House was full of undisclosed defects, suit says

Ann Knef May 15, 2007, 12:00am

A Belleville couple claims a home they purchased at 617 Abend St. last year is riddled with defects that were not properly disclosed at the time they closed on May 3, 2006.

William L. Barton, IV and Channa Barton are seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages, rescission of contract, return of the full purchase price of $50,900, settlement charges of $2,974.12 and 9 percent interest from the date of closing from the former owner, as well as real estate agents.

Defendants in the suit filed May 8 in St. Clair County Circuit Court include former owner Jim D. Frick, and realtors Dolly Roth, Andrea Johnson, Coldwell Banker-Nester Realty and Century 21 Nester Realty.

The Bartons claims that defects in the home's roof, walls, windows, floors, basement and septic system were not fully disclosed at the appropriate time.

"The windows were disclosed as having no defects, working properly and creating a proper seal, when they in fact could not be opened or be opened...which defects were hidden during inspection by layers of paint, windows being nailed shut, windows being covered by furniture and/or plastic and exterior windows by poison ivy," the complaint states.

Jerold H. Goldenhersh of Belleville represents the plaintiffs.

"There was no disclosure of material defects in the walls and foundation when the support piers and wall in the basement supporting the back two areas of the structure were hidden by a temporary wall covering up extensive termite damage to the primary support structure and an active cistern further weakening the support joists and bearing plates," the complaint states.

"There was not disclosure of three live open sewer drains in the basement floor when there were such open sewer drains which were hidden by debris during inspection," the complaint states.

The suit also states that there was an old coal chute opening to the street allowing water into the building from a sewer opening on the sidewalk, which defects were hidden by shelving, furniture and debris during inspection.

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