to the complaint, Wilson, Apperson, and Perigan planned, agreed, and conspired to intentionally and unlawfully deprive the Hagopians of their home without due process of law by exploiting their positions as local government officials to condemn the Hagopians property for their own benefit.

The complaint also states that Wilson, Apperson, and Perigan willfully and wantonly damaged and converted the Hagopians' personal property.

The 14-count suit seeks damages in excess of $700,000. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Barb Crowder.

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